March 16, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. -
Complete Release in PDF Format
The Stanford men’s volleyball team plays for the first time as the No. 1 team in the nation. Stanford earned the top spot when the AVCA coaches’ poll was released on March 8, but hasn’t played since because of Dead Week and finals. The Cardinal (12-4) will have its only practice of the week, on Friday, before taking on NAIA No. 1 Cal Baptist (13-5) on Saturday at Burnham Pavilion at 7 p.m. Stanford, which resumes conference play March 26, is tied with Pepperdine (each 10-4) for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation lead.
Because of the NCAA women's basketball first round games, a softball tournament at the Smith Family Stadium, and an afternoon baseball game at Maples Pavilion, finding parking may be difficult. However, those attending the men's volleyball match are advised to park at Wilbur Hall. Because school is out, there should be plenty of room, and it is free. The Wilbur Hall address is 658 Escondido Road and the parking lot is adjacent to the building.
Follow the Action
The match will be streamed live on gostanford.com. Tim Swartz will provide the play by play. There is a fee for the All-Access webcast, which can be found through the “Watch” link on the Calendar of Events on the main page, or on the men’s volleyball schedule page.
National-Leading Hitting Percentage
Stanford leads the country in two team stastitical categories. The Cardinal leads in assists per game (15.78) and hitting percentage (.360). Success in both categories can be largely attributed to the play of senior All-American setter Kawika Shoji.
Stanford brothers Kawika and Erik Shoji
are featured on the March/April cover of Volleyball Magazine, under the headline: “The Year of the Shoji.” Stories on the family and Stanford’s Hawaiian connection are featured in the magazine.
Record Setters and Contenders
• Kawika Shoji broke the Stanford record for career service aces in the Cardinal’s most recent match. He has 92 in the rally-scoring era (since 2001) to break the mark of 91 held by U.S. national team setter Kevin Hansen (2002-05).
• Kawika Shoji is closing in on the school rally-scoring era career digs record. Shoji has 707 and ranks second to Kevin Hansen’s 711. However, even if Kawika Shoji sets the mark, it’s likely to be short-lived. His sophomore brother Erik Shoji has 641 to rank No. 4.
• Senior middle blocker Garrett Werner broke the Stanford record for career blocks on Feb. 20 at USC. Werner now has 301 total blocks, beating the mark of 289 held by Chris Ahfeldt (2003-06) for the rally-scoring era (since 2001).
• Evan Romero continues to extend his school career record for kills in the rally-scoring era. He now has 1,538 to add to the mark he set last year.
• Kawika Shoji and Evan Romero are possibilities to break the Stanford career record for sets played, including both scoring eras. Kevin Hansen has the mark of 392, with Shoji at No. 5 with 362 and Romero No. 6 at 360.
Stanford leads the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in two individual and three team categories, in the latest conference rankings (March 1) Stanford’s leading individuals are: Brad Lawson, service aces pg (23, 0.48); Erik Shoji, digs pg (170, 3.47)
As a team, Stanford leads the MPSF in: Hitting percentage: .353 (860-237-1,763); Kills: 16.54 per game (860 total); Assists: 15.87 pg (825)
Saturday’s Opponent: California Baptist
The Lancers of Riverside are the NAIA’s top-ranked team, holding a 13-5 record, including victories over Long Beach State, UCLA, and Pepperdine -- NCAA teams currently ranked No. 8, No. 2 and No. 9, respectively. Cal Baptist has won six NAIA Invitational titles, finishing second in 2009. The team is 3-3 in matches against Mountain Pacific Sports Federation teams, with the Stanford match, two against BYU, and another against UC San Diego still remaining on its schedule. The Lancers are led by Adiel Tiedjop, a senior outside hitter from Cameroon and Levi Cabral, a sophomore outside/opposite hitter from Brazil. The Stanford match will be the third in as many nights for the Lancers, which play New York University on Thursday, and UC Santa Cruz on Friday, both at UCSC.
The Cal Baptist Series
This will be Stanford’s second-ever match against Cal Baptist. The teams met last year (March 21) at the same point in the season, with Cal Baptist winning 30-27, 30-26, 30-28, behind Adiel Tiedjop’s 23 kills, 11 digs and .459 hitting. Stanford, ranked No. 6 at the time, had not played in two weeks and had not practiced for a week, but the Lancers still earned a huge victory for their program.
Stanford is No. 1 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I-II Coaches Top 15. This is Stanford’s first No. 1 ranking since Feb. 6, 2001, when the Cardinal held the spot for only a week. The last time Stanford was No. 1 this late in the season was in 1997 when the Cardinal won the national championship to earn the final No. 1 ranking.
Stanford sophomore outside hitter Brad Lawson has twice been selected as the AVCA’s National Player of the Week this season -- on Feb. 16 and March 8. In Stanford’s most recent matches, Lawson hit .453 overall in a pair of four-set victories over No. 14 UC San Diego (18 kills, .552) and No. 6 Long Beach State (16 kills, .371) at Maples Pavilion. Lawson combined for 34 kills and only five errors in 64 attacks. He also had 13 digs, five assists, three blocks, and two service aces. Lawson is second in the nation in kills per game (5.16) and sixth in aces per game (0.45).
The MPSF Race
Stanford and Pepperdine share the lead in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with 10-4 records. In addition, Cal State Northridge (11-6) is only a half-game back and seven teams are within two games of first. Stanford must play six of its final eight MPSF matches on the road. In contrast, Pepperdine plays half its eight matches at home and Cal State Northridge plays four its final six at home. First place guarantees homecourt advantage for the MPSF Tournament, which determines the MPSF’s only automatic berth in the NCAA playoffs.