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(Photo: Mike Rasay,
Stanford Travels to Pepperdine
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 03/03/2016

THIS WEEK: The No. 3 Stanford men’s volleyball team (14-2, 12-2) travels to No. 10 Pepperdine (8-5, 7-5 MPSF) for its lone match of the week, Sunday, March 6 at 5 p.m. PT.

CATCH THE CARDINAL: Live stat and live stream links for Sunday’s match can be found on the men’s volleyball schedule page on

SOCIAL MEDIA: Fans will have access to unique behind-the-scenes content on the team this season by liking Stanford Men’s Volleyball on Facebook or following the team on Twitter (@StanfordMVB) and Instagram (@therealstanfordmvb).

SCOUTING PEPPERDINE: Pepperdine is currently in sixth place in the MPSF and is coming off a five-set win at UC San Diego on Wednesday. The Waves are the best blocking team in the NCAA (3.26 bps), and rank in the top half of the MPSF in aces (1.43) and opponent hitting percentage (.242). Pepperdine is led by redshirt senior Matt Tarantino, who is fifth in the MPSF with 4.05 points and seventh with 3.40 kills per set. Sophomore Mitchell Penning is hitting .478 on the year and ranks in the top 10 in the conference with 1.06 blocks per set. Senior Tommy Carmody leads the nation with 1.79 blocks per set.

ROAD WARRIORS: Sanford played eight of its first 10 matches on the road this year. The Cardinal is 8-2 in its road matches in 2016 compared to a 2-10 mark in matches away from The Farm last season.

LAST TIME OUT: Stanford pushed its season-best winning streak to seven matches, sweeping UC San Diego and then-No. 13 UC Irvine on the road. Redshirt sophomore Kevin Rakestraw matched his career-high with 11 kills on 14 errorless swings against the Tritons, hitting .786. Versus the Anteaters, Stanford led 2-0, but found itself down 15-7 in the third set. The Cardinal outscored UCI 20-10 down the stretch to post its eighth sweep of the year. Senior James Shaw finished with his second double-double of the season (26 assists, 10 digs) in the win.

IN THE POLL: Stanford remained at No. 3 in the top-15 of the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Coaches Poll this week. It marks Stanford’s highest ranking since the 2014 season. The Cardinal is one of 10 MPSF squads ranked in the top 15.

HOT START: Stanford (14-2) has already surpassed its win total from a season ago (10) with eight regular season matches left on the schedule. Currently in a tie for first place in the MPSF, the Cardinal has already clinched a MPSF postseason berth.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: Stanford ranks second in the MPSF in hitting percentage (.351), kills (13.12) and aces (1.52). The Cardinal is also third in opponent hitting percentage (.222) and fourth in assists (12.07).

SENIOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Stanford’s four seniors - Madison Hayden, Conrad Kaminski, James Shaw and Alex Stephanus - account for 54 percent of the team’s kills this season. Hayden leads the way, ranking fourth in the MPSF with 3.58 kills per set and 4.15 points per set. Kaminski is fifth in the conference with a .491 attack percentage, while Shaw is third in assists (10.22) and seventh in aces (0.40).

FROM THE JUMP: Stanford has won all 14 of its opening sets this season. The Cardinal is 8-0 when winning the first two sets of the match, and 12-0 when hitting above .300.

DEFENSIVE-MINDED: As a team, Stanford ranks second in the MPSF with 8.93 digs per set, recording a season-high 50 at IPFW on Jan. 9. Sophomore libero Evan Enriques paces the conference with 2.65 digs per set. The Cardinal also ranks fourth in blocks per set as a team (2.59). Senior Conrad Kaminski is third in the MPSF with 1.36 blocks per set, totaling a season-high nine at BYU on Jan. 16 and versus Hawai’i on Feb. 13.

RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS: Stanford has two returning All-Americans on its roster in 2016, including middle blocker Conrad Kaminski (two-time AVCA honorable mention) and setter James Shaw (AVCA Second Team in 2014, honorable mention in 2013). Kaminski entered this year hitting .453 for his career and averaging 1.63 kills and 0.97 blocks per set. Shaw, who missed half of last season due to injuries, came into the season posting 10.20 assists per set for his career, while also notching 1.55 digs and 0.93 kills per set.

ALL-CENTURY TEAM: Three former Cardinal players were named to the Pac-12 All-Century Team, including middle blocker Scott Fortune (1985-87, 89), outside hitter Mike Lambert (1993-95, 97) and libero Erik Shoji (2009-12). UCLA’s Karch Kiraly and Al Scates were named the Player and Coach of the Century, respectively.

2015 RECAP: After losing five seniors, including three All-Americans, to graduation last season the 2015 Cardinal knew it would be a transition year with several players taking the court in new roles. Couple that with nagging injuries to All-America setter James Shaw, which kept him out more than half the season, and Stanford found itself fighting adversity and searching for its identity throughout the season. With a final record of 10-18 and 7-15 in the MPSF (9th), Stanford missed the postseason for the first time since 2007, head coach John Kosty’s inaugural year at the helm of the program.

HEAD COACH JOHN KOSTY: Stanford head coach John Kosty is in his 10th season at the helm of the Cardinal program and his 26th overall on staff. He is 169-111 in his career and has guided Stanford to the 2010 NCAA national championship and the 2014 NCAA finals. The Cardinal has produced a first team AVCA All-America selection in seven of the past eight seasons under Kosty.



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