Feb. 1, 2005
Stanford, Calif. -
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THIS WEEK: Stanford flies across the Pacific for a pair of matches with Hawai'i, one of the most competitive teams in the MPSF. The Cardinal looks to make a climb in the MPSF standings against a Warrior squad that downed the Cardinal in their two meetings in 2004.
STANFORD IN THE POLLS: The Cardinal, off to a 3-6 start overall with a 2-4 record in MPSF play, slid from No. 9 to No. 10 in the latest USA Today/AVCA poll.
LAST WEEK: Stanford lost 1-3 against the Cal State Northridge Matadors, and was outlasted in a grueling five game match versus the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. After a slow start in game one against the Matadors the Cardinal evened the score behind the serve of freshman Matt Ceran. With the game two deadlocked at 19, the Cardinal went on a five point run in route to a 30-27 win. The Cardinal dropped game three committing 13 errors in a 16-30 route, before the Matadors closed out the match with a 26-30 win. In game one versus the Gauchos with the Cardinal ahead 26-19, Ben Reddy entered the game after a three match hiatus due to injury. Stanford rolled on to snatch the game 30-23 behind William Clayton's seven kills. After dropping game two, the third game featured a collection of unusually long rallies. A huge block by Craig Buell and Kevin Hansen gave the Cardinal its largest lead at 26-21, boosting the crowd's enthusiasm. The Gauchos tightened the match up, trailing the Cardinal 28-29 before a UCSB service error put Stanford ahead 2-1.Stanford stumbled out of the gate in the fourth game, yielding an early seven point deficit to the Gauchos. The Cardinal closed within two at the halfway point of the game, but the Gauchos squeaked out the win forcing the decisive game five, where Stanford suffered a close 16-18 loss. The losses dropped the Cardinal's record to 3-6(2-4 MPSF) after the first month of competition. The Cardinal returned two of its offensive contributors in Ben Reddy and Nick Manov, both previously sidelined due to injuries.
SCOUTING THE WARRIORS: Riding a four-game winning streak, the Warriors are sitting high atop the MPSF standings as the only team without a conference loss. The Warriors are led by Pedro Azenha's 5.08 kills per game and nine service aces. On defense the Warriors look to Mauila La Barre's 20 blocks (two solo) and Alfred Reft's 77 digs.
THE 4,000 CLUB: Fifth-year senior setter Kevin Hansen now sits fourth on Stanford's list of career leaders in assists with 4,231. Hansen is a three-time All-MPSF selection and was named a third team All-American following the 2004 season. Hansen's 12.86 assists per game ranks ninth all-time among Stanford setters.