Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - May 28, 2010

Sports Shorts

TOP COACH . . . Stanford's John Kosty was named the AVCA Division I-II National Men's Volleyball Coach of the Year on Wednesday. In his fourth season as head coach, Kosty guided Stanford to a 24-6 record and the program's first national championship since 1997. The Cardinal swept Penn State in the NCAA final at Maples Pavilion. "This honor is a great reflection on our staff and how hard we all have worked throughout this entire season to accomplish what have," Kosty said. "It's great recognition for our staff and our program." In a rugged Mountain Pacific Sports Federation season, which featured 11 conference teams ranked among the nation's final top 15 and five teams having a shot at the regular-season title going into the season's final day, Stanford needed a bit of help to pull clear of the field. The Cardinal did, igniting an impressive postseason run during which it pulled off some rare feats. Stanford became the first team since 2005 to pull off the triple of winning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season and tournament titles, and the NCAA tournament. Stanford became the first team since 1993 and the third ever to close out an NCAA championship season by winning 14 consecutive sets. Stanford won a postseason match for the first time since 1997 and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since that season. Stanford improved by 21 victories in three years. Stanford went 3-25 and finished last in the MPSF during Kosty's first season as head coach, prompting a rallying cry of "worst to first" that the class of 2010 drew from during those subsequent seasons. The Cardinal rebounded to a 17-11 record in 2008 and 21-11 in 2009 before emerging as the best team in the country. Kosty is the second Stanford coach to receive National Coach of the Year honors, following Ruben Nieves, who coached the Cardinal to the 1997 NCAA title and earned the award in 1992 and 1997.

<ON THE LINKS . . . Menlo School junior golfer Patrick Grimes of Palo Alto qualified for the state championships after shooting a 4-under-par 68 to finish in fourth place at the 2010 NCGA/CIF NorCal Championships on Monday at the Legends West course at Diablo Grande resort in Patterson. Grimes was among the individual qualifiers for the state finals on June 8 at the Santa Maria Country Club with his fine round that saw him shoot a 3-under 33 on the front nine. He birdied the 361-yard par 4 first hole and added a birdie on the 525-yard par-5 second. He closed his front nine with a birdie on the 412-yard par-4 ninth. On the back nine, Grimes birdied the 528-yard par-5 11th and the 499-yard par-5 15th. He gave a stroke back immediately with a bogey on the 175-yard par-3 16th before getting pars on the final two holes. He finished with five birdies, 12 pars and the lone bogey.

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