The No. 3-seeded Stanford men's volleyball team wasted little time punching its ticket to the NCAA semifinals with a 25-14, 25-16, 25-15 sweep over No. 6 seed Erskine, Tuesday, in the NCAA play-in match at Gentile Arena in Chicago, Ill.
"We are excited to earn the right to play in the Final Four," Cardinal coach John Kosty said. "Erskine is a solid team. They run their program well and they fought hard. Their conference is getting better and better, and we are happy that we had the opportunity to play them tonight."
The Cardinal (23-8) hit .423 and registered 13 team blocks, while holding the undersized Flying Fleet (21-7) to a .043 clip.
"I thought our team did a really nice job of staying focused and playing at a high level the entire match," said Kosty.
Sophomore setter James Shaw guided the Cardinal offense with 32 assists. The son of former Stanford volleyball coach Don Shaw, also registered five digs and five blocks in the win. Redshirt junior libero Grant Delgado notched a match-high 11 digs.
Senior outside hitter Brian Cook led the team with 12 kills on a .526 hitting percentage.
Senior Steven Irvin added nine kills, six digs and three blocks, while senior opposite Eric Mochalski pitched in with seven kills on a .429 attack percentage and seven digs.
"We just wanted to play Stanford volleyball tonight," said Irvin. "We had to serve and pass well and the offense would take care of itself."
Stanford also received strong contributions from its middles. Sophomore Conrad Kaminski had four kills on six swings to go with a match-best six blocks. Junior Spencer Haly finished with two kills and three blocks in two sets, while senior Denny Falls had two kills and three blocks in the third set.
Stanford reaches the NCAA Final Four for the first time since 2010, when it won the program's second NCAA title. The Cardinal will meet No. 2 seed BYU in the national semifinal on Thursday at 4 p.m. PT in Chicago.
Logan James, in his first start since last April 13 against Washington, threw four scoreless innings, Chris Castellanos recorded his first career save and Stanford edged host Pacific, 3-2, in a nonconference game Tuesday night.
The Cardinal (19-19) travels to defending national champion UCLA to begin a three-game series Friday at 6 p.m.
Alex Blandino doubled home a run in the first and Tommy Edman added a two-run single in the sixth in support of another top pitching effort.
James was roughed up a little bit in his previous two appearances, allowing a combined three runs on two hits, five walks and four wild pitches over two innings.
Against the Tigers, James allowed one hit, struck out five and did not walk a batter.
Chris Viall worked 2 1/3 innings before handing the ball off to Castellanos.