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Stanford embarks on final regular-season road trip

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    Cardinal Mission: Maintain Momentum Stanford embarks on final regular-season road trip April 3, 2009 LONG BEACH, Calif. - The No. 5 Stanford men s volleyball
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2009
      Cardinal Mission: Maintain Momentum

      Stanford embarks on final regular-season road trip

      April 3, 2009

      LONG BEACH, Calif. -
      The No. 5 Stanford men's volleyball team embarks on the final road trip
      of the regular season, armed with a six-match conference winning streak
      and the pull of momentum. The Cardinal (17-8, 10-6) has won six
      consecutive matches in the rugged Mountain Pacific Sports Federation,
      hauling itself from eighth place to sixth. Now, it faces two more Top
      10 opponents, No. 7 Long Beach State (10-12, 7-10) and No. 10 UC San
      Diego (10-12, 6-11).

      On the Internet
      Live stats for the Long Beach State
      match will be available live via Gametracker. The link can be found on
      gostanford.com by the match listing in the Calendar of Events on the
      main page or the men's volleyball page. There are no live stats
      available for the UC San Diego match.

      Another Record to Fall
      Last week, junior opposite
      hitter Evan Romero broke the school record for career kills in the
      rally-scoring era (since 2001). His total of 1,184 ranks ninth all-time
      among all Stanford hitters, no matter the era.
      However, expect another record to fall, perhaps this weekend. Freshman
      libero Erik Shoji already has the school single-season record for digs
      in the rally-scoring era (340), but now is also closing in on the
      all-time single-season mark, no matter the era. The record is held by
      three-time U.S. Olympian Scott Fortune, who had 379 in 1986. Shoji
      could break the mark this weekend, but more likely will do it at home
      during its pair of home matches against BYU on April 10-11.

      Top liberos square off
      Erik Shoji and his Long Beach
      State counterpart Dustin Watten lead Divisions I and II in total digs.
      Shoji has a commanding lead, with 340. Watten is No. 2 at 273. Though
      Shoji has a 67-dig lead over Watten, the 49er also has a 39-dig lead
      over third place.

      Kawika Shoji, Stanford's junior setter and
      the brother of Erik, has 169 digs and ranks No. 33 in the nation in
      digs per set (2.11). Together, the Shojis have 498 digs. There are no
      official records kept in this category, but it seems possible that the
      two have more digs than any brother tandem in a single season in NCAA
      history. In fact, no two teammates on any Division I or II team have as
      many digs as Stanford's Shoji brothers.
      Including all NCAA divisions, Erik Shoji holds a narrow lead in total
      digs, just ahead of Leandro Dueck of Division III's Philadelphia
      Biblical. Dueck has 338 (3.38). He is listed as an outside hitter.
      Road Trips
      This is the fifth trip to Southern
      California that Stanford will have taken this season. The Cardinal is
      3-6 on such trips, including 1-5 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
      matches. Stanford actually was 0-5 on MPSF SouCal trips until winning a
      five-setter at UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 21 in its most recent such
      contest. However, while the previous four trips were taken within a
      span of five weeks, this one comes with a six-week gap since the
      previous one. It is the last regular-season road trip and represents
      the only two road matches in a span of 13 contests that conclude the
      regular season for Stanford. The Cardinal has been especially strong at
      its part-time home, Maples Pavilion, with a 6-0 record there this
      season.

      Friday's Opponent: Long Beach State
      The No. 7 49ers
      (10-12, 7-10) are coached by Alan Knipe, who recently was announced as
      the new head coach for the U.S. men's national team. Knipe will finish
      the collegiate season and then coach the U.S. through the 2012 London
      Olympics before returning to Long Beach for the 2013 collegiate
      campaign. The 49ers have lost seven consecutive matches in conference
      play, and are seeking their first home MPSF victory since Feb. 13.
      The Long Beach State Series
      Stanford is 2-0 over Long
      Beach State this season, including a dramatic
      26-30,24-30,33-31,31-29,15-8 victory on Jan. 30 at Maples Pavilion.
      Stanford fought off three match points to pull out the third set and
      Brad Lawson had 27 kills and a .438 hitting percentage, as well as 11
      digs. The earlier victory came in the semifinals of the season-opening
      UCSB tournament.

      Saturday's Opponent: UC San Diego
      The No. 10 Tritons
      (10-12, 6-11) are close to achieving their first winning season in
      school history. Before this season, UCSD had never been ranked higher
      than No. 13 (achieved in 2004). On March 9, UCSD climbed as high as No.
      8 in the Bison/AVCA Division I-II Coaches Poll, an all-time best. The
      team's highest final ranking is No. 17 (1986), a mark the Tritons are
      certain to improve upon.
      The UC San Diego Series
      Stanford is 33-2 all-time
      against UC San Diego and has a five-match winning streak in the series,
      with UCSD's last victory coming April 14, 2006, in La Jolla.
      Playoff Position
      The jockeying for prime MPSF
      tournament seeds has begun in earnest with Stanford among a cluster of
      four schools within one game in the loss column with three weekends of
      conference play remaining. Stanford is sixth and hopes for a top-four
      regular-season finish, which would ensure a first-round MPSF tournament
      home match.

      ---
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