Feb. 8, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. - In its only home matches in a stretch of 34 days, the Stanford men’s volleyball team plays No. 1 UC Irvine on Friday (6:30 p.m.) at Burnham Pavilion and dangerous UC San Diego on Saturday (7 p.m.) at Maples Pavilion in a pair of key Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches. After a split in Hawaii last weekend, No. 4 Stanford (7-3, 4-3) sits in fifth place in the MPSF, just a half-game behind third-place UCI (8-3, 5-3). UCSD (4-8, 2-6) owns an impressive victory over USC and also figures to be a threat to knock off the Cardinal.
THE LAST MEETING
April 28, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif.
Stanford Falls In MPSF Volleyball Final
The Stanford men's volleyball team was overtaken by UC Irvine in a five-set loss in the MPSF tournament final, and now must hope for an at-large berth into the NCAA's.
THE LAST MEETING
March 2, 2012
Stanford Bounces Back
Steven Irvin's hitting and Brad Lawson's aces finished off UC San Diego in No. 2 Stanford's four-set men's volleyball victory on Friday night at Maples Pavilion. Next, a home showdown with No. 3 UC Irvine on Saturday night.
Follow the Action
• Both matches will be streamed live and can be found through the “Watch” links on the gostanford.com schedule page. Tim Swartz has the call.
• Friday’s match will be broadcast on KZSU-2 online radio. Look for the “Listen” links at gostanford.com. Alec Winograd has the call.
• Live Stats can be found through the Gametracker links on gostanford.com.
• Both matches, as are all Stanford’s regular-season home contests, are free to attend.
Saturday is autograph night for the Stanford team. Players will be available for autographs after Saturday’s match.
Week in Review
Stanford split a pair tight five-set matches at Hawai’i, winning the first and losing the second, the latter despite holding two match points. Junior outside hitter Steven Irvin was at his best in both matches, with kill totals of 27 and 22 -- both exceeding his previous career high of 18 -- and a combined hitting percentage of .459. On Friday, Irvin’s eight third-set kills helped ward off Hawai’i’s eight set points. The 25-23, 22-25, 33-31, 20-25, 15-9 victory was the first on the road for Stanford this season and third consecutive overall. On Saturday, however, the Cardinal was the victim of some strong Hawai’i serving and hit .203, it’s lowest percentage of the season.
Stanford dropped one spot in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll to No. 4, and two spots in the Volleyball Magazine rankings, to No. 5. Stanford’s highest AVCA ranking was No. 2 on Jan. 14.
Defending NCAA champion UC Irvine was the preseason AVCA No. 1 team and has held the position in four of six rankings this season. UCI is tied for No. 1 in the AVCA poll with BYU, but holds sole possession of No. 1 by Volleyball Magazine.
UC San Diego is not ranked, but was as high as No. 12 in the AVCA poll on Jan. 21.
Friday’s Opponent, UC Irvine
UC Irvine is the defending NCAA champion, beating USC in three sets to win the title on USC’s home court. After a rough start to the 2013 MPSF season -- UCI fell to 1-3 after consecutive losses to USC, Cal Baptist, and BYU -- the Anteaters have reeled off four straight, including three on the road. Senior outside hitter Kevin Tillie, of France, is a returning first-team All-America.
The UCI Series
Stanford and UC Irvine last met in the championship match of the 2012 MPSF tournament at USC’s Galen Center. Brad Lawson had 23 kills and 11 digs for Stanford, but the Cardinal was unable to hold on to a 2-0 lead in sets, before falling 20-25, 25-27, 25-21, 25-21, 15-12. Kevin Tillie, now a UCI senior, had a career-high 24 kills, as well as 13 digs, to prevent Stanford from advancing to the NCAA tournament. UCI has won the past two meetings with Stanford. Before that, Stanford won six consecutive in the series. Stanford leads the all-time series 30-14.
Saturday’s Opponent, UC San Diego
The Tritons provided the shocker of the season when they swept two-time defending regular-season champion USC in three sets in an MPSF opener. But after a 2-1 start to conference play, UCSD has lost its past five and now 0-3 on the road in MPSF play. UCSD junior starting middle blocker Fred Stahl is the son of the former Stanford football player of the same name. The elder Fred Stahl played on the Cardinal’s 1986 Gator Bowl team. UCSD is last in the MPSF in serving percentage, with only 30 in 47 sets (0.64 per set).
The UCSD Series
Stanford holds a 39-3 all-time series lead against UC San Diego, but the Tritons can surprise, beating the Cardinal at Stanford in 2011, snapping an 18-match losing streak in the series. Stanford won both meetings last season, finishing off a 25-21, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19 home victory with a pair of Brad Lawson aces at Maples Pavilion last season. Stanford leads the MPSF in opponents’ hitting percentage, allowing only a combined .219, and UCSD has the second-worst percentage in the conference, hitting only .218.
Stanford is riding a 12-match winning streak at home. The Cardinal’s last home loss was a four-set upset to Hawai’i at Maples Pavilion on March 7, 2012. Stanford went on to win its final six home matches last season, including a first-round victory over Pepperdine in the MPSF tournament. This season, Stanford went undefeated through six home matches, with two at Burnham Pavilion.
The Burnham Advantage?
Stanford has a 12-match winning streak at home, and a six-match winning streak at Burnham Pavilion, dating back to 2011. However, Stanford’s homecourt advantage doesn’t always apply to Burnham, the Cardinal’s homecourt when Maples Pavilion is unavailable. Since 2008, Stanford is 50-11 (.820) at Maples Pavilion, but only 14-8 (.637) at Burnham Pavilion. Stanford’s winning percentage is even lower at Burnham than it is on the road (45-28, .616) in that same span.
Vs. No. 1
Stanford has won its past two matches against No. 1 teams, beating BYU in a pair in Provo, on Feb. 3-4, 2012. Before that, Stanford had lost its previous 10 against top-ranked teams, dating back to 2003. During that stretch, Stanford played No. 1 UC Irvine on Jan. 5, 2007 at the UC Santa Barbara tournament. UCI won 30-23, 30-21, 30-23.
Irvin on Fire
Steven Irvin had a career-high 27 kills – nine more than his previous high – while hitting .548, and had eight digs and three aces to lead Stanford to a 25-23, 22-25, 33-31, 20-25, 15-9 victory at Hawai’i on Friday. His eight kills in the third set helped Stanford ward off eight Hawaii set points. Irvin followed the next night with 22 kills and 13 digs in a 20-25, 25-23, 21-25, 27-25, 15-11 loss to the Warriors on Saturday. For the weekend, Irvin combined for 49 kills, 4.90 kills per set, a .459 hitting percentage, and 21 digs.
• Stanford freshman middle blocker Conrad Kaminski is from New Berlin, Wis., the same hometown of UC Irvine junior outside hitter Jeremy Dejno, and are both products of the West Allis Lightning club program.
• Stanford senior outside hitter Jake Kneller was at Westlake High School in Westlake Village, Calif., with UCI junior middle blocker Scott Kevorken.
• Stanford freshman setter James Shaw was at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., with UCI junior middle blocker Collin Mehring.
• Stanford junior middle blocker Eric Mochalski was at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, Calif., with UCI senior libero Will Thomas.
• Stanford junior outside hitter Steven Irvin was at Loyola High School in Los Angeles with UCSD junior outside hitter Vaun Lennon.
• UCSD junior middle blocker Fred Stahl is the son of the former Stanford football player of the same name.
In the Pros
Five former Stanford All-Americans are playing professionally in Europe:
• Kevin Hansen ‘05 is a setter for Arkas Izmir of Turkey, which advanced to the European Champions League Playoffs 6 against Poland’s Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle. Arkas Izmir lost in five sets on Tuesday in the first leg of their matchup. The teams will meet again in Turkey on Feb. 12 to determine a berth in the Champions League final four.
• Kawika Shoji ‘10 is a setter for Berlin Recycling Volleys of Germany, who lost two five-set matches to defending Euro champs Zenit Kazan in the Playoffs 12 round of the Champions League. However, BRV is 18-0 in the German Bundesliga with two matches to play.
• Erik Shoji ‘12, at libero, and Brad Lawson ‘12, at outside hitter, play for CV Mitteldeutschland of Merseburg, Germany.
• Evan Barry ‘12 is a setter for Sweden’s Orkelljunga Volleybollklubb.