THIS WEEK: The No. 3 Stanford men’s volleyball team (22-7) will take on top-seed BYU (20-8) in the finals of the MPSF Tournament, Saturday, April 26. First serve between the Cardinal and Cougars is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Live stats for the match can be found on the men’s volleyball schedule page on GoStanford.com. The match will also be televised live on BYUtv.
SCOUTING BYU: BYU reached the finals of the MPSF Tournament by sweeping eighth seed USC in the quarterfinals and No. 4 seed UC Santa Barbara in the semifinals. The Cougars are 13-0 at home this season and have won 25 in a row overall at Smith Fieldhouse. BYU ranks in the top-5 in the MPSF in blocks (2.96), service aces (1.31) and hitting percentage (.302). Two-time MPSF Player of the Year Taylor Sander leads the conference in points (5.41) and ranks second in kills (4.54) and aces (0.48). Sophomore middle Michael Hatch is hitting .417 and is second in the MPSF with 1.47 blocks per set. Sophomore setter Robbie Sutton has been starting in place of the injured Tyler Heap, who averaged 10.60 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 dismantled No. 2 Pepperdine in the semifinals of the MPSF Tournament, sweeping the Waves and pushing its win streak to 13. Senior outside hitter Brian Cook was the only player in the match to record double-digit kills, registering 17 on 24 swings with just one error to hit .667. Sophomore middle Conrad Kaminski added eight kills and eight blocks.
IN THE POLL: Stanford came 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 SEASONS: 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.
AVCA ALL-AMERICANS: Headlined by two-time first team selection Brian Cook, Stanford had four players earn AVCA All-America honors this season. Senior Steven Irvin and sophomore James Shaw were second team picks, while sophomore Conrad Kaminski was tabbed honorable mention. For the first time in school history, the Cardinal has had three or more All-Americans in a season for five straight years.
OF NOTE: Stanford has had four All-Americans in the same season on five different occasions. The last two times the Cardinal has accomplished that feat it has won the NCAA title (1997 & 2010).
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: .336, 3rd
Kills per set: 13.58, 4th (Brian Cook 3.75, 18th)
Assists per set: 12.87, 4th (James Shaw 10.84, 10th)
Digs per set: 9.68, 7th (Grant Delgado 2.42, 10th)
Aces per set: 1.39, 6th
Blocks per set: 2.30, 18th (Conrd Kaminski 1.08, 22nd)
Points per set: (Brian Cook 4.25, 24th)
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 143-89 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 seven seasons under Kosty.