Jan. 10, 2000
Thur.-Fri., Jan. 6-7 UC Santa Barbara Collegiate
Thur., Jan. 6 vs. California W, 15-8, 15-7, 15-12
Thur., Jan. 6 vs. UC Santa Barbara W, 15-13, 15-2, 15-12
Fri., Jan. 7 vs. Pepperdine L, 15-12, 10-15, 15-11, 15-3
Fri., Jan. 7 vs. Loyola Marymount L, 15-12, 15-6, 15-9
Fri., Jan. 14 UC San Diego 7:00 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 16 San Diego State 3:00 p.m.
UCSB Collegiate Review: Stanford played to a fourth place finish at the UC Santa Barbara Collegiate Tournament last week. The sixth-seeded Cardinal opened play with a 15-8, 15-7, 15-12, victory over No. 11 California, before later defeating third-seed UCSB, 15-13, 15-2, 15-12, in the second round. On day two, Stanford met second-seed Pepperdine in the semifinals. The Waves knocked Stanford out of championship contention with a 15-12, 10-15, 15-11, 15-3, victory. The loss matched Stanford with Loyola Marymount in the third place contest. The Lions held the Cardinal to a .224 hitting percentage and 59 kills in a 15-12, 15-6, 15-9, victory. All matches were not counted towards the Cardinal's season record.
Freshmen Influence: Three freshmen led the Cardinal in kills in the loss to Loyola Marymount last Friday. William Curtis (Whittier, CA) recorded 20 kills in 39 attempts (.333 pct.), while Kyle Strache (Malibu, CA) hit a team-high .455, tallying 13 kills in 22 attempts. Paul Bocage (Princeton, NJ) was the third member of the Cardinal team to record more than 10 kills. Bocage had 11 kills and a team-high four block assists.
Scouting The Titans And Aztecs: The Cardinal will open the season against UC San Diego and San Diego State, both MPSF Pacific Division opponents, at Maples Pavilion this week. UC San Diego, who the Cardinal will face Friday night, posted a 5-20 overall record and finished last in the MPSF with a 0-20 conference record a season ago. The Tritons return Zack Hite who led the team in kills (303) in 25 matches. Stanford won both meetings last season, with a 7-15, 15-12, 15-5, 15-8 win in San Diego (3/23) and a 15-7, 15-3, 15-5, victory at Burhnam Pavilion (4/4). The Cardinal swept last season's two match series with San Diego State, winning 16-14, 15-10, 14-16, 15-12 in San Diego and 15-5, 16-14, 15-4 at Burhnam Pavilion. The Aztecs finished the 1999 season with a 3-17 overall record and a 3-16 record in the MPSF.
Quick Notes: Sophomore Marcus Skacel (Laguna Niguel, CA) played the newly adopted Libero position for the Cardinal against Loyola Marymount... Skacel recorded 11 digs in three games at the new position... Five of the eight players Stanford used in the match versus Loyola Marymount were freshmen (Paul Bocage, Kyle Strache, Billy Strickland, William Curtis, Jon Palacios).
Movin' To Maples: The Cardinal will change venues for the 2000 season, playing all 11 home matches at the 7,391 seat Maples Pavilion, home of Stanford women's volleyball and men's and women's basketball. The Cardinal played in the much smaller Burhnam Pavilion (1,200 seats) since it reopened for athletic competition in 1989. The Cardinal will open its home schedule with a match against UC San Diego on Friday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. match against San Diego State on Sunday, Jan. 16.
Toppel Talk: Curt Toppel (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), the nation's top-recruited player coming out of Malibu High School, brings his talents to the Cardinal for the new millennium. Toppel was named the Most Valuable Player of the Mission League, while garnering MVP honors at the Dos Pueblos Tournament. He also spent time in the international arena on various U.S. National teams, including the U.S. 18-&-under Junior Olympic team which went undefeated on its way to the gold last summer. Toppel's success in volleyball earned him recognition in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd," Volleyball Magazine's Fab 50 list and Street Zebra Sports Magazine's Up and Coming Athlete. Toppel, a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do, was awarded the Outstanding Citizen Commendation by the Los Angeles City Council.
Injury Insight: The Cardinal will begin the season without the services of senior outside hitter Josh Palacios (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and junior setter Brad Griffith (Scotts Valley, Calif.). Palacios had been suffering from chronic shoulder separations, which required surgery. As for Griffith, he tore ligaments in his knee during an exhibition match in November versus UC Santa Barbara. Griffith had surgery on the knee in late November and will be sidelined, along with Palacios, for three to six months.
New Rule: Used by international volleyball for the past year, the Libero will make its debut in collegiate menís volleyball in 1999. The rule change allows the coach of each team to designate a player that can substitute in and out of a match, as long as the player is in the back row, without restriction. Sophomore Markus Skacel will enter the season as maybe the most likely candidate for the position after playing Libero for the United States Junior National Team.
Television Broadcast: Stanford's match versus BYU on Wednesday, Jan. 19 will be broadcast on a tape delayed basis by Palo Alto Cable Co-op. The match, with Kirk Anderson providing the play-by-play and Stanford women's volleyball coach Don Shaw providing color analysis, will air on Friday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 23 at 8:30 p.m.
Head Coach Ruben Nieves: In his 10th season with the Cardinal, Ruben Nieves is Stanford's all-time winningest coach with a 153-70 (.690) record. In 1997, Nieves led the Cardinal to its first NCAA national championship en route to AVCA and Volleyball Magazine National Coach of the Year honors. Nieves has led the Cardinal to three 20-win seasons (1992, '94, '97), including a school-best 27-3 mark in 1997. Against MPSF opponents, Nieves has a combined record of 112-53 (.679) and his teams have captured conference titles in 1993, '95 and '97.