Stanford, Calif. – The No. 15 Pacific men's volleyball team fell just short of an upset over No. 3 Stanford on Saturday, January 12. The Tigers held a 14-11 advantage in the fifth set, but dropped the final game 19-17 in their Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) opener.
The match scores were 25-23, 17-25, 25-27, 25-17, 19-17.
The loss drops Pacific to 1-1, while the victory improves the Cardinal to 4-0.
The Tigers had four players finish with double-figure kills including Taylor Hughes (19), Christian Ahlin (14), Tommy Carmody (14) and Adam Troy (10). Carmody also had a team-best seven blocks, while Hughes added four service aces.
Pacific got off to a slow start hitting only .097 as a team in the opening set, collecting 11 kills. On the opposite side of the net, the Cardinal hit a match-best .458 behind 14 kills. Despite the hitting percentage difference the Tigers still managed to stay in the set, but fell 25-23.
The Orange and Black turned it around in the second set in a dominant 25-17 victory. The Tigers picked up 14 kills to hit .321. Pacific continued its hot streak into the third set by hitting .341 and tallying a season-best 20 kills in the frame. The second and third set victories were set up by the passing duo of Javier Caceres and Patrick Tunnell. Caceres finished the game with a team-high 13 digs, while Tunnell picked up 53 assists. The Tigers also received a solid effort from Matthew Houlihan, he finished the match with nine kills.
The Tigers fell behind early in the fourth set, eventually falling 25-17, but would bounce back resiliently in the final frame. Pacific opened the fifth set on a 4-0 run, eventually pushing the lead to 14-11.
However, the Cardinal would not go away after a pair of Stanford kills and an error by the Tigers, the teams found themselves in a 14-all tie. Kills by Troy and Carmody along with an attack error by Stanford gave Pacific three chances to end the match. However, Stanford continued to battle until finally ending the match at 19-17 with three straight kills.
Brian Cook and Steven Irvin led the way for the Cardinal with 24 and 14 kills, respectively.
Pacific returns to action next weekend with matches against Pepperdine on January 18 and USC on January 20.