April 3, 2007
Stanford vs. No. 1 Pepperdine - Friday, April 6 (7:00 pm)
Stanford vs. No. 14 USC - Saturday, April 7 (7:00 pm)
COMING UP: Stanford Men's Volleyball (3-21, 2-16 MPSF) returns to Palo Alto to face No. 1 Pepperdine (21-1, 17-1 MPSF) and No. 14 USC (10-13, 7-11 MPSF), completing their final home stand of the season. Saturday night will mark the last home game for the Cardinal, where fans will honor say goodbye to seniors Brian Lindberg and Josh Schwarzapel.
STANFORD FALLS TO NORTHRIDGE IN FOUR: Matt Ceran knocked down a team-high 17 kills (.270) while Kawika Shoji added 15 (.290) in the Cardinal's loss to the Matadors. Brandon Williams chipped in 12 kills while hitting a match-high .667. Williams also had three aces while setter Miki Groppi dished out 46 assists. Game one was close as the Cardinal trailed the Matadors 25-24 before a kill by Evan Romero tied the score for the final time at 25-25. Despite Stanford getting within one at 27-26 and 28-27 the Matadors held on 30-27. Northridge came out firing in game two as the Matadors jumped out to an 18-11 lead and never looked back. With Stanford trailing 24-19 in game three, they fought back by scoring seven straight points to take a 26-24 lead. The Cardinal led the rest of the way. A Shoji kill gave the Cardinal game three 30-28. Stanford struggled to find a rhythm in game four as Northridge rebounded to score 10 of the first 14 points. The lead eventually grew to 10 (20-10). Northridge took the game 30-22 to end the match.
CARDINAL DROP MATCH TO SANTA BARBARA: Stanford posted a .333 hitting percentage in their loss to UCSB. The squad was led by Evan Romero's 14 kills and three aces. Matt Ceran and Kawika Shoji each added 12 kills apiece. The Cardinal led the opening game as Shoji tallied the first kill of the night. UCSB quickly came to a 9-5 lead following two kills. Another kill by the Gauchos put them up 15-10. Stanford got within two points twice, once at 20-18 and again at 26-24, but a Gaucho kill and a Stanford hitting error put UCSB back up by four at 28-24. Romero tied game two 3-3 with a kill, but Santa Barbara returned the favor and put the Gauchos up for good for the rest of the game. UCSB took the game 30-26. The third game stayed within one or two points until a Gaucho kill followed by an ace to put UCSB up by four at 23-19. Stanford pulled back within two points twice, but was unable to close the gap. Santa Barbara took game three 30-26.
ABOUT THE WAVES: Pepperdine topped No. 4 UCLA, 3-1 and No. 2 UC Irvine, 3-2. The Waves lost the first set 30-28 each night before coming back to extend their win streak, which currently sits at a program-record 18 matches. Pepperdine would clinch a No. 1 seed in the MPSF Tournament with one win this weekend.
In their last meeting with the Waves on February 22, the Cardinal were swept with game scores of 30-14, 30-22, and 26-23. Stanford took an early lead in game one, but their brief success against the top-ranked team was halted by a 16-4 Waves run. The Cardinal led 3-0 for the second straight game only to see Pepperdine answer with an 8-1 run. Stanford cut the deficit to one at 11-10 off of a kill by freshman Ed Howell. However a 7-1 run by the Waves and key hitting and blocking gave Pepperdine the edge over Stanford, as they took game two 22-30. Pepperdine completed the sweep only trailing once in game three at 1-0. The Waves used a modest 3-0 run in building a five-point 15-10 lead. Hitting errors hurt the Cardinal as Pepperdine closed out the match 23-30.
Sophomore Paul Carroll currently ranks second in both kills (5.65 kpg) and aces in the MPSF. Senior Tom Hulse holds the number two spot for blocks in the conference, while sophomore Jonathan Winder ranks second in assists.
ABOUT THE TROJANS: USC dropped a pair of 3-0 home matches to UC Irvine and UCLA. Juan Figueroa recorded 29 kills for the week. The Trojans are tied with Hawaii for the last spot in the MPSF Tournament, though the Warriors hold the tiebreaker between the two teams.
In their last meeting with the Trojans on January 23, the Cardinal lost a thrilling five game match 30-28, 27-30, 30-25, 27-30, 15-5 on the road. Stanford started on top in game one, leading 26-25. After two Cardinal hitting errors and a kill by USC's Figueroa, the Trojans captured the win. The second game started again with Stanford on top, 8-3. The Cardinal kept the lead and eventually took game two, 30-27. Game three was taken by USC as they hit .300 to Stanford's .091. Another 8-3 lead in the fourth game gave the Cardinal the same results as game two, and an eventual win. The fifth game was all USC as they took a 9-1 margin and controlled the last of the game, finishing 15-5.
Juniors Juan Figueroa and Jimmy Killian rank third in the MPSF in kills (5.02 kpg) and assists respectively. Sophomore Luke Morris ranks fourth in digs for the Trojans.
UP NEXT: The Cardinal will close out their season with two matches against Hawaii on the road. They will play the Warriors on April 13 and 14.