May 17, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. - In compiling a review of Stanford's 2013 men's volleyball season, a flurry of moments race into the mind's eye:
• The long reach of freshman setter James Shaw and the creative ways he found his target.
• Jake Kneller's ownership of UCLA in the form of three consecutive blocks late in a four-set victory over the Bruins.
• The way Steven Irvin lifted the team on his back during a two-match Hawaiian swing.
• Rallying through six Pacific match points to beat the Tigers in a thrilling five-setter clinched by Daniel Tublin's defense-shredding kill.
• Grant Delgado's boundless energy.
• No fear at BYU.
• The stretch drive of Brian Cook in the fifth set of a 24-kill performance against Pepperdine.
• The cool of Eric Mochalski.
When the season is unspooled, perhaps when members of this year's squad are reminded of a moment while watching a child rise to the net to bury an opponent some year down the road, the hope is that 2013 will be a beginning.
In a way, it will be connected to the past. The Cardinal earned its sixth consecutive winning season (15-13) and sixth consecutive Top 10 national finish (No. 6 by the AVCA, No. 7 by Volleyball Magazine). And a Stanford player - junior opposite Cook - was named to the AVCA first team for the fifth consecutive season.
But 2013 also could be a launching pad for the future. Cook and Irvin emerged as true stars, and Shaw produced skills in a setter not seen at Stanford since the Kawika Shoji era. With veteran middles Eric Mochalski and Denny Falls, Stanford returns every starter next year. Only Kneller, the last link to Stanford's 2010 NCAA championship team, graduates.
The Cardinal can see a window to success, one that begins now. After all, the legacy of this team will be determined in years to come: Was 2013 the end of one era of Stanford men's volleyball, or the beginning of another?
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The following are accomplishments and honors from the 2013 season:
Ranked No. 6 by the AVCA
Ranked No. 7 by Volleyball Magazine
Sixth consecutive final Top 10 ranking
Sixth consecutive winning season
Sixth consecutive postseason appearance
Sixth consecutive finish in the top half of the conference regular season
Fifth consecutive season with an AVCA first-team All-American
Ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation on Jan. 14
Fourth consecutive season Stanford has been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 at any point during the season
Third in the MPSF in digs per set (9.30)
No. 3 in single-season opponents' hitting percentage in the rally-scoring era (.257)
No. 2 in single-match digs in rally-scoring era (65 vs. Hawai'i), No. 2 for five sets
Ninth in the NCAA in hitting percentage (.288)
10th in the NCAA in assists per set (11.82)
AVCA First-Team All-American
All-MPSF First Team
Stanford-Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week (Jan. 14)
Fourth in the NCAA in kills per set (4.01)
Fourth in the MPSF in kills per set (4.01)
Fifth in the MPSF in points per set (4.57)
Sixth in the NCAA in points per set (4.57)
No. 6 in Stanford career kills in rally-scoring era (963)
No. 10 in Stanford career digs in rally-scoring era (384)
No. 9 in single-season kills in rally-scoring era (417)
No. 5 in single-match aces in rally-scoring era (4 vs. Pepperdine, USC)
Fourth in the MPSF in hitting percentage (.437)
AVCA Second-Team All-American
All-MPSF Second Team
No. 8 in Stanford career kills in rally-scoring era (740)
No. 10 in Stanford career service aces in rally-scoring era (53)
No. 1 in Stanford single-match service aces in rally-scoring era (6 vs. Cal Baptist), tied for first overall
No. 5 in single-match aces in rally-scoring era (4 vs. UCLA)
No. 8 in Stanford career sets played in rally-scoring era (369)
Four-year record of 80-46
Seventh in the NCAA in hitting percentage (.363)
No. 4 in Stanford career blocks in rally-scoring era (282), No. 10 all-time
No. 5 in Stanford career service aces in rally-scoring era (88)
No. 10 in Stanford single-season blocks in rally-scoring era (88)
No. 6 in Stanford single-match blocks in rally-scoring era (9 vs. George Mason)
All-MPSF Honorable Mention
MPSF All-Freshman Team
Fifth in the MPSF in assists per set (10.48)
Seventh in the NCAA in assists per set
No. 5 in Stanford career assists in rally-scoring era (1,027)
No. 9 in Sanford single-season assists in rally-scoring era (1,027)
No. 10 in Stanford single-season assists per set in rally-scoring era (10.48)