Stanford sophomore Brad Lawson was named Player of the Year by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, the dominant conference in collegiate men's volleyball, and Stanford coach John Kosty earned his first Coach of the Year honor.
In addition, Stanford's Kawika Shoji earned all-conference recognition for the fourth time while being named to the first team for the second consecutive year.
Altogether, four Cardinal players earned All-MPSF honors. Sophomore libero Erik Shoji and senior opposite hitter Evan Romero, Stanford's career kills leader in the rally-scoring era, were named to the second team.
Lawson, an outside hitter, has had a breakout season while leading Stanford to a No. 1 ranking and the MPSF title. Lawson emerged as one of the most dangerous hitters in the college game and one of the best all-around players. Lawson led the Cardinal in kills per game (430, 4.78), service aces (33, 0.37), was third in digs (137, 1.52), fourth in assists (40, 0.44), and fifth in blocks (0.53).
But more than numbers, Lawson was deadly at the net, hitting with great velocity and precision. His backrow attacks were unparalleled and his defensive and passing skills were enough to absorb an opponent's best shot and set in motion the same for Stanford. Lawson, who has started every match in his two seasons, hit .384 and was perhaps Stanford's most consistent player.
In John Kosty's four seasons as head coach, Stanford's teams have indeed gone from "Worst to First," achieving the goal put forth by the late Al Roderigues, a longtime Stanford assistant, in 2007 when the team struggled through a 3-25 season. Over the past four years, the Cardinal has gone from last place in the MPSF to its first conference championship since 1997.