Stanford men are closing in on a MPSF volleyall playoff berth

Steven Irvin and Eric Mochalski each recorded 12 kills and the fourth-ranked Stanford men's volleyball team beat visiting Pacific, 25-17, 25-18, 25-21, Thursday at Maples Pavilion in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match.

Brian Cook added 11 kills for the Cardinal (14-7, 17-7), which hosts Cal Baptist at 7 p.m. Friday with a chance to clinch a spot in the MPSF playoffs.

Stanford, winners of eight straight, moved into a tie for third place with UC Santa Barbara, which won at Long Beach State. The Cardinal and Gauchos split their season series, with each winning at home.

While Stanford is in good shape for the MPSF playoffs, only BYU has clinched a spot for postseason action. The Cougars clinched a tie for the regular-season title with four matches to play and can clinch the overall title with a win at Hawaii on Friday.

The Cardinal will finish the regular season with matches at UC Irvine and UC San Diego next weekend with a chance to finish second.

Stanford, third in the nation in hitting percentage, recorded a .359 attack percentage against the Tigers.

"We had a good serving and passing game tonight," Stanford sophomore middle Conrad Kaminski said. "We executed well and took care of their main weapons on defense. I think that allowed us to do what we needed to on our side of the net, and stop what they were trying to do as well. That gave us the advantage at the end of the sets."

Kaminski finished with seven kills on nine swings to hit .778. He also tallied four blocks and two digs.

Sophomore setter James Shaw had 40 assists and eight digs while directing the offense. Junior middle Spencer Haly finished with three kills and two blocks, while redshirt junior libero Grant Delgado recorded a match high 10 digs.

Stanford's five seniors, Cook, Irvin, Mochalski, Denny Falls and Scott Sakaida, will be honored after Friday's match.

"Our senior class is huge for our team in a lot of ways," said Kaminski. "Everyone who has met them knows what they mean to this team and how much they have taught us on and off the court. It will be fun to see our friends get recognized for all of that, but also it's sad that they have to go at the end of this year."

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics


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