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volleyball-men-nc flag | February 9, 2014

Stanford earns third sweep in a row; sweeps No. 9 UC Irvine

STANFORD, Calif. -- Stanford swept two-time defending national champion UC Irvine 25-20, 25-21, 25-19 on Saturday at Maples Pavilion.

The Cardinal, which has swept its past three opponents, moves to 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, while the Anteaters fall to 7-7 on the year and 4-6 in conference.

For the third consecutive match, the Cardinal posted an attack percentage above .340, hitting .381 against the Anteaters. Stanford limited its attack errors to 11 and also out blocked UCI, 7.0 to 4.0.

“We did our best to get into our usual routine today,” senior Eric Mochalski said. “It was different playing this early, but the coaches did a good job of getting our minds right. Throughout the match we were really focused and determined to complete the task at hand.”

Senior outside hitter Steven Irvin led the team with 14 kills on 23 swings with just two errors to hit .522. He was a perfect 7-for-7 in the opening set. Mochalski pitched in with 12 kills on a .526 attack percentage to go with a team-best seven digs. Senior outside hitter Brian Cook finished with nine kills and four digs.

No. 2 Loyola (Ill.) 3, McKendree 0

CHICAGO -- On the heels of its win at No. 10 Lewis during the week, Loyola (Ill.) took care of business at home, trouncing McKendree 3-0 (25-16, 25-6, 25-11), Saturday at Gentile Arena. The Ramblers improve to 9-1 with the win while the Bobcats, a first-year program that will join the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) next season, drop to 1-10 overall.

"It was nice to get some different guys out there today and let them get some game action," head coach Shane Davis said. "Was a good, all-around team effort today."

Loyola's superior size, strength and experience were evident from the opening serve and two Torey Darin kills helped stake the home team to a 4-0 lead in the opening set.

Cody Caldwell finished with 13 kills on 16 errorless swings and added four blocks and three aces to lead Loyola. Olson pitched in with six kills (6-0-6, 1.000) and seven blocks while Novotny (six kills) and Chilcoat (three kills, seven blocks) gave a lift off the bench.

No. 8 UC Santa Barbara 3, No. 3 Pepperdine 2

MALIBU, Calif. -- After a disappointing loss to Southern California earlier this week, eighth-ranked UC Santa Barbara rebounded in a big way on Saturday night by downing No. 3 Pepperdine in five sets at the Firestone Fieldhouse behind a career night from Weston Nielsen.

Game scores in UCSB's first road win and second triumph against a top-three team this season were 25-22, 25-19, 25-27, 16-26, 15-12.

Nielsen, a junior outside hitter, was instrumental in the win for the Gauchos, who improved to 6-3, 5-3 following the victory. He shattered his previous career high of 12 by recording 18 kills against the Waves, and he finished just one dig shy of a double-double.

Senior opposite Evan Licht continued to be the offensive talisman for UCSB, leading the team in kills for the third consecutive match with 19. Though he had a modest attacking night with 10 kills, junior outside hitter Austin Kingi set season-high figures in digs (10) and blocks (four), recording his second double-double of the season.

Junior Jake Staahl once again led the way in the middle for UCSB, picking up seven kills on 15 swings and tying for the match lead with seven blocks.

Setter Jonah Seif had a typically productive all-around match, eclipsing the 50-assist mark for the first time this season (he finished with 53) while also recording nine digs and four kills, including the match winner.