April 19, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
In one of the oddities of all-conference selections, Stanford senior Erik Shoji, called "the greatest libero in collegiate volleyball history," by his coach, earned All-MPSF first-team honors for the first time.
Shoji and senior outside hitter Brad Lawson were Stanford's representatives named to the All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation first team on Thursday.
Lawson, the 2010 MPSF Player of the Year, earned first-team honors for the third time. But Shoji, a three-time AVCA first-team All-American under coach John Kosty, had never been given similar honors in votes by conference coaches - until now.
Shoji had been a three-time All-MPSF second-team honoree, but now is among the 10 players named to the first team.
Other Stanford players honored were senior setter Evan Barry and sophomore opposite Brian Cook, who were named to the second team. Also, sophomore outside hitter Steven Irvin and sophomore middle blocker Eric Mochalski were awarded honorable mention.
USC senior outside hitter Tony Ciarelli was named Player of the Year and Trojan setter Micah Christenson was named Freshman of the Year.
Shoji leads the MPSF in digs with 268 this season and continues to add to his Stanford career record. He has 1,366 for his career, believed to be the most in collegiate history, though official records have only been kept since 2009.
Lawson, who broke the school record for career service aces earlier this season, is on the verge of another Cardinal mark. He is 15 kills away from matching Evan Romero's school record for career kills in the rally-scoring era (since 2001). Lawson has 1,766, to the 1,781 for Romero, who played at Stanford from 2007-10.
All-MPSF men's volleyball team