No. 8/7 Stanford powers past No. 7/6 Penn State at First Point Challenge

Photo courtesy of Stanford athletics

Coach John Kosty with his players scattered throughout the court doing postmatch stretches approached each one, gave an enthusiastic high five and spent time to talk one-on-one about the match.

There was plenty of praise to go around for Kosty and No. 8/7 Stanford.

Stanford finished with a .341 attack percentage as it swept No. 7/6 Penn State 25-21, 25-21, 25-19 at the First Point Collegiate Challenge on Friday in Austin, Texas.

Setter Nathan Lietzke guided the offense to three or fewer errors in each of the first two games of the sweep. The Cardinal also had three players with more than five kills and hit more than .300 en route to staying undefeated.

Opposite Moses Wagner led all players with 15 kills on a .423 attack percentage, including having a game-high eight kills in the final game. This performance was one kill shy of a career-high for the sophomore, who saw limited time last season because of injuries.


Outside attacker Will Rottman despite not having a kill in the opening game finished with nine kills and hit .308. Middle attacker Adam Chang contributed five kills and zero errors on a match-best .714 attack percentage.

Chang also had a match-high five blocks, while Wagner had four blocks.

The Cardinal limited the previously undefeated Nittany Lions to season-low .195 attack percentage.

Opposite John Kerr in the loss had a team-high 12 kills and now has double-digit kills in three of Penn State’s first five matches. In addition, outside attacker Michal Kowal finished with seven kills.

Penn State trailed 18-17 in the third game only to have Stanord end the match on a 7-2 run. The Cardinal during the run had an ace from Kevin Lamp and converted on three consecutive points with Lamp at the service line

The Cardinal committed two errors the entire second game and hit a match-best .531 in the second game to take a two-game lead.

Rottman led all players with seven kills in the second game, including having back-to-back kills to secure the win.

Stanford trailed by three points midway through the opening game before rallying to tie the game at 17-17. The Cardinal then closed out the game on a 8-3 run that featured an ace from Rottman and two kills from Wagner.

This is the second time in the last 10 years that Stanford has opened a season with five consecutive wins.