April 19, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -
Complete Release in PDF Format
The No. 4-ranked Stanford men’s volleyball team (19-8) opens the postseason against No. 5 Long Beach State (14-13) in the first round of the eight-team Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament. Stanford, the third seed, begins defense of its MPSF and NCAA tournament titles with a difficult opponent, playing a sixth-seeded team that it hasn’t beaten this season. The winner advances to the semifinals against No. 2 seeded BYU or No. 7 UC Santa Barbara at the site of the tournament’s highest remaining seed. The tournament champion receives an automatic berth in the four-team NCAA tournament in State College, Pa. (May 5-7), with the only at-large bid is likely to come from the MPSF as well.
• Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students/youth/seniors. All seating is general admission. Tickets can be purchased beginning on Wednesday morning at the Stanford Stadium Ticket Office (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or on game day at Maples Pavilion beginning at 5 p.m. Gates will open at 6 p.m.
• The match will be video streamed live and available free on gostanford.com. Look for the links on the schedule or calendar pages, or look for “All-Access” on the Multimedia pull-down menu.
• To follow the match through a play-by-play account with updated stats, look for the Gametracker links on gostanford.com.
The MPSF Tournament
Here are the pairings, with seeds, for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament, which should determine two slots -- one automatic, one at-large -- for the four-team NCAA tournament on May 5-7 in State College, Pa.
• April 23: MPSF Quarterfinals at home sites
• April 28: Semifinals at highest remaining seed
Match 1: No. 8 UCLA (16-14) at No. 1 USC (21-2)
Match 2: No. 5 Hawai’i (15-12) at No. 4 UC Irvine (18-11)
Match 3: No. 6 Long Beach State (14-13) at No. 3 Stanford (19-8)
Match 4: No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (14-14) at No. 2 BYU (20-7)
Match 5: Winners of matches 1 and 2
Match 6: Winners of matches 3 and 4
• April 30: Championship at semifinal site
Match 7: Semifinal winners of matches 5 and 6
With its No. 3 seed already secure, Stanford completed the regular season with a 25-23, 26-28, 25-20, 25-16 victory over No. 14 Pacific in Stockton. Brad Lawson had 23 kills and a .556 hitting percentage. Setter Evan Barry had a career-high 63 kills, which was one short of the Stanford record for a four-set match.
Saturday’s Opponent: Long Beach State
The 49ers (14-13 overall) are on the upswing during an up-and-down season. Long Beach won its final two conference matches to finish sixth in the MPSF with a 12-10 record. But, except for a January four-match stretch, Long Beach hasn’t won more than two in a row at any point this season. The 49ers have won one NCAA title (1991) and reached the final three other times. They also have won four MPSF conference or division titles, but have never won the MPSF tournament.
The Long Beach State Series
Long Beach State has played its best against Stanford this season. The 49ers routed visiting Stanford, 25-21, 25-21, 25-13 on Jan. 29, and rallied from a 2-1 deficit in sets to beat the Cardinal, 25-19, 22-25, 20-25, 25-19, 15-12 at Maples Pavilion on March 26. In the latter, 49er middles Antwain Aguillard, Ryan Meehan, and Jeff Ornee combined for 33 kills on 53 attacks without an error, for a .623 hitting percentage.
Past Postseason Matchup
1993 MPSF Tournament (round robin in Irvine):
Long Beach State d. Stanford, 15-13, 10-15, 15-9, 15-11
Winningest Senior Class
With Stanford’s victory over Pacific on Saturday, the Cardinal class of 2011 became the winningest class in program history, with a four-year record of 81-36 (.692). The class of Ian Connolly, Garrett Dobbs, Charley Henrikson, Jordan Inafuku, Max Halvorson, and Spencer McLachlin broke the mark of 80 victories.
Here are the top three Stanford volleyball classes, by number of victories:
Class of 2011: 81-36 (.692)
Class of 1995: 80-26 (.755); only senior, Brian Garrett.
Class of 1997: 80-28 (.741); top four-year seniors: Matt Fuerbringer, Stewart Chong
Stanford in National Rankings
Team (MPSF in parentheses)
AVCA Top 15: No. 4
Volleyball Magazine: No. 3
Assists per set: 2nd, 12.77 (2nd)
Digs per set: 3rd, 9.30 (2nd)
Hitting Percentage: 9th, .315 (6th)
Kills per set: 8th, 13.41 (6th)
Win-Loss percentage: 7th .704
Stanford in National Rankings
Individual (MPSF rankings in parentheses)
Assists per set: Evan Barry, 4th, 11.54 (3rd)
Blocks per set: Gus Ellis, 29th, 0.95
Digs per set: Erik Shoji, 3rd, 2.60 (2nd)
Hitting percentage: Brad Lawson, 19th, .325
Spencer McLachlin, 27th, .309
Kills per set: Brad Lawson, 7th, 4.28 (3rd)
Spencer McLachlin, 17th, 3.79 (9th)