Feb. 28, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford will be playing its only home weekend in 47 days when it plays host to No. 5 Pepperdine and No. 13 USC in an important Mountain Pacific Sports Federation men’s volleyball series. No. 4 Stanford (10-6, 7-6) carries an 11-match winning streak at Maples Pavilion while trying to move up from a fifth-place tie (through Tuesday) in the MPSF. Stanford and fourth-place Pepperdine (8-5, 8-5) are battling for seeding position for the conference tournament, while defending regular-season champion USC (3-8, 3-8) will spend the second half of the MPSF season battling for a spot in the eight-team postseason event.
THE LAST MEETING
January 20, 2013
THE LAST MEETING
January 18, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif.
No. 2 Stanford Swept by USC
No. 2 Stanford suffered its first men's volleyball loss of the season, falling at No. 7 USC in three on Friday.
Follow the Action
• The Pepperdine match can be seen on a live free Webcast. Look for the “Watch” links on gostanford.com. Tim Swartz and Olympic bronze medalist Kim Oden will call the action.
• The USC match will be shown live on the Pac-12 Networks. This is the third of four Stanford matches to appear on P12N. Kevin Barnett and Kevin Wong will call the action.
• Both matches will be broadcast live online by KZSU-2, with Alec Winograd calling the action.
• Live stats are available through the Gametracker links on gostanford.com.
• Admission to Stanford men’s volleyball is free.
Week in Review
Stanford split its matches on its first-ever BYU-Cal Baptist trip. BYU broke a six-match losing streak to the Cardinal by winning 23-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21, 15-13 in Provo, Utah, on Saturday. Steven Irvin and Brian Cook each had 23 kills and seven digs. Irvin hit .486 in the match and Cardinal hit a scorching .354.
Stanford made its first visit to new MPSF member Cal Baptist of Riverside, Calif., on Monday and bounced back from a dismal first set when it hit .036, to finish strong with a .446 hitting percentage over the final three sets. Junior middles Denny Falls and Eric Mochalski keyed the victory with a combined 17 kills, .680 hitting percentage and no errors.
• Though the AVCA rankings came out on Monday, after the Stanford loss to BYU, the Cardinal moved up one spot, to No. 4. Stanford remained at No. 6 in the Volleyball Magazine rankings. Stanford’s highest AVCA ranking was No. 2 on Jan. 14.
• Pepperdine is No. 5 in the AVCA poll, dropping one spot after losing to UCLA in its only match. The Waves are No. 5 by Volleyball Magazine, dropping one spot.
• USC is ranked No. 13 by the AVCA, dropping from No. 9 after two losses last week. The Trojans are not ranked by Volleyball Magazine.
Saturday’s Opponent, Pepperdine
Pepperdine is 2-4 on the road this season and is seeking its first victory at Maples Pavilion since 2007. The Waves are getting surprising star power from Parker Kalmbach, who missed last season recovering from back surgery. He is leading the NCAA in blocks with 1.44 per set in his first season in the middle, after playing on the outside in 2011. Senior Maurice Torres is among Pepperdine’s all-time leaders in kills and aces and leads a team that has been ranked as high as No. 2 this season (Jan. 21).
The Pepperdine Series
Momentum seems to swing back and forth in this series. Pepperdine dominated for years -- Stanford hadn’t won in Malibu from 1998-2010, for instance -- before Stanford won six consecutive in the series until this year. According to Pepperdine records, the Waves hold a 45-21 series edge, including a 25-22, 23-25, 25-16, 25-23 victory in Malibu on Jan. 20 to end Stanford’s series win streak. Brian Cook had 19 kills for the Cardinal.
Sunday’s Opponent, USC
After winning the past two MPSF regular-season titles and making a pair of appearances in the NCAA-tournament field, USC is being challenged simply to make the eight-team MPSF tournament field. The Trojans have not missed the postseason since 2006, the year before Bill Ferguson took over as coach, but find themselves in 12th out of 13 teams at the halfway point of the conference season. USC is 12th in the MPSF in opponents’ hitting percentage, surrendering at a .300 clip and have a .245 percentage of its own, which is ninth in the conference.
The USC Series
Perhaps no team has dominated Stanford in recent years as much as USC. But since beating Stanford 27-25, 25-18, 29-27 at the Galen Center on Jan. 18 to improve to 2-1 in the MPSF, the Trojans have gone 1-7. USC has won the past five matchups against Stanford and hasn’t endeared itself to the Cardinal in postseason play. Needing one more USC victory in each of the past two MPSF tournaments to secure at-large bids for itself, Stanford did not get them as the Trojans were upset in the 2012 MPSF final by UC Santa Barbara and the 2011 MPSF semifinals by UC Irvine.
• Stanford sophomore middle Matt Aiello was teammates with Pepperdine freshman middle blocker Kyle Suppes at San Jose’s Bellarmine College Prep.
• Stanford sophomore middle Spencer Haly was a teammate with Pepperdine sophomore middle blocker Evan Dean at Corona del Mar High in Newport Beach, Calif.
• Stanford’s Brian Cook, Steven Irvin, and Eric Mochalski were teammates with Pepperdine’s Maurice Torres and Matt West on the U.S. junior national team that placed fourth at the 2011 FIVB Junior World Championships in Brazil.
• Stanford associate head coach Ken Shibuya was the head coach of the 2011 U.S. youth national team that included Stanford’s James Shaw, and Pepperdine’s Nikola Antonijevic, Scott Rhein, Matt Tarantino, and Matt West.
• Stanford’s Brian Cook and Pepperdine’s Kyle Gerrans were teammates on the Bay to Bay Volleyball Club.
• Stanford’s Madison Hayden and Pepperdine’s Vincent Rios were teammates on The HBC club team in 2012.
• Shaw, Rhein, Tarantino, and West played on the U.S. junior national team that won the 2012 NORCECA Continental Championship in Colorado Springs.
• Stanford’s Eric Mochalski and USC’s Chris Orenic and Brooks Varni were teammates on the CIF Southern Section Division I runner-up team at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach.
• Stanford’s Steven Irvin and USC’s Robert Feathers, Michael Mullahey, and Alex Slaught were teammates on Loyola High’s CIF Southern Section championship team that beat Mira Costa for the Division I title.
• Stanford’s Matt Aiello and USC’s Austin Rysyk were teammates on two Central Coast Section Division I championship teams at San Jose’s Bellarmine College Prep.
• Stanford’s Spencer Haly and USC’s Joey Booth were teammates in 2010 on the Corona del Mar High team.
• Stanford’s Scott Sakaida and Gabriel Vega were teammates with USC’s Tyler Cundiff at Honolulu’s Iolani School.
• Stanford associate head coach Ken Shibuya was the head coach of the 2011 U.S. youth national team that included Stanford’s James Shaw and USC’s Josh Kirchner and finished 11th at the FIVB World Youth Championship in Argentina.
• Stanford’s Brian Cook, Steven Irvin, and Eric Mochalski, and USC’s Henry Cassiday and Micah Christenson were teammates on the 2011 U.S. junior national team that placed fourth at the FIVB Junior World Championships in Brazil.
• Shaw and Christenson were teammates on the U.S. junior national team that won the 2012 NORCECA Continental Championship in Colorado Springs.
Just past the midpoint of the MPSF season, Pepperdine and Stanford are in fourth and fifth. The top four earn homecourt advantage for the first round of the MPSF tournament. Stanford has earned that right the past four seasons, including beating Pepperdine at Maples Pavilion in the first round in 2012. USC is among six teams that are within one game of each other in the standings for the eighth and final spot in the MPSF tournament.
Stanford has been a varsity program since 1976 and has won two NCAA championships (1997, 2010), reached four NCAA finals, and won eight conference championships. Stanford has had two AVCA players of the year, both setters -- Canyon Ceman in 1993 and Kawika Shoji in 2010. Libero Erik Shoji graduated in 2012 as the first four-time first-team All-America selection since the AVCA began selecting All-America teams. Another 2012 graduate, outside hitter Brad Lawson, was a three-time first-team choice.
Among the other greats who have played for Stanford were Olympic team gold medalists Scott Fortune and Jon Root (1988 in Seoul), and Kevin Hansen and Gabe Gardner (2008 in Beijing). Mike Lambert and Matt Fuerbringer were the catalysts on the 1997 NCAA title team. The Shoji brothers and Lawson starred on the 2010 title-winning side, with Lawson hitting .821 with 24 kills in 28 attacks in the final against Penn State at Maples. Ceman, Fortune, Lambert, Root, and Dan Hanan are members of the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame.
Maples Winning Streak
Stanford has won 11 consecutive matches at Maples Pavilion -- six in 2012 and five in 2013. It’s the team’s longest at Maples since winning 15 consecutive in 2011-12. The Cardinal’s most recent loss was to Hawai’i on March 7, 2012. Stanford is 51-11 (.823) at Maples since 2008.
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, but was eliminated by Poland’s Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle on Feb. 12 in the return leg of a two-match playoff. Arkas leads Turkey’s Erkekler 1 at 16-2 going into a Sunday match against Maliye Milli Piyango.
• Kawika Shoji ‘10 is a setter for the Berlin Recycling Volleys of Germany, who won the Bundesliga regular-season title with a 19-1 record. The team has a playoff bye until March 17. BRV had advanced to the Champions League Playoffs 12 round before losing to defending Euro champs Zenit Kazan.
• Erik Shoji ‘12, at libero, and Brad Lawson ‘12, at outside hitter, play for CV Mitteldeutschland of Merseburg, Germany. The team finished seventh at 9-11 and will play a three-match pre-playoff round against 10th place VC Dresden beginning Wednesday.
• Evan Barry ‘12 is a setter for Sweden’s Orkelljunga Volleybollklubb. Orkelljunga is third of 10 teams in the Elitserien at 13-4 going into a Sunday match with Tierp.
Freshman Starts at Setter
True freshman James Shaw, who grew up in nearby Woodside, Calif., is the son of Stanford volleyball coaching great Don Shaw. Don coached the Stanford women’s team to four NCAA titles in 16 seasons (440-70, .863), and was the Cardinal men’s head coach for seven seasons. He is a member of the AVCA Coaching Hall of Fame and coached Kerri Walsh, Kim Oden, and Logan Tom at Stanford.