THIS WEEK: No. 8 Stanford (4-2, 1-0 MPSF) plays host to USC (2-5, 1-3 MPSF) on Thursday, Jan. 26 and Cal Baptist (2-5, 1-3 MPSF) on Friday, Jan. 27. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. in Maples Pavilion.
CATCH THE CARDINAL: Live stats for both matches can be found on the men’s volleyball schedule page on GoStanford.com. Thursday’smatch will be televised on Pac-12 Bay Area and Pac-12 Los Angeles, while Friday’s match will be streamed online via pac-12.com.
LAST TIME OUT: Stanford opened MPSF play with a 3-1 win at then-No. 7 Pepperdine last week. The Cardinal hit .252 as a team, while holding the Waves to a .207 clip. Stanford registered a team season-high 46 digs, paced by libero Evan Enriques’ 13. Outside hitter Jordan Ewert tuned in a career-high 21 kills to lead all players, while freshman setter Paul Bischoff had career-bests in assists (45) and digs (11) for his first collegiate double-double.
SCOUTING THE TROJANS: USC has started the season 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the MPSF. The Trojans defeated Concordia (Irvine) in the season opener and knocked off then-No. 3 Long Beach State in their MPSF opener. USC is hitting .273 as a team and averaging 2.05 blocks per set. Senior outside hitter Lucas Yoder leads the team with 4.69 kills per set, ranking second in the MPSF. Stanford swept the season series against USC last year, winning both matches in four sets.
SCOUTING THE LANCERS: Cal Baptist isn 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the MPSF with wins over Lindenwood and then-No. 13 CSUN. The Lancers are hitting .226 as a team with 9.39 kills per set and 1.88 blocks per set. Senior outside hitter Luis Palos leads the team with 2.36 kills per set. Junior Kevin Vaz adds 1.73 kills on .312 hitting and a team-best 1.05 blocks per set. Sophomore libero Emmett Enriques, the younger brother of Stanford libero Evan Enriques, collects a team-best 1.71 digs per set.
IN THE POLL: Stanford moved up to No. 8 in this week’s AVCA Division I-II Men’s Coaches Poll after its win at Pepperdine last week, its highest mark of the 2017 season. The Cardinal is one of nine MPSF squads to appear in the top 15.
TOP-RANKED CLASS: Freshmen Eric Beatty (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Paul Bischoff (Wheaton, Ill.) were named AVCA First Team High School All-Americans. Stanford was one of three teams nationally with two selections to the first team. Jacob Thoenen (St. Charles, Mo.) and Eli Wopat (Santa Barbara, Calif.) earned second team honors, while Stephen Moye (El Segundo, Calif.) and Mason Tufuga (Costa Mesa, Calif.) round out the Cardinal’s freshman class, which was rated No. 1 in the nation by VolleyballMag.com.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: Stanford leads the MPSF with 1.90 service aces per set and ranks fourth in blocks per set at 2.25. The Cardinal’s aces per set mark is fourth-best in the country, while its blocks per set is 11th nationally. Individually, Kevin Rakestraw’s .569 hitting percentage leads the MPSF and is second in the nation, while sophomore Jordan Ewert’s 4.05 kills per set is sixth nationally.
OFF THE BLOCK PRESEASON RECOGNITION: Evan Enriques was the first winner of the Erik Shoji Award, given to the nation’s top libero by Off The Block after the 2016 season. The junior was named a first team preseason All-American by the site, which collected votes from head coaches around the nation. Jordan Ewert, Kevin Rakestraw, Gabriel Vega and Paul Bischoff all received votes.
HEAD COACH JOHN KOSTY: Stanford head coach John Kosty is in his 11th season at the helm of the Cardinal program and his 27th overall on staff. He is 178-117 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 eight of the past nine seasons under Kosty.