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Stanford will honor its five seniors after Friday's match against Cal Baptist.
Seniors in the Spotlight
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 04/03/2014

STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford men's volleyball program will recognize its seniors following its final regular season home match against Cal Baptist on Friday, April 4. The Lancers and Cardinal will square off at 7 p.m. PT in Maples Pavilion. sat down with Brian Cook, Denny Falls, Steven Irvin, Eric Mochalski and Scott Sakaida to reminisce about their time on The Farm.


GoStanford: Looking back, what are some of your favorite memories with Stanford volleyball?
BC: My favorite memories with SMV are the memories we made on our foreign trip. It was a blast getting to travel around Europe playing volleyball with my teammates, and I will never forget that trip.

DF: My favorite memories are always made during our trips when we go to other player’s houses for pregame. We are all such great friends while we’re at school, and it is so funny to see where everyone is from and the always embarrassing photos of them from when they were younger.

SI: There are a lot of memories, so it’s hard to pick out my favorites. But, I’d have to say the foreign tour spanning Italy, France, and Spain was definitely a favorite memory. It was really special because we got to play with the seniors that had just left once more, and that was awesome in itself. Of course, the European cities provided a lot of fun and culture for us all to experience.

EM: Some of my favorite memories with the team are beating BYU in the MPSF Semis, beating UCLA on Senior Night my sophomore year, and Date Auction.

SS: The European tour was an awesome experience, being able to travel around Italy, Spain, and France.


GoStanford: What do you know now that you wish you knew as a freshman (on or off the court)?
BC: I wish I knew that having doubt about anything is just not worth the time. In other words, go for it.

DF: I think the most important message that gets preached at Stanford is to reach out and take advantage of the opportunities that are right in front of you. I feel like I did a good job of this while I was at school here, but just knowing that there is nowhere else like Stanford, always makes everyone wish you were able to do more.

SI: I wish I knew how much extra time is needed to put in the classroom and on the court both during practice and in training to be ready for practice.

EM: There is no substitute for clear communication, both on and off the court.

SS: The reason why there are so many people to thank is that there were so many people willing to help me out along my way. There are many resources that may take a little effort to look for, but are very valuable and helpful. Big thanks to CMac for his lesson on resourcefulness.


GoStanford: What do you think you will miss most about this team?
BC: I will miss the road trips with the boys, the pointless arguments from being around each other 24/7, the Not Top 10 pre-game ritual, singing our hit single “New Bus, Back of The Bus,” the freshmen being freshmen, eating at Chili’s, and too many other things.

DF: I think I will just miss the feeling you get when a group of your closest friends come together to sweat, grind, and truly compete to reach a common goal. It’s something that is so hard to appreciate during the process, but the sense of accomplishment after reaching those goals is indescribable.

SI: I’ll definitely miss the players the most. Every year has been tough losing seniors, especially sophomore year losing about five guys that we were really close to. This year we’ll be leaving 18 other guys, 15 of which live in the same house with me. I’ll also miss the energetic atmosphere created during our matches when everyone is contributing, especially the bench with all of their energy.

EM: Other than how much fun it is to play with these guys, I’ll miss the countless inside jokes we have.

SS: I was able to compete and hang out with 20 of my closest friends every day during our athletic commitments. I don’t know if I will ever be able to do that again in my life.


GoStanford: Off the court, what has been the best/coolest thing you have experienced/come across at Stanford?
BC: It is always a great experience for me when our school hosts huge sporting events in other sports. Whether it’s a national championship in tennis or water polo, or the Pac-12 football championship, I feel very lucky to be at a place with such talented athletes in every sport.

DF: I have loved the opportunity to just meet and learn with other Stanford students. More recently as I have gotten older and seen firsthand what other students are involved with on and off-campus, it is such a cool feeling to look around a classroom and fit in with such accomplished individuals.

SI: One of the coolest things has just been being around this hub of technology and innovation. You hear about new startups and companies every day, and just hear everyone discussing new ideas all the time. One of the coolest experiences was Mark Zuckerburg visiting our CS 106A class and doing a Q&A.

EM: Being in Kappa Alpha has left me with many friends, stories, and fun moments.

SS: I always get a kick out of learning about the amazing talents that humble peers would never bring up about themselves. Learning about their musical abilities, hard journeys to Stanford, acquired companies and other accomplishments have definitely inspired my aspirations.


GoStanford: What has been your favorite class at Stanford and why?
BC: My favorite class was ME203. It was a shop class that I spent more than 50 hours working on one project. The feeling of turning it in was worth all the time in the end.

DF: Last quarter I took a class that looked at creativity and innovation in businesses and organizations. It was awesome learning about the processes and environments created in these organizations to foster and produce some of the coolest products we use every day.

SI: My favorite class was Soc 161, the sociology of entrepreneurship. I liked this class because the professor was extremely nice and knowledgeable. The class consisted mostly of case studies of how different companies started and innovated throughout their history. It provided an insight that I had not yet seen before.

EM: Social Dance I. Watch me swing dance and you’ll see why.

SS: Innovation, Creativity, and Change was one of my favorite courses. The course aimed to teach how to inspire creative progress in an individual, team, and organization. Nothing was done in the traditional academic way as PowerPoints themselves were banned during presentations.


GoStanford: What will you miss most about being a college student?
BC: I will miss living in a house of 60 awesome dudes and having the opportunity to have someone to play with at a moment’s notice.

DF: I will definitely miss living in the same house as all of my closest friends. I’m sure it’s surprising to hear after spending almost all day with them between class and practice, but I really appreciate being able to walk down the hall and spend time with everyone.

SI: I’ll miss always being around my closest friends. I always have good friends in my classes that I get to see every week and then of course everyone in my fraternity. This may be the only time where I’ll have so many people close to me in such a small area. I won’t necessarily miss doing homework or waking up for class.

EM: I will miss being surrounded by these amazing people. I get to live, work, and play with amazing people and my best friends.

SS: You’ll have to ask me next year:) I’m too busy enjoying the moment.


GoStanford: What are your plans for after graduation?
BC: After graduation I plan to play volleyball somewhere in Europe. After that I would love to work as a designer of almost anything.

DF: Still figuring my life out!

SI: I plan to play professional volleyball in Europe. Where? I have no idea. It’ll be an adventure. I don’t think I’m quite ready to enter the real world of getting a job that isn’t playing volleyball. Hoping that while I’m there, I may find something that really piques my interest and something to pursue when I return to the states.

EM: I am hoping to go to Europe and play volleyball. After my playing days are done, I am hoping to get a job in advertising or marketing, hopefully in the sports sector. Who knows, maybe I’ll be a coach at some point too.

SS: I will be working in technology consulting for Accenture in Los Angeles.



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