Stanford begins its pursuit of a second national title, playing host to Houston Baptist in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday at 7 p.m.
The Cardinal (17-1-1), the postseason's top overall seed and ranked second in the country, enters the tournament on a seven-game winning streak. Stanford qualified for its 18th consecutive NCAA tournament and 25th overall.
Stanford won convincingly, 4-1, last Friday at No. 21 California to secure the program's second consecutive Pac-12 title. The Cardinal has won six of the past eight conference championships and has 11 all-time – tied with UCLA for the most in conference history.
Andi Sullivan, a MAC Hermann Trophy candidate, contributed a spectacular individual effort to score the game-winning goal at Cal to secure the victory. She leads the Cardinal with single-season career highs in points (29) and goals (11), and has produced a career-best seven assists.
Sullivan, named the Pac-12 Player of the Year, will miss Friday's game due to her call-up to the senior U.S. women's national team for the second time in the past six weeks.
She is training with the team in San Jose in preparation for a pair of matchups against Romania on Thursday at Avaya Stadium in San Jose (7 p.m., ESPN2) and Nov. 13 at StubHub Center in Carson (6:30 p.m. on FS1).
The NCAA championships will also be held at Avaya Stadium.
Kyra Carusa continues to be a key generator of Stanford's offense and scored its third goal at Cal. She has contributed at least one point in 13-of-19 games this season.
Stanford's defense was outstanding at Cal, anchored by centerbacks Maddie Bauer and Alana Cook. Tegan McGrady was excellent at left fullback and was a key contributor to Stanford's offense. Carly Malatskey started on the right side and played well.
The Cardinal has scored two or more goals in 17-of-19 games this season, while limiting opponents to one goal or fewer in all but three matches.
Stanford product and Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris received the first major postseason award of his professional career when he was named AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year on Thursday.
Morris became the first Sounders player in franchise history to be named Rookie of the Year. He is the second Cardinal to earn one of the league's major postseason awards, joining three-time MLS Defender of the Year and Sounders teammate Chad Marshall.
Morris received 47 percent of the player votes and 45 percent overall, which included votes from media members and club personnel.
Morris scored a team-high 12 goals and assisted on four more in 34 appearances this year. He's also the first field player in the team's eight-year MLS history to appear in every game during the regular season.
Morris' 12 goals during the regular season were the second-most ever by an MLS rookie, and the most ever by a U.S.-born rookie.
He also set a MLS rookie record with six game-winning goals and finished second overall in the category behind New York Red Bulls forward and Budweiser Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Morris was just the fifth rookie to record double-digit goals and became the first American to do so since Pat Noonan in 2003.
Morris is the third straight forward to win the award and sixth overall in the award's 21-year history, and he's the first American to win since 2013.
He's also the second homegrown player to win the award, joining Andy Najar, who claimed the prize while he was with D.C. United in 2010.
Stanford coach John Kosty and his staff are thrilled to announce the signing of four to National Letters of Intent on behalf of the men's volleyball program.
Joining the Stanford family are Leo Henken, Jaylen Jasper, Kyler Presho-Hartung, and JP Reilly. All four have been involved in the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline and three were members of the 2016 USA Youth National Team which earned a silver medal at the NORCECA Championships.
"In order for us to achieve our goals and truly compete for an NCAA Championship, we must put together successive years of top recruiting classes," said Kosty. "We feel that we have done that with this and recent classes. We are also constantly looking to add players that have elite international experience or come from championship programs. This group of young men fits the search criteria and then some."
The 2017 class emphasizes the outside-opposite hitter position. Henken, Jasper, and Reilly have demonstrated the ability to play both on the left or right side of the net.
Henken, a 6-5 outside-opposite was one of the key weapons for St. Louis University High in winning the 2016 state championship. It marked the second consecutive title for his school.
He also is a top club player as a member of the Midwest powerhouse, St. Louis High Performance Volleyball Club. In the summer of 2016, Henken was named to the USA Youth National A1 training team.
"Leo is a guy that we really needed. Like the other three recruits, he perfectly fits the mold of a Stanford student-athlete," said Kosty. "He is bright, driven, and talented. As a volleyball player, he is a nice blend of athleticism, dynamic hitting, and overall ability. His versatility as a hitter makes him standout."
Henken becomes only the second player from St. Louis to play for Stanford men's volleyball following current freshman, Jacob Thoenen.
Jasper, a 6-7 hitter, is one of the most gifted prospects in his class. A tremendous athlete with a vertical that allows him to touch nearly 12 feet, Jasper is widely considered the clear top prospect in the recruiting class.
He recently led the USA Youth National team to a silver medal finish at the NORCECA Championships held in Havana, Cuba. His team lost the final to host Cuba, but qualified for the 2017 FIVB U-19 World Championships.
Jasper was the top player for the USA, leading the squad in kills and blocks. He has been a key member of the USA HP Pipeline for a number of years as he was selected to the top Select A1 Red Team during the 2014 and 2015 High Performance championships.
For club, Jasper is a member of the Annapolis Volleyball Club, but has also played with the Ocean Bay Volleyball Club out of Florida. He was an MIAA Player of the Year as a sophomore at Archbishop Spalding High, before he transferred to his hometown Broadneck High, which does not sponsor varsity boys' volleyball.
"Jaylen is an elite international style athlete. He is blessed with tremendous athleticism and ability, and couples that with wonderful work ethic and desire," said Kosty. "Equally impressive is that he displays uncommon humility. He comes from a family that is well-grounded and it shows in his interpersonal interactions."
He is the son of Ivin Jasper, the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the U.S. Naval Academy. His older sister, Dallas, plays volleyball at St. Leo University in Florida.
Reilly hails from Loyola High School in Los Angeles. He is a 6-4 outside-opposite hitter who is known for his powerful attacks and point-scoring service game.
He started at outside hitter when Loyola won the 2016 CIF Southern Section title. For the season, he was named All-CIF and was the 2016 Loyola High School Offensive Player of the Year.
Reilly was also selected for the USA Youth National Team and competed at the NORCECA Tournament in Havana, Cuba. For club, Reilly was the captain for his Manhattan Beach Surf Volleyball Club team and named to the U-16 Open Division All-Tournament team. In 2015, his MB Surf team won the bronze at the U.S. Junior National Championships.
"JP is a great addition to our squad. He has vast amount of winning experience and is a true leader. We were really excited about his arm and his ability to hit hard. We believe that he can develop into a very productive player and, at the same time, grow as a thriving member of the Stanford community," said Kosty.
Presho-Hartung, at 6-8 native of San Clemente, was one of the top middle blocker prospects in the nation. He was the captain of the USA Youth National Team that earned the silver medal at the NORCECA Championships in Havana, Cuba and started all five matches. He has been a part of the USA High Performance pipeline since 2014 and has been selected for the top Select A1 Red team every year.
Presho-Hartung also served as captain for his San Clemente High School team during his junior and senior seasons.
For club, he has been playing up in age-level for 949 Volleyball Club on the 18 Black team. His team has been a consistent contender for a medal at the U.S. Junior National Championships every year he has played.
"Kyler has always been on our radar ever since he was a kid. He has always been advanced for his age and demonstrates the wealth of knowledge that he has gained from being the son of a former player and current coach," explained Kosty. "He has always been a player that others followed and his passion for the sport is undeniable."
Presho-Hartung is the son of Mark Presho, the longtime assistant coach for UC Irvine men's volleyball.
"We will be losing some outside production due to graduation over the next couple of years," Kosty said. "It was imperative for us to bring in athletes that can fill those gaps. I'm happy to say that we not only filled gaps, but also brought in talent that will impact the team for the next four years."