THIS WEEK: The No. 3 Stanford men’s volleyball team (21-7) will travel to Provo, Utah for its MPSF semifinal match against No. 2 Pepperdine (19-6) on Thursday, April 24. First serve is scheduled for 4 p.m. PT at Smith Fieldhouse.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Live stats and live stream links for the match can be found on the men’s volleyball schedule page on GoStanford.com. The West Coast Conference’s video portal, TheW.tv will carry Thursday’s contest.
SCOUTING PEPPERDINE: Pepperdine, the No. 2 seed in the MPSF Tournament, is coming off a four-set win over No. 7 seed Long Beach State in the quarterfinals. The Waves are hitting .297 as a team and rank fourth in the MPSF in kills (13.20), blocks (2.77) and digs (9.68). Junior outside hitter Josh Taylor ranks third in the conference in kills (4.09) and points (4.77) and 11th in aces (0.28). Redshirt junior Parker Kalmbach adds 3.49 kills (12th) and 4.08 points (13th) for the Waves, while junior setter Matt West controls the offense with 11.09 assists per set.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Fans will have access to unique behind-the-scenes content on the team this season by liking Stanford Men’s Volleyball on Facebook or following the team on Twitter (@StanfordMVB) and Instagram (@therealstanfordmvb).
LAST TIME OUT: Stanford won its 12th straight match as it defeated No. 6 seed UC Irvine in five sets (28-30, 25-22, 25-15, 17-25, 15-13) at Maples Pavilion. It was the Cardinal’s third victory of the Anteaters this season, and second win in eight days. Senior outside hitter Brian Cook posted a match-best 21 kills, while seniors Steven Irvin and Eric Mochalski added 15 kills apiece.
IN THE POLL: Stanford comes in at No. 3 in the latest AVCA Division I-II Men’s Coaches Poll, marking its highest ranking since claiming the top spot on Jan. 13. The Cardinal is one of nine MPSF teams ranked in the top 15 with all nine appearing in the top 10.
POSTSEASON BERTH: Stanford’s win over Cal Baptist on April 4 clinched an MPSF Tournament berth for the Cardinal. Stanford has now appeared in the postseason for seven consecutive years.
20-WIN SEASON: Stanford has reached the 20-win plateau for the fourth time under eighth-year head coach John Kosty. It marks the 11th 20-win season in program history.
MPSF HONORS: Stanford had a program-record three players earn first team all-conference honors, and a total of six earned recognition overall. Brian Cook, Steven Irvin and James Shaw were the only trio from the same team to pick up first team accolades this season. Senior Eric Mochalski (2nd team), redshirt junior Grant Delgado (honorable mention) and sophomore Conrad Kaminski (2nd team) were the other Cardinal honorees.
STATISTICAL RANKINGS: The following is Stanford’s team and individual rankings among the nation’s top-25.
Hitting Percentage: .333, 3rd
Kills per set: 13.52, 4th (Brian Cook 3.70, 18th)
Assists per set: 12.80, 4th (James Shaw 10.78, 10th)
Digs per set: 9.73, 7th (Grant Delgado 2.44, 10th)
Aces per set: 1.43, 6th
Blocks per set: 2.28, 18th (Conrd Kaminski 1.03, 22nd)
Points per set: (Brian Cook 4.20, 24th)
SENIOR STATEMENTS: Senior outside hitters Brian Cook and Steven Irvin pace the Cardinal this season with 3.70 and 3.27 kills per set, respectively. Cook has led the Cardinal in the kill column 19 times, while Irvin is hitting above .300 for the first time in his career.
HEAD COACH JOHN KOSTY: Stanford head coach John Kosty is in his eighth season at the helm of the Cardinal program and his 24th overall on staff. He is 142-89 in his career and guided Stanford to the 2010 NCAA national championship. The Cardinal has produced a first team AVCA All-America selection in each of the past six seasons under Kosty.