Stanford, Purdue Fort Wayne agree to two-match series for 2019

Photo courtesy of Stanford athletics

Almost 40 years since starting its program and there is still a first with the lastest Purdue Fort Wayne schedule.

Purdue Fort Wayne for the first time in its program history will descend upon The Farm as it will play a two-match road non-conference against Stanford on Jan. 25-26.

This will be the seventh all-time match between the two programs that have combined for 11 NCAA Tournament semifinal appearances. In addition, Cardinal two years ago in the first meeting between the two programs in more than a decade defeated the Mastodons in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to even all-time series record.

Stanford finished an injury plagued 2018 season tied for sixth place in the MPSF. The Cardinal, though, return Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshman All-American opposite Jaylen Jasper who was seventh in the nation with a 3.92 kills per game average and had six matches with at least 20 kills.

Fort Wayne Purdue rebounded from ending in last place in the MIVA during the 2017 season to a fifth-place finish in the MIVA and even at one point in the 2018 season jumped to No. 10 in the national media poll. All-MIVA outside attacker Pelegrín Vargas last season was in the nation’s top 15 with a 3.92 kills per game average and had a career-high 159 digs.

Both teams also had multiple returning starters represent their countries in international tournaments during the offseason.

Jasper and middle attacker Kyler Presho helped the United States reach the NORCECA U21 Continental Championship semifinals. In addition, Jasper had a tournament-high 21 aces and won the Best Server award at the event.

Vargas was on the Puerto Rican Men’s National Team roster for the NORCECA Challenge Cup. MIVA All-Freshman middle attacker Tomas Gago also helped Chile earn a berth to the FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup.

The Stanford series will be the final matches of a four-match stretch for Purdue Fort Wayne against West Coast teams.

Purdue Fort Wayne in the previous week will play host to CSUN on Jan. 18 and UC Santa Barbra on Jan. 19.