Bischoff, Ewert Play First Matches Since January for Stanford

  0 Braden Keith | March 30th, 2018 | College - Men's Indoor, MPSF, News

Match Stats

  • Stanford def. #12 Grand Canyon 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 25-16, 23-25, 23-21)
  • Stanford moves to 5-17 (2-7 MPSF); Grand Canyon falls to 16-9 (3-7 MPSF)
  • Maples Pavillion, Stanford, California
  • Attendance: 211

It’s been a challenging year for the Stanford Cardinal men’s volleyball team. After being ranked #6 in the season-opening VolleyMob Power Rankings, and with a powerful contingent of returning players (including 4 starters), the Cardinal entered Friday’s conference tilt against Grand Canyon with just 4 wins this season.

With an at-large bid out of the question, hat means that the team’s only chance at an NCAA tournament invite is with a run through the MPSF tournament all the way to a title and an automatic bid. That means eventually having to beat #2 BYU and/or #3 UCLA, which wasn’t going to happen without the return of all-conference setter Paul Bischoff and all-conference outside hitter Jordan Ewert. The game was Bischoff’s 3rd of the season and Ewert’s 4th.

Both played their first matches since January on Friday night, and the result was an offensive spark for the Cardinal and just their 3rd win over a ranked opponent this year (and 2nd-straight over Grand Canyon).

The Cardinal hit .326 in the match, well above their season average of just .256, and held Grand Canyon to .255 hitting, well below their season average of .276.

Stanford seems to have Grand Canyon lined out well this year in spite of their overall struggles – the Cardinal won the teams’ last matchup on Febrruary 17th 3-1 and hit a season-high .489.

The return of their two key players on Friday will help the team build toward the MPSF tournament with just 3 regular season matches remaining. Both players showed signs of rust: Bischoff had 62 of the team’s 68 assists, a new career high, and contributed 4 block assists and 7 digs, but also had 2 hitting errors and 2 blocking errors: areas where he usually plays very cleanly.

Ewert, meanwhile, had 10 kills, but also threw up 9 assists in 32 swings for just an .031 hitting percentage. He also contributed 6 digs and 2 block assists, but had 3 service errors (thought that’s not as out-of-the-ordinary for him).

This was the first match of the season where both players were on the floor for Stanford.

Their return was partially overshadowed by a career day for 6’7″ freshman opposite Jaylen Jasper. He had career highs of 27 kills, 4 aces, and 32 total points while hitting .409.

The individual highlights of Stanford gave backdrop to a thrilling finish, which saw Jasper and middle blocker Kevin Rakestraw score back-to-back kills to give Stanford a 23-21 set win.

Grand Canyon was ledd offensively by Cullen Mosher (17 kills, 4 errors, .351 hitting) and Ashton King (11 kills, 1 error, .435 hitting). Those two, the focus of Grand Canyon’s offense, combined to hit .383 on the match, but the rest of the team combined to hit just .160 as the offense struggled with balance. Grand Canyon did pick up 13.5 team blocks, including 8 block assists by King and another 6 by Zachary Melcher.


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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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