Feb. 26, 2008
Stanford, Calif. -
Stanford Volleyball This Week:
Weds, Feb. 27 vs. Hawai'i, 7 p.m., Burnham Pavilion
Thurs, Feb. 28 vs. Hawai'i, 7 p.m., Burnham Pavilion
The Week Ahead:
Stanford men's volleyball will return home for a pair of matches against MPSF rival Hawai'i after splitting a pair of matches against top-ranked BYU last weekend. Hawai'i has won three of their last four and five of their last eight. On Weds, Feb. 27 and Thurs, Feb. 28 the ninth-ranked Cardinal (10-6, 6-6 MPSF) will face the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors (6-7, 5-5 MPSF) at 7:00 p.m in each contest.
Last weekend in Provo, UT, the Cardinal lost to BYU in five games (30-22,28-30,30-18,27-30,15-12), which was only the fourth time that BYU went five games in a win. The Cardinal came back on Saturday night though and played their best game of the season in a three-game sweep (35-33,30-22,31-29) of the top-ranked Cougar squad. This was BYU's first loss of the season and it came in impressive fashion with the three-game sweep. This leaves the Cardinal in a tie for sixth and only two games behind third place CS Northridge.
Stanford Remains Ninth in CSTV/AVCA Poll:
The Cardinal rose to No. 9 in the CSTV/AVCA poll after occupying the tenth spot in the previous poll. Although they stayed in ninth, they earned 130 points, which was 26 more than last week. This leaves the Cardinal one point behind eighth place USC, and two points behind seventh place UCLA. Long Beach State (12-1) took over the second spot after earning three of the 16 total votes, while BYU (12-1) fell to the third spot. CS Northridge (12-4), Pepperdine (7-5) and UC Irvine (9-9) rounded out the top six. The Cardinal also rose to sixth in the Molten/Volleyball Magazine media poll.
McLachlin Named MPSF Co-Player of the Week:
Inafuku Steps Up:
Cardinal freshman Spencer McLachlin was named the MPSF Molten Co-Players of the Week. The first-year outside hitter from Honolulu, HI combined for 34 kills at a rate of 4.25 K/G at a .354 attack percentage. He also added eight blocks in the win and is now the second Cardinal student-athlete to win the honor. Senior Matt Ceran was named MPSF Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 7.
Freshman Jordan Inafuku
stepped up last weekend after starting at libero in both games against BYU. In the Friday match in Provo, Inafuku tallied 11 digs and in the Saturday match he had a team-leading 16 digs to give him 27 for the weekend and 85 on the season.
Romero Powering Forward:
Sophomore Evan Romero has had a very consistent season en route to recording 240 kills on the season. Romero is well on his way to exceeding his season-total of 384 kills, achieved in his freshman season. In the two games against BYU, Romero recorded 24 kills on the weekend. Romero also recorded 27 kills in the two games last week against UC Santa Barbara and CS Northridge.
McLachlin Providing A Lift:
Freshman Spencer McLachlin missed seven games earlier in the season, but has returned the past three weekends and has provided the Cardinal with a huge lift. McLachlin recorded 34 kills in the two games against BYU. McLachlin returned to record 11 saves in the victory against UC Santa Barbara (2/8) and eight kills in the loss to CS Northridge (2/9). McLachlin had his best game since his return against Pacific (2/15) when he recorded 16 kills in the victory to go along with 13 digs and a .314 attack percentage.
The Cardinal reached the halfway point of the season and have some usual faces on their leaderboard. For the second straight year Stanford is led by Romero, with 240 kills, and senior Matt Ceran is second with 174 kills and is second on the team in digs with 106. Sophomore Kawika Shoji is leading the team with 385 assists and 110 digs, and junior Brandon Williams is leading the team in blocks with 44.
Shoji Shows Versatility:
Sophomore Kawika Shoji has primarily played setter this season, but moved to attacker against Pacific and recorded 19 kills with a .368 attack percentage. He also had 15 digs in the victory and led the team in service aces (3) and blocks (4). Shoji then returned to setter against BYU and recorded 95 assists in the two games and also chipped in 20 digs.
About the Rainbow Warriors:
Head Coach Mike Wilton enters his 16th season at the helm for Hawai'i. The Rainbow Warriors come into the weekend with senior Jacob Schkud leading the way, with 157 kills on the season and 2.96 per game. Junior outside hitter Jim Clar also has 140 kills, with an average of 3.50 per game. Junior Sean Carney is the starting setter for Hawaii, leading the team with 475 assists and 8.96 per game.
After the two games against the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors, the Cardinal will head to Santa Cruz for a weekend match against the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. The match will take place on Sat, Mar. 1 at 7:00 p.m.