Feb. 18, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. -
Complete Release in PDF Format
The No. 2 Stanford men’s volleyball team embarks on what may be the most demanding road trip in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, playing at No. 4 Pepperdine (6-4, 6-3) on Friday and No. 3 USC (7-4, 5-3) on Saturday. After opening with seven of its first nine conference matches at home, the Cardinal now begins a stretch in which it plays nine of its last 13 on the road. Stanford has won four consecutive matches -- all at home -- and returned to No. 2 in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll after holding that spot earlier this season. This will be Stanford’s first meeting with USC since an epic five-set dual in the first round of the 2009 MPSF Tournamament, won by the Trojans.
Follow the Action
Live streaming video and live stats are available for both matches. On Friday, a premium webcast and free live stats can be found on pepperdinesports.com. On Saturday, live stats are available on gostanford.com through the Gametracker link. A premium webcast is available on usctrojans.com.
Stanford earned a pair of big home victories last weekend, over No. 3 UCLA in three on Friday at Maples Pavilion, and over No. 11 UC Irvine, the defending NCAA champion, in four on Saturday at Burnham Pavilion. Brad Lawson had 15 kills and Stanford had only nine attack errors during the Cardinal’s 30-24, 30-23, 30-24 victory over UCLA in a match that marked the return of outside hitter Spencer McLachlin after missing four matches with a shoulder injury.
Against UCI, Evan Romero opened the fourth set with four consecutive service aces to spark Stanford to a 30-25, 21-30, 30-28, 30-26 victory. Lawson led Stanford with 22 kills and teammate Garrett Werner had 12 kills, hit .526, and was in on seven of Stanford’s 10 blocks.
Brad Lawson: National Player of the Week
Sophomore outside hitter Brad Lawson
was named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I-II Men’s National Player of the Week for his role in leading Stanford to home victories over No. 3 UCLA and defending NCAA champion UC Irvine last weekend. The 6-foot-7 Lawson had 15 kills, five digs and two assists, with a .400 hitting percentage in a Friday sweep of UCLA, and followed with 22 kills (.372), nine digs, and three blocks in a four-set triumph over UCI on Saturday.
Stanford leads the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in two individual and three team categories. Stanford’s leading individuals are:
Brad Lawson, service aces pg (16, 0.46)
Erik Shoji, digs pg (129, 3.39)
As a team, Stanford leads the MPSF in:
Hitting percentage: .337 (612-177-1,289)
Kills: 16.11 per game (612 total)
Assists: 15.42 pg (586)
Friday’s Opponent: Pepperdine
The Waves have won five consecutive matches, the most in the MPSF, to climb into a second-place tie with Stanford at 6-3. Pepperdine’s latest came Wednesday with a 30-27, 30-23, 30-25 victory over visiting Pacific. The streak includes two victories over No. 1 teams: a five-setter at USC on Jan. 29 and a four-setter at Cal State Northridge on Feb. 5. In addition, the Waves accomplished a regular-season sweep of USC by beating Trojans on the road in three sets Feb. 12. However, Pepperdine has been vulnerable at home, with a 2-2 record at Firestone Fieldhouse. Kasey Crider leads the MPSF in assists with 13.69 per set, and Tyler Jaynes is first in blocks, at 1.47.
The Pepperdine Series
Stanford trails the Waves in the all-time series 47-15. Pepperdine carried a 16-match series winning streak into a Feb. 13, 2009 match won by Stanford, 30-18, 28-30, 30-25, 30-24 when Pepperdine was ranked No. 2. Evan Romero had 24 kills in the match and Brandon Williams had 10 kills and eight blocks. However, Pepperdine has beaten Stanford in their past 12 matches in Malibu.
Saturday’s Opponent: USC
The Trojans were the preseason No. 1 choice in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll and held the top spot for the first three polls of the season, through Jan. 25. Heading into its match against Pacific on Friday night, USC has lost three of its past four matches, dropping to No. 3 in the rankings and a fifth-place tie in the MPSF. However, the Trojans are in the midst of a five-way tie for first in the loss column, with three. Stanford will be the third of six consecutive matches at the Galen Center for the Trojans. USC is led by Murphy Troy, a teammate of Stanford’s Brad Lawson and Erik Shoji on the United States team that played in the Junior World Championships in India last summer. Also, setter Riley McKibben was the setter for a Punahou School team that also featured Shoji and Stanford’s Spencer McLachlin and Max Halvorson.
The USC Series
Stanford has certainly not forgotten USC, which came up to Maples Pavilion and rallied past the Cardinal, 20-30, 27-30, 30-27, 30-24, 15-11, in the opening round of the MPSF Tournamentt before advancing to the NCAA final. According to USC records, the Trojans hold a 55-25 series lead over Stanford and have won their past four meetings. Stanford has yet to win at Galen Center, with its last victory at USC coming at the Lyon Center in 2005.
Stanford in the National Stats
Stanford is No. 2 in Assists Per Game (15.42), No. 2 in hitting percentage (.337), and No. 3 in kills per game (16.11). Individually, Kawika Shoji is No. 4 in assists per game (13.59), Erik Shoji is No. 5 in digs per game (3.39).