Feb. 5, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
STANFORD, Calif. -
The No. 6 Stanford men's volleyball team follows up a pair of victories on its home-opening weekend with its third Southern California road trip, this time to play No. 8 UCLA (4-5, 2-3) on Thursday at Pauley Pavilion and No. 3 UC Irvine (8-2, 4-1) on Friday at the Bren Events Center in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play. Stanford is 7-3 and 3-2 after a dramatic victory over Long Beach State on Friday at Maples Pavilion and a Saturday four-set triumph over UC San Diego at Burnham Pavilion.
On the Internet
For the UCLA match, there will be a live Internet audio, which can be found at uclabruins.com. Look for the Multimedia pull-down menu on the home page and click on Audio Broadcasts to find the link. There will be no streaming video or live stats.
For the UC Irvine match, live stats can be found at ucirvinesports.com. Click on the GameTracker icon on the home or the men's volleyball pages.
Lawson Wins MPSF Weekly Honor
Stanford freshman outside hitter Brad Lawson earned a pair of weekly honors after his performances in victories over Long Beach State and UC San Diego last weekend.
Stanford coach John Kosty said Lawson was the key to Stanford's dramatic 26-30, 24-30, 33-31, 31-29, 15-8 victory over Long Beach State on Friday at Maples Pavilion. Lawson had a team season-high and collegiate career-high 27 kills, hit .438 and had 11 digs as Stanford rallied from a two-set deficit and fought off three match points before rallying for the win.
With Stanford trailing in the third set, 30-29, Lawson kept the Cardinal alive with a kill, and finished off the set with two more. Including an 11-kill performance in a 30-25, 30-23, 28-30, 30-28 victory over UC San Diego on Saturday, Lawson totaled 38 kills, hit .386 and had 17 digs over the weekend.
Lawson also was the Stanford/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week, a significant achievement considering 11 Stanford teams were in action during the week.
If one match proves to be pivotal to the Cardinal's quest for success, there's a good bet it was played Friday at Maples Pavilion. Stanford's 26-30, 24-30, 33-31, 31-29, 15-8 victory over No. 7 Long Beach State required the Cardinal to fight off three match points for the chance to recover from a two-set deficit. Evan Lawson fought off two of them, on a block and kill, and Brad Lawson
had a kill on another match point to keep the Cardinal alive.
The match had a different feel from the start, when Stanford coach John Kosty
started senior libero Jarod Keller
, junior hitter Jason Palacios
and freshman setter Evan Barry
for the first time this season. Palacios and Barry made their first collegiate starts, with Barry making his first collegiate appearance. Each played admirably before regular starters Kawika Shoji
, Evan Romero
and Erik Shoji
entered the match in the third set.
With 11 of the 12 MPSF teams ranked, Stanford will play 27 of its 31 regular-season matches against teams currently ranked in the Bison/AVCA Top 15. So far, Stanford is 6-3 against ranked teams, though the Cardinal is 0-3 against teams ranked in the top five. Keep in mind that Friday's opponent, UC Irvine, is No. 3.
Stanford is 2-0 against ranked teams at home and 2-2 on the road, including 0-2 on the road against ranked teams from the MPSF. The Cardinal coaching staff preaches the need for improved serving and passing in order to become better at controlling the offensive flow and playing at a more consistent level, a big problem despite the weekend victories.
Thursday's Opponent: UCLA
No. 8 UCLA (4-5, 2-3) is the most decorated team in collegiate men's volleyball with 19 national titles and 46 consecutive winning seasons, all under 47th year head coach Al Scates. UCLA carried a preseason No. 2 ranking, but suffered two losses at the season-opening UCSB tournament to fall back. Last week, the Bruins defeated No. 2 ranked NAIA Cal Baptist in four, after losing the first set, before dropping a 3-1 decision at No. 4 UC Irvine.
The UCLA Series
UCLA leads the all-time series 59-13, but Stanford won their most recent meeting, behind 22 kills from Spencer McLachlin. The victory snapped a nine-match losing streak to the Bruins. However, UCLA has a streak of five consecutive victories over Stanford at Pauley Pavilion, with Stanford's last victory there coming on April 11, 2003.
Friday's Opponent: UC Irvine
The No. 3 Anteaters (8-2, 4-1) are holding their highest ranking since winning the 2007 NCAA title. Senior outside hitter Taylor Wilson was MPSF co-Player of the Week, with Stanford's Brad Lawson, and is the reigning AVCA National Player of the Week, for a 29-kill (.434) week with victories over Princeton and UCLA.
Anteater junior outside hitter Cole Reinholm is the son of Erik Reinholm, a USVBA All-America at Stanford in 1972. During his final three years as a player, Erik Reinholm doubled as Stanford's head coach (1969-'72).
Stanford won both meetings last season.
Kills: 27 (five sets), Brad Lawson vs. Long Beach State (1/30)
18 (four sets), Evan Romero vs. Cal State Northridge (1/10)
17 (three sets), Evan Romero vs. Ohio State (1/16)
Solo Blocks: 7 (four sets), Evan Romero vs. Long Beach St. (1/30)
5 (three sets), Evan Romero vs. BYU (1/9)
Total Blocks: 11 (five sets), Gus Ellis vs. L.B. State (1/30)
9 (four sets), Evan Romero vs. Long Beach State (1/9)
Aces: 3 (four sets), Kawika Shoji vs. Cal State Northridge (1/10)
Spencer McLachlin vs. Long Beach (1/9), CS Northridge (1/10)
2 (three sets), Spencer McLachlin vs. Ball St. (1/17), Pepp. (1/24)
Evan Romero vs. Ohio St. (1/16), Brad Lawson vs. Pepp. (1/24)
Digs: 16 (four sets), Erik Shoji vs. Cal State Northridge (1/10)
15 (three sets), Erik Shoji vs. Pepperdine (1/24)
Assists: 52 (four sets), Kawika Shoji vs. UC San Diego (1/31)
46 (three sets), Kawika Shoji vs. Ohio State (1/16)
Kills: 74 (five sets) vs. Long Beach State (1/30)
61 (four sets) vs. UC San Diego (1/31)
57 (three sets) vs. Ohio State (1/16)
Blocks: 18.5 (five sets) vs. Long Beach State (1/30)
12.5 (four sets) vs. UC San Diego (1/31)
11 (three sets) vs. BYU (1/9)
Aces: 7 vs. Pepperdine (1/24)
Hitting Percentage: .412 vs. BYU (1/9)
Opponents Hitting Percentage (low): .128, BYU (1/9)