THIS WEEK: The No. 4 Stanford men’s volleyball team (18-7, 15-7 MPSF) closes out the regular season on the road at No. 6 UC Irvine (17-9, 14-8 MPSF) on Friday, April 11 and at UC San Diego (3-22, 1-21 MPSF) on Saturday, April 12. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Live stats for the matches can be found on the men’s volleyball schedule page on GoStanford.com. Live video links will also be available on Stanford’s schedule page for both matches.
SCOUTING UC IRVINE: UC Irvine (17-9, 14-8 MPSF) enters the weekend having won eight its past nine matches. The Anteaters are hitting .308 as a team and putting down 1.38 service aces per set. UCI is led by junior opposite Zack La Cavera’s 3.51 kills and 1.15 digs per set. Senior outside hitter Jeremy Dejno adds 3.15 kills per set, while senior middle blocker Collin Mehring averages 1.51 kills and 1.08 blocks on a .456 hitting percentage. Junior libero Michael Brinkley anchors the defense with 2.48 digs per set.
SCOUTING UC SAN DIEGO: The Tritons (3-22, 1-21 MPSF) are coming off a sweep over UC Merced last week at home. UCSD is hitting .203 as a team while allowing opponents to hit .380. Senior Mike Brunsting leads the Tritons with 205.5 points on the season, averaging 2.24 kills, 3.08 assists and 1.68 digs per set. Junior setter Garrett Dempsey leads the squad with 8.46 assists per set and adds 1.17 digs 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 continued to roll last week, sweeping Pacific and Cal Baptist to push its winning streak to nine matches. Senior outside hitter Brian Cook led the team with 3.17 kills per set on a .300 hitting percentage in the two matches. Sophomore middle Conrad Kaminski added 2.50 kills and 1.17 blocks per set on a .789 attack percentage (15-19).
IN THE POLL: Stanford remained at No. 4 in the latest AVCA Division I-II Men’s Coaches Poll after sweeping Pacific and Cal Baptist last week. The Cardinal is one of nine MPSF teams ranked in the top 15 with all nine appearing in the top 10.
STATISTICAL RANKINGS: The following is Stanford’s team and individual rankings among the nation’s top-25.
Hitting Percentage: .336, 2nd
Kills per set: 13.65, 3rd (Brian Cook 3.63, 20th)
Assists per set: 12.87, 3rd (James Shaw 10.99, 9th)
Digs per set: 9.84, 5th (Grant Delgado 2.56, 9th)
Aces per set: 1.46, 5th
Points per set: (Brian Cook 4.17, 25th)
SENIOR STATEMENTS: Senior outside hitters Brian Cook and Steven Irvin pace the Cardinal this season with 3.63 and 3.31 kills per set, respectively. Cook has led the Cardinal in the kill column 16 times, while Irvin is hitting above .300 for the first time in his career.
POSTSEASON BERTH: Stanford’s win over Cal Baptist last week clinched an MPSF Tournament berth for the Cardinal. Stanford has now appeared in the postseason for seven consecutive seasons.
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 139-89 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.