Rottman big night lifts No. 8/7 Stanford past No. 14 Ball State

Photo courtesy of Stanford athletics

Will Rottman midway through a rally in the third game emphatically called across the court for setter Nathan Lietzke to set him.

Seconds later Leitzke set the Preseason All-American, who promptly connected and delivered a kill.

It was just that type of night for Rottman.

Rottman finished with a match-high 22 kills on .409 attack percentage as No. 8/7 Stanford defeated No. 14 Ball State 25-9, 21-25, 30-28, 25-18 on Saturday at the First Point Collegiate Challenge in Austin, Texas.

Stanford out-hit Ball State .303 to .185, including hitting a match-best .625 attack percentage and committing one error in the opening game.

Rottman was one of two Cardinal players with double-digit kills. Opposite Moses Wagner finished with 15 kills with five kills in the final game.


Along with the offensive performance, Rottman had a match-high four aces. Stanford finished with eight aces – four more aces than Ball State.

Outside attacker Patrick Rogers in the loss led Ball State with 19 kills and had a match-high .500 attack percentage.

Rogers was the only Ball State player to have double-digit kills. Preseason All-American outside attacker Tinaishe Ndavazocheva, who returned to the court this weekend after being sidelined to start the season with an injury, had nine kills and was limited to a .026 attack percentage.

Ball State middle attacker middle attacker Wil Patterson defensively led all players with five blocks. Ball State despite the loss out-blocked Stanford 10 to 8.

Stanford early in the fourth game had a 6-0 run to help the team secure its sixth consecutive victory to open the season. Rottman also had a game-high eight kills with three kills on the final three Cardinal points.

Stanford led and hit more than .500 for the majority of the third game, but Ball State rallied back as it fought off four game-points to force an overtime.

Ball State in the overtime fought off two more game-points before Stanford won the game on a Rogers attack error. Rogers had a game-high eight kills in the third game, including three kills in the overtime.

Ball State in the second game led by as many as seven points and rebounded from a Stanford late-game rally to even the match. In addition, Ndavazocheva led all players with five kills in the second game.

Stanford scored the first four points and went on a 14-1 run to open the match. Rottman during the run had three aces and two kills.

Ball State in the opening game loss was held to a negative-.167 attack percentage and committed six unforced attack errors.

This was the first meeting between Cardinals and the Cardinal since 2019. Stanford with this victory is now on a 11-1 all-time against Ball State and on a seven-match winning streak dating back to 2001.