Still Standing: Stanford defies odds once again, upsets No. 1/2 UCLA

Photo courtesy of Stanford athletics

Will Rottman laid on the Stanford court after delivering one of the biggest kills of an All-MPSF college career.

Whether it was because of the leg cramping experienced throughout the match or simply exhaustion from a two-hour conference match, Rottman eventually was able to stand up unassisted and celebrate the match-winning kill.

The moment Friday was almost symbolic of Stanford.

A program on the verge of being cut two years ago had not only risen to preserve its team but had now knocked off the top-ranked team in the nation.

Rottman led all players with both four aces and 18 kills on .412 attack percentage as the Cardinals upset the No. 1/2 Bruins 25-20, 22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-12 for the program’s first win against a No. 1 ranked team in six years.


Rottman had a game-high four kills in the decisive game. In addition, the junior entered that fifth game after being treated on the court for a leg cramp that occurred on an attack error to end the fourth game.

Stanford (9-7, 1-2 MPSF) rallied from an early two-point deficit in the fifth game and went on a 5-1 run to take a 9-7 lead. UCLA (12-3, 4-1 MPSF) was able to tie the final game at 11 but then committed three consecutive errors as Stanford closed out the match on a 4-1 run.

The Cardinal in the victory out-hit the Bruins .348 to .344 and had three players with double-digit kills. Outside attacker Luke Turner had 12 kills on a .435 attack percentage, while outside attacker Kevin Lamp contributed 12 kills and three aces.

Turner defensively also finished with a match-high 11 digs.

Middle attacker Guy Genis led UCLA with 14 kills on a .455 attack percentage and had seven of those kills in the final two games . The freshman also had match-high five blocks against Stanford.

Along with Genis, outside attacker Ethan Champlin had 11 kills and hit .350, while opposite Kevin Kobrine added 10 kills on a .320 attack percentage.

UCLA in the loss committed 28 service errors – nine more errors than Stanford.

The Cardinal and the Bruins will conclude their two-match conference series on Saturday. Stanford remains undefeated at home this season and will attempt to beat UCLA twice in the same season for the first time since 2011.