Complete Release in PDF Format April 23, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. -
The Stanford men's volleyball team earned first-round homecourt advantage for the eight-team Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament and will play USC on Saturday (7 p.m.) at Maples Pavilion. Stanford (21-10) clinched the No. 4 seed on the final night of the regular season, with help from Hawaii's upset of USC, dropping the Trojans (17-10) into the No. 5 position. This marks the first home postseason match for Stanford since 2003 and first at Maples Pavilion since 1995.
On the Internet
Live streaming video and live stats are available for the match.. The free webcasts can be found on gostanford.com. The "Watch" link can be found next to the match listing in the Calendar of Events on the main page or the men's volleyball page. Also, the video link can be accessed from the Tournament Central page.
Live stats are available via Gametracker. The link can also can be found on the Calendar of Events on gostanford.com.
There are no advanced ticket sales. Instead, tickets can be purchased on a walk-up basis. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students. However, the first 250 students will be admitted free.
The MPSF Tournament
Only the champion of the eight-team MPSF tournament receives an automatic berth to the four-team NCAA tournament, though the single at-large team will most likely come from the conference as well. For Stanford and USC, because of their fourth- and fifth-place conference finishes, it's unlikely that anything short of a tournament championship will get them into the NCAA's.
Here are the pairings for the first round, including seedings. All matches will be played Saturday, at 7 p.m.:
First round (Saturday, 7 p.m.)
No. 5 USC (17-10) at No. 4 Stanford (21-10)
No. 8 UCLA (14-15) at No. 1 UC Irvine (24-4)
No. 6 BYU (17-12) at No. 3 Cal State Northridge (23-6)
No. 7 Long Beach State (14-13) at No. 2 Pepperdine (20-4)
Semifinals (Thursday, April 30)
At site of highest remaining seed
USC-Stanford winner vs. UCLA-UC Irvine winner
BYU-Cal State Northridge winner vs. Long Beach State-Pepperdine winner
Championship Final (Saturday, May 2)
At semifinal site
Strength of Schedule
The MPSF can claim to be the strongest volleyball conference in the country, and perhaps in any collegiate sport, with 11 of its 12 teams ranked among the Bison/AVCA Top 15: 1, UC Irvine; 2, Cal State Northridge; 3, Pepperdine; 4, Stanford; 5, BYU; 7, USC; 8, Long Beach State; 9, UCLA; 10, UC San Diego; 13, Hawai'i; 15, UC Santa Barbara.
Saturday's Opponent: USC
The Trojans needed to win at Hawai'i in their season finale to earn the No. 4 seed and a home match in the first round of the MPSF tournament, but were upset by the 10th-place Warriors 30-32, 33-31, 38-36, 30-27, and were displaced by Stanford for that spot. Murphy Troy leads USC with 4.94 kills per set. At 17-10 and 13-9, the Trojans have their highest overall and conference victory totals since 2000. Assistant coach Brad Keller is the brother of Stanford senior libero Jarod Keller.
The USC Series
USC swept the Cardinal in both meetings this year, hitting a combined .347 to Stanford's .231. Murphy Troy had 35 total kills for a .465 hitting percentage. Overall, USC holds a 54-25 all-time series lead. The teams last played in the postseason in the 1989 NCAA West Regional, which Stanford won.
Stanford's Postseason History
The Cardinal has reached the MPSF tournament in 13 out of 17 years, being swept in the first round at Cal State Northridge last season. Stanford hasn't won in the postseason since beating UCLA for the 1997 national championship. Stanford also beat the Bruins in the 1997 MPSF final, for its most recent conference victory. Since then, Stanford has lost seven consecutive matches in MPSF tournament play. Overall, Stanford is 5-12 in the MPSF postseason since the conference was established in 1993.
Stanford at Home
This is Stanford's first home playoff match since April 19, 2003, when the Cardinal lost in four to UC Irvine at Burnham Pavilion. Stanford's last home playoff victory came on April 19, 1997, when it swept Pepperdine in the MPSF first round at Burnham. Stanford's last playoff at Maples was in 1995, when Matt Fuerbringer's 47 kills weren't enough to beat BYU in the MPSF first round. Stanford's last Maples playoff victories were first-round round-robin victories over BYU and Pepperdine in 1994.