Jan. 29, 2013
HONOLULU - The No. 3 Stanford men's volleyball team is undefeated at home, but winless on the road. The Cardinal will need to change that to remain in contention in the rugged Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, especially with six of its next eight matches on the road. Stanford (6-2, 3-2) begins that stretch with a pair at Hawai'i (3-6, 2-4) this weekend. The Warriors are coming off a two-match sweep of No. 2 Pepperdine, also at the Stan Sheriff Center and figure to be one of the hottest teams in the conference.
Follow the Action
The matches will be streamed live by Hawaii's Oceanic Cable Sports and can be seen through the "Watch" links on the gostanford.com schedule page. Former Stanford player and coach Chris McLachlin will provide the color commentary.
Friday's match will be broadcast on radio and heard online through the "Listen" links at gostanford.com.
Live Stats: Available at HawaiiAthletics.com, or on links at gostanford.com.
Week in Review
Stanford rebounded from a pair of losses by recording two impressive home victories -- beating No. 4 UCLA going away, 27-25, 19-25, 25-14, 25-12, on Tuesday, and following with a 25-19, 25-17, 25-22 sweep of No. 10 UC Santa Barbara on Friday. From the fourth set of the UCLA match on, Stanford outscored its opponents by an average of 25-17 per set. Brian Cook had 14 and 11 kills, but Steven Irvin had his best match on Tuesday (14 kills, .480, 8 digs, 3 assists), and MB Spencer Haly had his career-high in kills (8, .667) on Friday, on 12 errorless swings.
Stanford moved up one spot in the AVCA Coaches' Poll and two spots in the Volleyball Magazine rankings. Stanford is now No. 3 in both.
This Weekend's Opponent, Hawai'i
All three victories for the Warriors (3-6, 2-4) have come against teams ranked in the top five. Hawai'i lost its first four matches before edging No. 5 UCLA in a tight five-setter and then dropped two more before sweeping No. 2 Pepperdine. Freshman outside hitter Sinisa Zarkovic averaged 4.25 kills per set and hit .441 in the weekend series.
The Hawai'i Series
Hawai'i leads the all-time series, 36-33, but Stanford has won nine of their past 11 matchups. Over the past two years, the teams have split, 2-2. Hawai'i is the last team to have beaten Stanford at home (March 7, 2012). Stanford has since won 12 straight. With so many Hawaiian connections, Stanford's trips to the islands are always special. This year, Stanford has two players from Hawaii.
Stanford freshman setter James Shaw was at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., with UH junior libero Garrett Komisarek. Stanford junior middle blocker Eric Mochalski was at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Calif., with UH junior outside hitter Jace Olsen.
Stanford assistant coach Daniel Rasay became a legend of sorts at University of Hawai'i for his clutch play in the NCAA tournament. As a freshman, Rasay came off the bench and sparked Hawai'i to a 2002 NCAA semifinal victory. Rasay had 21 assists in two sets to win the four-set match against host Penn State. The Warriors would go on to win the NCAA title, only to relinquish it for using an ineligible player. Rasay would go on to become the Warriors' captain in 2005 and a crowd favorite.
Stanford coach Brian Cook and Steven Irvin at outside hitters, Daniel Tublin at opposite, and Scott Sakaida at libero. That lineup has gone 3-0.
Coach Mac's Influence
UH men's volleyball television color commentator Chris McLachlin has made a huge impact at Stanford University, from his days as an undergraduate in the 1960s to today. Going back to the infancy of the Stanford men's volleyball club program, McLachlin (class of 1968) is credited with not only saving it as a player-coach, but building it up to the point of receiving varsity status. When his son Spencer played for Stanford, McLachlin returned as an unpaid assistant coach for the 2010 and 2011 seasons -- contributing to Stanford's national championship in 2010. McLachlin specialized in team building and mental training aspects, and contributed to game-planning and strategy. In his return, McLachlin worked with several other sports programs at Stanford, including the 2010 NCAA champion women's tennis team. McLachlin's expertise still is sought by Stanford coaches, even though he has returned home to his native Hawai'i.