No. 14 Stanford offense overpowers No. 5/5 USC in upset win

Photo courtesy of Stanford athletics

No. 14 Stanford did it again at home.

Setter Nathan Lietzke guided the offense to a season-high .480 attack percentage as Stanford beat No. 5/5 USC 25-19, 20-25, 25-16, 28-26 on Friday for the Cardinal’s second home win against a top-five ranked team in the last three weeks.

Stanford (10-8, 2-3 MPSF) did not commit an attack error in the final two games and hit more than .500 all three games it won. In addition, the Cardinal finished with a match-best .654 attack percentage in the final game to secure the victory in the opener of this two-match conference series.

Outside attacker Will Rottman led the Cardinal with 20 kills on a .436 attack percentage and had a game-high eight kills in the fourth game. This was the second time this month that Rottman had at least 20 kills and now has double-digit kills in 10 consecutive matches.


Rottman was one of five Cardinal starters to have more than .400 attack percentage against the Trojans (16-4, 3-2 MPSF).

Outside attacker Luke Turner added 11 kills and hit .667, while middle attacker Nathaniel Gates had seven kills and zero errors on a match-best .778 attack percentage.

Turner also had three blocks with two of those blocks in the fourth-game overtime. Gates led all players with five blocks as Stanford out-blocked USC 10 to 5.

Despite the loss, USC finished with a .327 attack percentage and hit a team-best .424 in the fourth game.

USC opposite Simon Gallas finished with a match-high 22 kills on a .452 attack percentage.

Outside attacker Sam Kobrine also had 16 kills against Stanford. Kobrine, though, with the game four overtime tied twice committed attack errors.

The Cardinal with this win improves to 9-1 at home this season. Stanford at home also upset No. 1/2 UCLA in five games earlier this month to snap a four-match losing streak.

USC entered this road series ranked No. 1 in the latest RPI and the projected No. 2 overall seed in the latest Off the Block NCAA Tournament bracketology.