The Stanford men's volleyball team will take the nation's No. 1 ranking into its conference home-opening weekend against Pepperdine and USC.
Stanford received eight of 16 first-place votes, with the others going to No. 2 UCLA (six votes), No. 4 UC Irvine (one) and No. 5 Penn State (one). Stanford's losses have come against UCLA and Penn State, but the Cardinal also has two road victories over No. 3 BYU.
Stanford (11-2 overall) has won seven consecutive matches -- all on the road -- as it heads into Friday's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation home opener against No. 10 Pepperdine (7-5). On Saturday, Stanford plays host to No. 6 USC (7-4). Both are at Maples Pavilion and begin at 7 p.m.
Stanford, which plays 11 of its final 13 regular-season matches at home, just concluded a 10-match road stretch that has kept the team away from home for 40 days.
Stanford (8-1 in the MPSF) is tied for UCLA (9-1) for first place in the loss column.
Stanford has been ranked as high as No. 2 this season, and this is its first No. 1 ranking since finishing on top with an NCAA championship in 2010. This is Stanford's 23rd No. 1 ranking.
Stanford moved up to No. 2 in the Associated Press poll on Monday. The Cardinal (24-1) has spent all season ranked in the top five in the nation.
Baylor (27-0) remains No. 1 while Notre Dame (25-2) trails Stanford in third, UConn is No. 4 (24-3) and Miami (24-3) is ranked No. 5.
Stanford is led by the Ogwumike sisters, both of whom are on several national player of the year watch lists. Stanford owns the longest-active home winning streak in the country at 76.
Stanford freshman Kristian Ipsen and his partner Troy Dumais finished sixth in the 3-meter synchro event to open up the World Cup in London, England. The placement earns Team USA a berth in the Olympics later this summer.
The duo was leading after two rounds but dropped to sixth following round three in a closely packed field with eventual winner, China, leading by eight points at the halfway point. Ipsen and Dumais moved up to fifth and then down to seventh prior to finishing behind medalists China, Russia and Malaysia.
Following the morning prelims, the duo was fourth -- bouncing from sixth to third prior to its fourth-place preliminary showing.
The World Cup runs through Friday for Cardinal divers with Ipsen set to compete in the 3-meter on Tuesday and Wednesday and alumnae Cassidy Krug competing on Thursday and Friday. The USA Diving team is coached by Stanford diving coach Rick Schavone.
The Olympic team will be chosen in June.
Head coach David Shaw has announced that running backs coach Mike Sanford will take on the role of recruiting coordinator for the Cardinal program, effective immediately.
"Mike Sanford is a proven recruiter who truly loves and understands Stanford University," said Shaw. "He works extremely hard and develops great relationships."
In his first year as the Cardinal's running backs coach in 2011, Sanford managed a deep and versatile rushing attack that ranked 18th nationally with a 210.6 yards per game average. The Cardinal also set a single-game record for rushing yardage when it rolled up 446 yards against Washington on Oct. 22.
Sanford also played an instrumental role in Stanford's ability to land a top-five national recruiting class earlier this month.
Prior to joining Stanford's coaching staff last year, Sanford served as quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Western Kentucky in 2010. In 2009, he worked as the tight ends and fullbacks coach at Yale, where he also served as the program's recruiting coordinator.
Stanford will begin its spring workouts on Monday, February 27th. The Cardinal and White Spring Game is set for April 14 at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.
Men's water polo
Four Cardinal players earned All-America nods from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Monday. Freshman Alex Bowen highlighted the picks by being named to the first team.
Redshirt sophomore Forrest Watkins earned a spot on the ACWPC's second team, senior Jacob Smith was named to the third team and senior Peter Sefton earned honorable mention.
Stanford finished the 2011 season 19-7 overall and ranked fourth in the country.
Bowen, named MPSF Newcomer of the Year in November, led the Cardinal with 53 goals in 2011. He became the first true freshman to lead the Cardinal in scoring since Wigo (2006) and Tony Azevedo (2001). He posted 17 multi-goal games, including 12 hat tricks. The highlight of those performances was a six-goal effort in a 10-9 overtime win over California that clinched Stanford's first SoCal Tournament title since 2002.
Watkins earned his first All-America selection thanks to a breakout season in which he scored 42 goals. One of Stanford's key offensive targets in 2011, Watkins scored seven times at the MPSF Championship and was named to the All-MPSF First Team.
Monday's announcement also marked the second All-America selection for Smith. The Coronado native scored 42 goals on the year, tied for second with Watkins. Sefton, a fellow senior, was a fixture for a Cardinal defense that ranked second in the MPSF with 6.00 goals allowed per game. He also ranked fourth on the team with a career-high 30 goals.
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