March 8, 2013
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Stanford men's volleyball team hopes to go into a 19-day end-of-the-quarter break by continuing the momentum it has built with three consecutive victories, including two five-setters. However, the Cardinal will need to resolve its road issues before that can happen. Stanford (12-6, 9-6) has a 3-5 road record heading into its fourth trip into Southern California this season, when it plays at No. 14 UC Santa Barbara (7-12, 6-10) on Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 6 UCLA (11-9, 7-7) on Sunday in a noon match that will be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks.
THE LAST MEETING
|UC Santa Barbara||0
January 26, 2013
Moves Pay Off in Card Volleyball Rout
The No. 4 Stanford men's volleyball team rolled over No. 10 UC Santa Barbara with the help of the Cardinal's libero combination of Grant Delgado and Scott Sakaida on Saturday at Maples Pavilion.
THE LAST MEETING
January 22, 2013
Follow the Action
• The UCSB match can be followed vis live stats and online radio. Look for the links on gostanford.com.
• The UCLA match will be shown live on the Pac-12 Networks. This is the fourth of four Stanford matches to appear on P12N. Kevin Barnett and coaching legend Al Scates will call the action.
• Links to live stats and online audio also are available for the UClA match. Look for the Gametracker and Listen links on gostanford.com.
Week in Review
Stanford earned its first weekend sweep since early January by beating Pepperdine and USC on back-to-back nights the hard way -- in five-set thrillers. The Cardinal extended its winning streak at Maples Pavilion to 13 and ensured that it will go more than a year since its last loss there. The weekend marked the only home dates in a span of 47 days for Stanford, which will not play for 19 days because of quarter exams.
Stanford got five errorless kills in the fifth set from Brian Cook, who had 24 kills in a 25-17, 20-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-13 victory over Pepperdine on Friday. With Stanford holding onto a 23-22 third-set lead, Irvin cranked his arm back ready to fire, and seeing the blockers expect the same, changed his mind in mid-swing to tip the ball over the block and onto the floor to create set point.
On Saturday, Stanford ended a five-match losing streak to USC by winning 26-28, 25-17, 18-25, 25-21, 15-10. Stanford overcame a 14-10 deficit in the fourth set. But the Cardinal rallied, thanks to its serving. After an Eric Mochalski kill for sideout, Jake Kneller aced the Trojans and served three consecutive points to tie the score, 14-14. Moments later, Mochalski served five consecutive points, including two aces, to allow Stanford to bolt to a 20-15 lead and take control.
After three victories last week (including one at Cal Baptist on Monday), the Cardinal remained at No. 4 in the AVCA Coaches' Top 15, and moved up two spots to No. 4 in the Volleyball Magazine rankings. Stanford's highest AVCA ranking was No. 2 on Jan. 14.
Friday's Opponent, UC Santa Barbara
The Gauchos have just finished a seven-match road stretch and are playing their first match at home since Feb. 5. UCSB won its two most recent home matches before going 2-5 on its road swing. UCSB is coming off a sweep at the hands of Long Beach State, though Evan Licht (11) and Miles Evans (10) had double-digit kills.
The UCSB Series
• UCSB holds a 43-31 series lead.
•.Stanford is 9-2 vs. UCSB since 2008.
• Stanford has won its past three matchups with the Gauchos by a combined 9-1 in sets.
• The teams most recently met on Jan. 26 at Maples Pavilion when Stanford won 25-19, 25-17, 25-22 to extend its Maples winning streak over the Gauchos to 12.
Sunday's Opponent, UCLA
The Bruins followed impressive three-set road sweeps over USC and Pepperdine with a four-set clunker at home against UC Santa Barbara. UCLA's Gonzalo Quiroga is one of the most dangerous servers in the nation, with 37 aces. He had six aces against Pepperdine and two against USC, but in the UCSB loss, he had none. The Bruins lead the MPSF in aces by a commanding margin, with 1.49 per set.
The UCLA Series
• UCLA holds a 62-19 all-time series lead.
• Stanford won their most recent meeting 27-25, 19-25, 25-14, 25-12 on Jan. 22 at Maples Pavilion.
• Over the past five-plus seasons, Stanford holds a 7-4 series edge.
• Stanford has won the past six matches in the series at Maples Pavilion.
• Stanford is 1-8 at UCLA since 2004. The only victory in that span was in 2011.
The MPSF Race
Stanford is tied with Pepperdine for fourth in the MPSF with nine matches remaining. Only the top four play host to a first-round match in the eight-team MPSF tournament, which determines the conference's only automatic berth into the NCAA's.
• Stanford juniors Steven Irvin and Eric Mochalski both have fathers who played on UCLA national championship teams.
• Steven Irvin's father, Chris Irvin, started on UCLA title teams in 1974 and 1975, where he was teammates with future Stanford men's coach Fred Sturm and assistant coach John Bekins.
• Irvin's uncle, Richard Irvin, played on three UCLA title teams, in 1970, 1971, and 1972.
• Eric Mochalski's father, David Mochalski, played on UCLA's 1982 NCAA championship team. Mochalski won all-tournament honors on a team captained by Karch Kiraly.
• UCLA volunteer assistant coach Matt Fuerbringer is one of Stanford's all-time great players. He was a three-time first-team All-America during his career (1994-97) and led Stanford to the 1997 NCAA championship. Fuerbringer remains Stanford's all-time kills leader, with 2,221.
High School Teammates
Five sets of players from UCLA and Stanford were high school teammates:
• Stanford redshirt sophomore libero Grant Delgado was in the same class as UCLA redshirt sophomore middle blocker Clayton Paullin at Palos Verdes in Palos Verdes Estates.
• Stanford junior outside hitter Steven Irvin was two years ahead of UCLA freshman outside hitter Nick Porterfield at Loyola of Los Angeles.
• Stanford sophomore middle blocker Spencer Haly was two years behind UCLA redshirt junior setter Connor Bannan at Corona del Mar of Newport Beach.
• Stanford freshman middle blocker Madison Hayden was in the same class at UCLA freshman middle blocker Kyle Palmer at Servite of Anaheim.
• Stanford junior middle blocker Eric Mochalski was in the same class as UCLA redshirt sophomore middle blocker Michael Beals at Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. They played one year together, in 2010.
In three victories, Brian Cook had matches of 13 (against Cal Baptist), 24 (vs. Pepperdinne), and 20 kills (vs. USC) and a combined hitting percentage of .390. But it was his weekend performances in five-set victories over Pepperdine and USC that set him apart.
In his 24-4-42-.476 match against Pepperdine, Cook had five errorless kills in the fifth set and combined for 13 kills and a .667 hitting percentage over the final two sets on Saturday. Against USC on Sunday, Cook had an all-around match of 20 kills (.326), nine digs, six blocks, and four aces as the Cardinal snapped a five-match losing streak to the Trojans.
Stanford gave up the first point of the fifth set, but Cook served three consecutive points, including two aces, to give the Cardinal a lead it would not relinquish.
The lone senior on the Stanford team is 6-foot-4 outside hitter Jake Kneller, who becomes the last link to the Cardinal's 2010 NCAA Championship team. Kneller played in 25 matches that season, mostly as a serving specialist, and had four kills and nine aces. Kneller has become a regular starter this season.
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 13 consecutive matches at Maples Pavilion -- six in 2012 and seven in 2013. It's the team's longest streak 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 53-11 (.828) at Maples since 2008.
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.
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 16-3 going into a Saturday match against fourth-place Galatasaray.
• 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 is playing a three-match pre-playoff round against 10th place VC Dresden. CV Mitteldeutschland lost the first in four and plays again Saturday.
• Evan Barry `12 is a setter for Sweden's Orkelljunga Volleybollklubb. Orkelljunga finished fourth of 10 teams in the Elitserien at 14-4 and is going into an eight-team playoff round.