April 29, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - The collegiate careers are over for members of the winningest class in Stanford men's volleyball history, after the Cardinal failed to receive an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament.
On Sunday, the Cardinal was passed over for the lone at-large bid into the four-team NCAA event, which takes place May 3-5. This came a day after Stanford (22-7) failed to secure a bid by losing to UC Irvine in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament championship on Saturday night.
m USC was awarded the bid, joining UCI, Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association champion Penn State, and Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association champion Lewis at USC's Galen Center.
Despite losing in the MPSF semifinals to UCI, USC had two big advantages over Stanford: The Trojans won the MPSF regular-season title while Stanford tied for second, and USC swept the two-match season series with the Cardinal.
The first semifinal will be No. 1-seeded UC Irvine (24-5) against No. 4 Penn State (23-5) at 6 p.m. Thursday, followed by No. 2 USC (23-5) against No. 3 Lewis (26-6) at 8 p.m.
The end of the season closes the books for seven Stanford seniors, who won more matches -- 86 -- than any other class in program history. The class of Evan Barry, Gus Ellis, Charley Henrikson, Dylan Kordic, Brad Lawson, Erik Shoji, and Jake Vandermeer finished 86-33, for a four-year career winning percentage of .723.
Shoji ended his career with four first-team All-America honors, the most ever awarded by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Lawson had three such honors, one of only four players in Stanford history with at least that many. And Barry became Stanford's 23rd All-America after receiving second-team honors this year.
Also, the end of the season closes the books on these Stanford career records:
• Lawson completes his career with 1,828 kills, and 128 service aces. Each total is the most in the rally-scoring era.
• Ellis finishes with 392 blocks, another rally-scoring era record, and matches the career mark of 1.10 blocks per set by Paul Bocage (2001-03).
• Shoji finishes with 1,402 digs, a Stanford all-era record and the most in NCAA history. He also breaks the all-era career mark for digs per set, with 3.16, breaking the mark of 2.67 by David Vogel (2002-05).