Jan. 23, 2008
Stanford Volleyball This Week:
Thurs, Jan. 24 at CS Northridge, 7 p.m. The Matadome
Friday, Jan. 25 at Santa Barbara, 7 p.m. Thunderdome
Stanford Men's Volleyball heads back on the road this week, when they travel to No. 7 Northridge and UCSB, hoping to continue their strong start to the 2008 season. The Cardinal has already defeated Northridge this season in the first round of the Elephant Bar Classic.
On Thurs, Jan. 24 the sixth ranked Cardinal (5-2, 2-2 MPSF) will face CS Northridge (4-2, 2-1 MPSF) and on Friday, Jan. 25 will face UC Santa Barbara (1-5, 0-3 MPSF). Last weekend Northridge and Santa Barbara squared off with the Matadors coming away with a 3-1 victory.
The Cardinal continued their strong, consistent play last weekend when they went 2-1, with victories over UC Santa Cruz and USC, before dropping a 3-1 decision to second-ranked Pepperdine. Stanford opened their home season with a 3-0 sweep of Santa Cruz (30-18, 30-23, 34-32) before beating USC in four games (30-28, 30-26, 26-30, 30-17) two days later. Senior Matt Ceran once again led the way with 34 kills in the three matches to go along with 20 digs. Sophomore Kawika Shoji recorded 76 assists in the three matches, even while sitting out two games against Santa Cruz, and being moved to opposite hitter for two games in the Pepperdine match. Sophomore Evan Romero also led the Cardinal by recording 41 kills in the three matches.
Groppi Steps Up:
Stanford Still Sixth in CSTV/AVCA Poll:
Junior Miki Groppi came off the bench and gave Stanford a spark in two of the three matches last week. In the UC Santa Cruz victory, Groppi played the last two games and recorded 30 assists. On Saturday in the matchup against Pepperdine, Groppi once again came off the bench and recorded 27 assists as well as giving the Cardinal an emotional boost.
The Cardinal remained at No. 6 in the CSTV/AVCA poll after occupying that spot in the previous poll. The team earned 155 points, to maintain a 19 point lead over seventh ranked CS Northridge. BYU (4-0) remained in the top spot after earning nine of the 16 first-place votes, while Pepperdine (4-0) remained in the second spot and received four first-place votes. Penn State (6-0), Long Beach State (6-0) and UCLA (5-2) rounded out the top five. The Cardinal also remained sixth in the Molten/Volleyball Magazine media poll.
Williams and Christoffers Provide Lift:
Juniors Brandon Williams and Cameron Christoffers each provided a spark last weekend and gave the Cardinal much needed depth on the bench. Williams tallied 10 kills during the week and hit .523 in the three matches. Williams also provided a big help on the front line for the Cardinal, often getting his hands opposition attacks and keeping opponents out of their comfort zone on offense. Christoffers played well against Pepperdine, recording six kills on only seven attacks, which gave him a .857 attack percentage for the game.
About the Matadors:
Head Coach Jeff Campbell enters his second season at the helm for CS Northridge, with a career record of 22-17 (.564). CS Northridge comes into the weekend with junior Eric Vance leading the way, with 77 kills on the season and 4.05 per game. Freshman Cody Loe also is leading for the Matadors with 58 kills and 3.41 per game. Senior Travis Bluemling is the table setter for CS Northridge, leading the team with 242 assists.
About the Gauchos:
Head Coach Ken Preston enters his 30th season behind the Gaucho bench and holds a career record of 506-364 (.582). Santa Barbara is led by freshman Jeff Menzel, who has recorded 120 kills on the season and 5.45 per game. The Gauchos have junior Max Klineman as their primary setter and he has tallied 193 assists on the season. Klineman's younger sister, Alix, is an outside hitter on the Stanford Women's Volleyball team.
After the two games on the road, the Cardinal will return home for a stretch of four consecutive home games. The Cardinal will take on the University of the Pacific Tigers on Thurs, Jan. 31 at 7:00 p.m. Stanford will also face off against Ball State on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m., with both matches taking place at Burnham Pavilion.