No. 4 Stanford Sweeps No. 14 Ohio State

1/16/2009

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - No. 4 Stanford returned to the site of its greatest men's volleyball triumph and dispatched No. 14 Ohio State 30-28, 30-26, 36-34 in a nonconference match Friday night.

Stanford coach John Kosty felt something special as soon as he walked into St. John Arena for the first time since the Cardinal won the 1997 national championship there when Kosty was an assistant coach.

"It was awesome, absolutely awesome," Kosty said. "The only difference was we won this one in three."

Stanford beat UCLA at St. John in a five-set thriller at St. John in a match that is at the forefront of Cardinal volleyball lore, largely because of "The Block," a stuff by Matt Fuerbringer and Mike Hoefer to close out a 15-13 set on match point.

This time, it was freshmen Brad Lawson and Gus Ellis who finished the match with a stuff block. But it wasn't the pivotal play. That took place in the first set, when an Evan Romero kill broke a 28-28 tie.

"That was the turning point," Kosty said. "We got a dig and a kill. Our transition game was really good. One sign of a very good team is the ability to win the long rally. And we did that tonight."

Romero paced Stanford (4-1) with 17 kills in a match that began with the outside temperature at minus-3 degrees.

Junior setter Kawika Shoji had 46 assists, Spencer McLachlin had 14 and libero Erik Shoji had 11 digs. Middle blockers Ellis, Garrett Werner and Brandon Williams did a solid job of slowing the Buckeyes (0-4), who were playing their home opener.
 
"What truly set us apart was our ball control," Kosty said. "Our passing was very good and we gave up only one ace. A lot of that is Kawika. He played well and when Kawika plays well, the team plays well."

Stanford plays in No. 13 Ball State's season opener Saturday on the backend of the two-match in two-night Midwest trip, after driving to Muncie, Ind., on gameday.

Article courtesy of Stanford athletics.

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