Feb. 20, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
STANFORD, Calif. -
The No. 7 Stanford men's volleyball team will attempt to reverse its recent fortunes on the road. The Cardinal is 0-4 against ranked Mountain Pacific Sports Federation teams in conference road play and has won only two of 14 sets in those matches. On Friday, Stanford plays at No. 4 Cal State Northridge (10-2) and Saturday is at No. 13 UC Santa Barbara (3-8).
On the Internet
Live stats for both matches will be provided via GameTracker. The links can be found at gostanford.com on the Calendar of Events next to men's volleyball on the home page.
Both teams are fighting for favorable spots in the MPSF standings and to impress the NCAA selection committee looking for an at-large team from the conference. The MPSF tournament champion will receive the conference's only automatic berth in the four-team NCAA tournament. The single at-large berth will come from the MPSF as well, and will be based on the team's play throughout the season. Cal State Northridge is tied for third in the MPSF at 6-2 and is in position to host a first-round game in the eight-team MPSF tournament. Stanford is eighth in the conference at 4-5 and currently holds the last playoff spot.
Last weekend, Stanford scored a 30-18, 28-30, 30-25, 30-24 victory over then-No. 2 Pepperdine on Friday at Maples Pavilion, handing the first-place Waves their first loss. Evan Romero had 24 kills and hit .435 for Stanford, which totaled 17.5 blocks, eight by Brandon Williams. However, Stanford was swept by then-No. 5 USC on Saturday at Burnham Pavilion.
Williams Wins MPSF Weekly Honor
Stanford senior middle blocker Brandon Williams earned MPSF co-Player of the Week honors for his play against Pepperdine and USC. Williams had season highs of 10 kills and eight blocks and hit .667 against Pepperdine, helping the Cardinal end a 16-match losing streak in the series dating back to 2001. Williams also had five kills, three blocks and a .364 hitting percentage in a three-set loss to USC on Saturday. For the week, Williams had 15 kills, 11 blocks and a .538 hitting percentage. Williams' block total in those two matches accounted for half of his season total of 22.
This will be Stanford's fourth of five regular-season road trips to Southern California. So far, Stanford is 2-5. After this, Stanford heads to Hawaii for a pair of matches, which will give the Cardinal 14 of its first 18 matches away from home. However, Stanford will play its entire March schedule at home and finish with 11 of its final 13 regular-season matches at home.
With 11 of the 12 MPSF teams ranked, Stanford will play 26 of its 31 regular-season matches against teams currently ranked in the Bison/AVCA Top 15. So far, Stanford is 6-6 against ranked teams, though the Cardinal is 1-5 against teams ranked in the top five.
Stanford is 3-1 against ranked teams at home and 1-4 on the road, including 0-4 on the road against ranked teams from the MPSF. At neutral sites, Stanford is 2-1 against ranked team,s with all the results coming in the UCSB/Elephant Bar Invitational.
Kills: 28 (five sets), Evan Romero vs. UCLA (2/5)
24 (four sets), Evan Romero vs. Pepperdine (2/13)
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: 17 (five sets), Erik Shoji vs. UCLA (2/5)
26 (four sets), Erik Shoji vs. Pepperdine (2/13)
17 (three sets), Erik Shoji vs. UC Irvine (2/6)
Assists: 70 (five sets), Kawika Shoji vs. UCLA (2/5)
60 (four sets), Kawika Shoji vs. Pepperdine (2/13)
46 (three sets), Kawika Shoji vs. Ohio State (1/16)
Kills: 87 (five sets) vs. UCLA (2/5)
72 (four sets) vs. Pepperdine (2/13)
57 (three sets) vs. Ohio State (1/16)
Blocks: 18.5 (five sets) vs. Long Beach State (1/30)
17.5 (four sets) vs. Pepperdine (2/13)
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)
Friday's Opponent: Cal State Northridge
No. 4 Matadors (10-2) are tied for third in the MPSF after sweeping Pacific on Thursday, 30-14, 30-16, 30-18. CSUN broke a school single-match record with 17 service aces in the match, with Tanner Nua and Eric Vance serving four aces apiece. The Matadors are 5-0 at home this season. The teams last played in the final of the UCSB/Elephant Bar Invitational Jan. 10, with Evan Romero blasting 15 kills for the Cardinal in a four-set loss. Northridge has won five straight over Stanford, but the Cardinal leads the all-time series, 31-22.
Saturday's Opponent: UC Santa Barbara
Stanford trails in the series, 41-24, but faces a team that has lost four consecutive matches and has won only one conference match, a five-setter over visiting BYU Jan. 30. The Gauchos are 3-5 at home, which means they are winless on the road. Stanford swept their two matches last year. UC Santa Barbara was ranked as high as No. 9 this season before falling back, but has remained in the AVCA coaches' rankings throughout the season.