THIS WEEK: The No. 8 Stanford men’s volleyball team (9-6, 6-6 MPSF) heads south to take on No. 5 Long Beach State (9-4, 8-4 MPSF) on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. and Cal State Northridge (4-9, 4-8 MPSF) on Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.
SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE: Long Beach State enters the week with a 9-4 overall record and an 8-4 mark in the MPSF, which is tied for fourth with UC Santa Barbara. The 49ers are led by senior outside hitter Taylor Crabb’s 4.96 kills per set and 5.52 points per set. Crabb is hitting .373 on the season and also notches 2.31 digs per set. Senior setter Connor Olbright controls the LBSU offense with 11.80 assists per set, while sophomore libero Andrew Sato anchors the defense with 2.61 digs per set. The 49ers outlasted the Cardinal in five sets on Jan. 31 at Maples Pavilion. Crabb led all players with 29 kills on a .324 attack percentage. Brian Cook and Steven Irvin combined for 29 kills to pace the Cardinal.
SCOUTING CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: Cal State Northridge is 4-8 in the MPSF (4-9 overall) and will take on Pacific on Friday, Feb. 28. Redshirt freshman Damani Lenore leads the Matadors with 3.06 kills per set. Sophomore outside hitter Sam Holt adds 2.80 kills per set, while junior middle blocker Greg Faulkner is hitting .454 with 2.11 kills and 0.91 blocks per set. The Cardinal swept CSUN on Feb. 1 in Maples Pavilion. Senior Eric Mochalski was 11-0-16 (.688) to lead the Stanford offense, while senior Steven Irvin added 10 kills and 11 digs. Lenore notched a team-high 11 kills for the Matadors.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Live stats for the matches can be found on the men’s volleyball schedule page on GoStanford.com.
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 rallied from an 0-2 deficit on Monday to force a fifth set against No. 3 UCLA in Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal eventually fell 17-15 to the Bruins, dropping its fifth five set match of the season. Senior outside hitters Brian Cook and Steven Irvin each finished with 17 kills, while senior middle Denny Falls added 10 kills and six blocks.
IN THE POLL: Stanford moved up to No. 8 in the latest AVCA Division I-II Men’s Coaches Poll after sweeping then-No. 5 UC Irvine on Feb. 21. The Cardinal is one of nine MPSF teams ranked in the top 15 with eight appearing in the top 10.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior opposite Eric Mochalski was tabbed the MPSF Player of the Week on Feb. 24. The Manhattan Beach, Calif., native led the Cardinal to a sweep over then-No. 5 UC Santa Barbara, hitting .667 (13-1-18) to go with season-highs in digs (7) and blocks (5).
BLOCK PARTY: Stanford’s 21.5 blocks against UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 21 set a rally-scoring era school record. The Cardinal had five players register at least five blocks, and three that tallied at least seven. Sophomore middle Conrad Kaminski led the way with eight, while sophomore setter James Shaw finished with seven, including three solo. Stanford’s solid defense at the net forced the Gauchos into a .011 attack percentage for the match, the second-lowest by an opponent in program history.
RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS: The Cardinal boasts three returning All-Americans on its roster this seaosn. Senior outside hitter Brian Cook earned AVCA First Team All-America honors as a junior, averaging a team-best 4.01 kills per set. Senior outside hitter Steven Irvin nabbed second team honors from the AVCA in 2013, while sophomore setter James Shaw was a third team pick by Volleyball Magazine as a rookie.
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 130-88 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.