March 10, 2000
Tues., March 21 at California 7:00 p.m.
Fri., March 24 at Hawaii 7:00 p.m.
Sat., March 25 at Hawaii 7:00 p.m.
Match Recap: Stanford recorded two victories last week, defeating a club team from California at home and out of conference opponent UC Santa Cruz on the road. The Cardinal defeated the Golden Bears in three games (15-11, 15-12, 15-9) and squashed the Banana Slugs 15-9, 15-6, 15-8. Junior Curtis Graham (Fair Oaks, CA) led the Cardinal with a career-high 18 kills in both matches. Versus the Golden Bears, freshman Seth Ring (Bend, OR) recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 15 digs and senior Josh Palacios (Manhattan Beach, CA) made his 2000 debut at the libero position with 13 digs. Palacios had missed the entire season after under going shoulder surgery.
National Statistics: Freshman middle blocker Curt Toppel (Pacific Palisades, CA) continues to lead the nation in kills-per game average at 8.39. Toppel, who has led the nation for five weeks, has compiled 369 kills in 44 games for the Cardinal. Sophomore outside hitter Marcus Skacel (Laguna Niguel, CA) remains No. 10 in digs-per game average at 2.57 by recording 121 digs in 47 games. For the fourth week in a row, junior setter Josh Lukens (San Diego, CA) made a move in the NCAA statistics. Lukens is now tied for second in assists-per game with an 18.75 average on 994 assists in 53 games. Lukens trails Chris Pitzak of BYU , who has a 19.23 average. The Cardinal coaching staff held Toppel and Skacel out of matches versus California and UC Santa Cruz.
Playoff Race: With only eight teams eligible to qualify for the MPSF tournament, Stanford currently sits in a position to grab one of three automatic bids given to the the top three teams in each division. Stanford (7-5 MPSF) currently sits in third place in the MPSF Pacific Division, ahead of Hawaii's 5-4 conference record. Stanford will play a key double header against Hawaii on March 24-25 in Honolulu. Pacific, with a 6-8 conference mark, remains in striking distance of an at-large bid, as does Loyola Marymount (6-6) in the Mountain Division.
Ranking Report: Stanford remained in the USA Today/AVCA Top 15 for the second consecutive week as American Volleyball Coaches Association voters selected the Cardinal No. 14. Stanford received 41 votes in the Feb. 7 poll, three more than the previous week. Stanford had opened the season ranked No. 14, climbed to a season-high No. 12 on Jan. 18., before dropping out of the rankings over a three week period. Pepperdine remains in the No. 1 spot, receiving 14 first place votes and 238 points.
Quick Notes: Junior setter Josh Lukens reached the 2,000 assist milestone against San Diego State on January 16 and is 80 assists shy of becoming just the third Cardinal to reach the 3,000 career assist plateau... Lukens has moved into third on the all-time assist list with 2,920 assists, trailing Canyon Ceman's (1991-94) 5,912... If the season ended today, Curt Toppel would set a new Cardinal single-season record for kills-per game (8.39), breaking David Goss' 1992 record of 7.52... Stanford has a record of 3-2 when a match goes four games and 5-5 in matches that last only three games... In the fourth game, the Cardinal has out-scored its opponents 68-53 and have a 188-160 advantage in the third game.