March 26, 2010
LA JOLLA, Calif. -
Complete Release in PDF Format
The No. 1 Stanford men’s volleyball team returns to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play for the first time in three weeks, when it plays at No. 14 UC San Diego (7-14 overall, 3-11 MPSF) on Friday and No. 9 Long Beach State (11-10, 7-7) on Saturday. Stanford (13-4, 10-4) shares the conference lead with Pepperdine with eight matches remaining. The race is so tight that five teams are within one game of first place. Stanford is playing its first conference matches since it took over the AVCA No. 1 ranking on March 8, just before a two-week break for winter quarter final exams. The Cardinal is on a six-match winning streak and has won 10 of its past 11.
Follow the Action
Links to live stats for both matches the UC San Diego and Long Beach State matches can be found on gostanford.com. Look for the links on gostanford.com. They can be found on the Calendar of Events on the main page, or the men’s volleyball schedule page. There will be no streaming video for either.
Stanford has held the No. 1 ranking since March 8, playing only one match in between. That was a sweep over visiting California Baptist, the NAIA’s No. 1 team, on March 20. This is Stanford’s first No. 1 ranking since 2001, and it marks the latest in the season the Cardinal has been No. 1 since winning the 1997 NCAA title.
Al Roderigues: 1942-2010
Record Setters and Contenders
Stanford lost a passionate and enthusiastic coach, and a great friend, on Friday morning with the passing of Al Roderigues, an assistant coach with the men’s volleyball team since 1992, from cancer. Roderigues. 67, had assisted on three conference championship teams for Stanford, as well as the Cardinal’s 1997 national championship team. But more than that, he has left a legacy as an inspiration.
• 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 365 and Romero No. 6 at 363.
• Kawika Shoji
broke the school rally-scoring era career digs record on Saturday. Shoji has 713, passing fellow setter Kevin Hansen’s 711. However, Shoji’s mark is likely to be short-lived. His sophomore brother Erik Shoji
, a libero, moved into the No. 3 spot Saturday with 644.
• 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
• 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.
Friday’s Opponent: UC San Diego
Victories over current No. 2 Pepperdine and No. 7 UCLA have highlighted the Tritons’ season. UC San Diego is playing for the first time in 13 days, following a split against visiting Lewis, currently No. 15, in the Tritons’ last outings. UCSD is a longshot for the eighth and final spot in the MPSF Tournament, needing to pass two teams and make up a four-game deficit. Frank Fritsch, out of nearby Los Gatos High School, leads the Tritons in kills, with 253 for an average of 3.61 per set.
The UCSD Series
Stanford and UCSD met on March 5 at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion, with Stanford winning 30-18, 30-20, 28-30, 30-20 and moving into first place in the MPSF for the first time. Brad Lawson had a match-high 18 kills with only two attacking errors on way to hitting .552 to lead the Cardinal. Stanford is 35-2 all-time against UC San Diego and has a seven-match winning streak in the series, with UCSD’s last victory coming April 14, 2006, in La Jolla. In their most recent meeting in La Jolla, Stanford libero Erik Shoji accomplished his kick-assist that was No. 2 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Plays of the Day.
Saturday’s Opponent: Long Beach State
The No. 9 49ers have lost their past three MPSF matches after a winning streak of three. They were swept in a two-match series at Hawai’i last weekend to drop to a tie for seventh in the conference race, but is only a half-game out of ninth, and a non-playoff spot for the MPSF Tournament. Long Beach State’s Dean Bittner had 38 kills in a five-set loss to UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 12, the highest total in the nation this year. Bittner needs 68 kills to move into second on the 49ers’ all-time list.
The Long Beach State Series
Stanford delivered a 30-22, 30-25, 26-30, 30-21 victory over Long Beach State in the most recent MPSF match Stanford has played, March 6 at Maples Pavilion. Spencer McLachlin had 21 kills for the Cardinal, which used the victory to vault to a No. 1 ranking two days later. Stanford has a four-match winning streak over Long Beach. In 2009, they played two a pair of dramatic five-set decisions, with Stanford winning both.
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).