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Gritty Win

Jan 8, 2022

STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford closed out the opening week of the season in gutsy fashion, outlasting No. 12 UC Irvine, 25-23, 25-21, 25-27, 22-25, 20-18, Saturday, at Burnham Pavilion.

Junior middle blocker Nathaniel Gates hit a career-high .786 with a career-best 11 kills on 14 errorless swings to lead the Cardinal (3-0). Junior Will Rottman had a team and season-high 16 kills and , while sophomore Luke Turner totaled 12 kills, including one on match-point to seal the win.

Stanford hit .237, while UC Irvine (1-1) posted a .234 clip. Despite the Anteaters leading in nearly every statistical category, the Cardinal found ways to score points when it matter the most.

Junior setter Nathan Lietzke controlled the offense with a season-best 47 assists to go with six digs, four blocks and two aces. Redshirt junior libero Justin Lui anchored the defense with a season-high 13 digs and had four assists.

Stanford trailed 18-12 in the opening set before the Cardinal utilized an 11-3 run to pull off the comeback, setting the tone for the night.

Junior outside hitter Kevin Lamp recorded seven kills, six digs, an ace and a career-high five blocks. Junior Adam Chang started the match at middle blocker, finishing with five kills, three blocks and an ace in two and a half sets played. Redshirt sophomore Ethan Hill made his season debut, replacing Chang in the third. Hill had three kills and three blocks.

UC Irvine was led by Francesco Sani's 24 kills on .333 hitting. Freshman Hillir Henno added 22 kills, 19 digs, five blocks and two aces.

Stanford and UC Irvine meet again on Friday, Jan. 14 at the Bren Center in Irvine.