Jan. 21, 2004
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No. 6 Stanford (4-2/2-0) at No. 2 Long Beach State (5-1/1-0) - 7:30 PM (PT), January 23 - The Pyramid - Long Beach, CA
No. 6 Stanford at UC San Diego (2-1/1-0) - 7:00 PM (PT), January 24
RIMAC Arena - San Diego, CA
THIS WEEK: Stanford packs its bags for a two-game Southern California road trip, playing first at No. 2 Long Beach State on Friday (1/23), before continuing south to face the UC San Diego Tritons on Saturday (1/24) ... After defeating UCLA, 3-1 on January 16th, Stanford will be facing its second No. 2 ranked team in as many weeks ... The Cardinal will be looking to push its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) record to 4-0 as both Long Beach State and UC San Diego also play in the MPSF.
STANFORD IN THE POLLS: The Cardinal, who are off to a 4-2 start overall and boast a 2-0 record in MPSF play, jumped from No. 11 to No. 6 in the latest USA Today/AVCA poll. The Cardinal catapulted in the polls thanks to consecutive wins over No. 2 UCLA and No. 10 UC Irvine this past weekend.
LAST WEEK: Stanford opened MPSF play with a 3-1 win over the No. 2 UCLA Bruins. The Cardinal handed the Bruins their first loss of the season. Led by the play of redshirt junior setter Kevin Hansen, the Cardinal used a complete team effort to defeat the Bruins. Hansen was spectacular for the Cardinal, handing out 49 assists to go along with seven kills and a team-leading nine digs, while junior outside hitter David Vogel tallied a team-high 16 kills. Sophomore outside hitter Ben Reddy and sophomore middle blocker Chris Ahlfeldt each chipped in 13 kills, while junior middle blocker Craig Buell added eight kills and four block assists. Sophomore libero Jeremy Jacobs and Reddy each collected eight digs ... After knocking off No. 2 UCLA, No. 10 UC Irvine came calling the next night. The Cardinal rallied from two games down to defeat UC Irvine, 3-2. The Anteaters jumped on the Cardinal early, taking games one (30-25) and two (30-28). The Cardinal fought back tying the score at 2-2 and sending the match to the decisive fifth game. The Anteaters dominated the majority of the fifth game and had two opportunities to dispatch the Cardinal with the score in their favor at 14-12. Down two points, Stanford's defense took over, registering two huge blocks and forcing two UC Irvine hitting errors to seal the win for the Cardinal. Stanford was led by Buell and Vogel who each recorded 17 kills. Buell was spectacular for the Cardinal, registering a game-high .615 hitting percentage on the match, while also tallying two solo blocks and assisting on four more. Hansen once again orchestrated the Cardinal offense, racking up 52 assists to go along with a team-high 10 digs and three block assists. The Cardinal also received strong performances from Ahlfeldt and sophomore Nick Manov. Ahlfeldt hammered home 10 kills, while Manov provided the Cardinal with a huge spark off the bench, adding nine kills, two service aces and eight digs.
SCOUTING THE 49ERS: Long Beach State enters the week with a 5-1 overall record and a 1-0 mark in MPSF play ... The 49ers' lone loss is a 3-2 setback versus Cal State Northridge at the UCSB/Elephant Bar Collegiate Invitational ... The Cardinal and the 49ers have already meet this season with Long Beach State claiming a 3-2 victory over Stanford in the first round of the UCSB tournament ... The 49ers are coming off of a 3-0 win over local rival USC in their MPSF season-opener ... Long Beach State is led by senior outside hitter Scott Touzinsky ... In the 49ers first meeting with the Cardinal, Touzinsky turned in an impressive showing, registering a match-high 29 kills with only one error for a .683 hitting percentage.
SCOUTING THE TRITONS: UC San Diego enters the week with a 2-1 overall record and a 1-0 mark in MPSF action ... The Tritons are currently sitting just outside the USA Today/AVCA top 15, receiving 20 votes this week ... The Tritons begin a three-game homestand and will welcome the Pacific Tigers to RIMAC Arena on Friday night, before playing host to the Cardinal on Saturday ... UC San Diego is coming off of a 3-1 win at USC ... Stanford captured the season-series versus the Tritons, beating UCSD 3-1 on The Farm and 3-0 in San Diego ... The Tritons, who are 1-0 at home this season, are led by senior opposite hitter Jim Waller who leads the team in kills (51) and kills per game (4.25) ... Already with one win in conference play, the Tritons have matched their MPSF win total from a season ago.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE CARDINAL: Stanford returns a relatively young, but talented squad in 2004. With the loss of four starters, including two-time All-American Curt Toppel, the Cardinal will have a much different look this season. However, Stanford will have a familiar face guiding the Cardinal attack in redshirt junior Kevin Hansen (6-5), a two-time All-MPSF selection. Redshirt junior Patrick Bomhack (6-9) gives the Cardinal an added dimension at setter, while sophomore middle blocker Chris Ahlfeldt (6-6) and junior middle blocker Craig Buell (6-5) give the Cardinal two veterans at the net. Junior David Vogel (6-3) had an outstanding fall season, making the transition from libero to outside hitter. Sophomore's Nick Manov (6-6), Ben Reddy (6-4), and Jeremy Jacobs (6-4), along with sophomore William Clayton (6-4) give the Cardinal plenty of help at outside hitter. Jacobs and freshman Brian Lindberg (6-0) should see the majority of the minutes at libero. Lindberg, Eric Jones (6-7), and Josh Schwarzapel (6-5) compose Stanford's freshman class.
THE SHAW FILE: One of the top coaches in collegiate women's volleyball history, Don Shaw began his second stint as the Stanford University men's volleyball head coach in June of 2001. Shaw begins his 24th season on The Farm in 2003 and fifth year as head coach of the Cardinal men, including two years of serving as co-coach with Fred Sturm in 1984 and 1985. In four seasons at the helm of the Cardinal men, he has compiled a 70-46 (.603) record. Shaw guided the Cardinal to a 17-12 record in 2003, their third straight top 10 final national ranking and a top five finish in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. In his two years as co-head coach in the 1980's, the Cardinal went 36-25 and finished ranked in the top five in the nation in 1985. In his 16-year tenure as Stanford women's volleyball head coach (1984-1999), Shaw guided the Cardinal to four NCAA Championships (1992, 1994, 1996, 1997) and 10 conference titles, including six Pac-10 Championships in a row from 1994-1999. Shaw compiled a career winning percentage of .863 (440-70), which still ranks as the best in NCAA history. He was named National Women's Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1997, and Regional/District Coach of the Year in 1992, 1994 and 1997. In all, he guided Stanford to the NCAA Championship match eight times in his 16 seasons. He also served as an assistant coach for the gold medal-winning United States Men's Team at the 1982 National Sports Festival as well as the assistant for the U.S. Women's Team at the 1991 Pan-Am Games in Havana, Cuba. Shaw, a charter member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, was also a member of the NCAA District VIII Advisory Committee.