Brandon Johnson | Senior Contributor
The best Stanford players at their positions during the decade arereceiving a college men’s volleyball honor.
Off the Block announced on Sunday the seven players selected to the Stanford All-Decade Starting Lineup presented by Off the Block.
The All-Decade Starting Lineup recognizes the best players tocompete with a team since 2010. Similar to the starting lineup for a match, theAll-Decade honor is comprised of a setter, opposite and libero along with twooutside attackers and two middle attackers. In addition, three players havebeen added as bench players to make up a total of 10 roster spots.
The Off the Block staff determined the All-Decade Starting Lineupusing a variety of factors including career statistical performance and theteam’s overall success when a player was a member of the program.
This is also part of a series from Off the Block to celebrate theend of the decade in college men’s volleyball. Off the Block throughout therest of 2019 will release an All-Decade Starting Lineup for every NCAA DivisionI-II men’s volleyball team.
Stanford made NCAA Tournament two times this decade – 2010, and2014. They won the national title in 2010 and they advanced to the title matchin 2014.
Off the Block is a national award-winning websitethat was established in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’svolleyball.
Stanford All-Decade TeamPresented by Off the Block
Setter: James Shaw
Opposite: Brian Cook
Outside Attacker: Steven Irvin
Outside Attacker: Brad Lawson
Middle Attacker: Conrad Kaminsky
Middle Attacker: Kevin Rakestraw
Libero: Erik Shoji
Off the Bench: Evan Enriques, Madison Hayden, Eric Mochalski
James Shaw (2013-2016)
Awards and Honors: 2013 All-MPSF Honorable Mention, 2014 All-MPSF First Team, 2014 All-American Second Team, 2015 All-MPSF Honorable Mention, 2016 All-MPSF First Team, 2016 MPSF Player of the Year, 2016 All-American First Team, 2016 Lloy Ball Award
Shaw used his 6’8” frame to be a dominating force on the offensive and defensive end. In his time at Stanford, Shaw spent the majority of the time at setter, but even filled in as a pin hitter when injuries mounted for the Cardinal. He tallied 3,705 assists (10.18 assists per game), 366 kills (.380 attack percentage) and 239 total blocks. During the same week in March 2014, Shaw was named AVCA National Player of the Week and MPSF Player of the Week.
Brian Cook (2011-2014)
Awards and Honors: 2012 All-MPSF Second Team, 2013 All-MPSF First Team, 2013 All-American First Team, 2014 All-MPSF First Team, 2014 All-American First Team
Cook was an offensive force early in the decade, racking up 1,439 kills throughout his time on the Farm. In addition, he also registered 276 total blocks and 592 blocks. His career match came in 2012 against CSUN when he tallied 26 kills on a .450 hitting efficiency. His 4.01 kills per match in 2013 ranked No. 5 in the nation. Cook led the 2014 Stanford in attack percentage (.351) and kills per game (3.81), leading Stanford to rank in the top four nationally in both categories that year.
Steven Irvin (2011-2014)
Awards and Honors: 2012 All-MPSF Honorable Mention, 2013 All-MPSF Second Team, 2013 All-American Second Team, 2014 All-MPSF First Team, 2014 All-American Second Team
Irvin collected 1,144 kills (3.13 kills per game) throughout his career, adding 154 blocks and 604 digs (1.61 digs per game). Irvin helped the 2012 Stanford team to lead the nation with 14.04 kills per game while his 0.28 aces per game led the 2014 team.
Brad Lawson (2009-2012)
Awards and Honors This Decade: 2010 MPSF Player of the Year, 2010 All-MPSF First Team, 2010 All-American First Team, 2010 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, 2011 All-MPSF First Team, 2011 All-American First Team, 2012 All-MPSF First Team, 2012 All-American First Team
Lawson was one of the best outside attackers of the early decade as he racked up over 1,800 career kills on a .326 efficiency with 233 total blocks and 679 digs. In addition to putting up terrific career numbers, Lawson had one of the greatest individual matches in NCAA tournament history, helping the Cardinal win the 2010 national championship. In the title match, Lawson tallied 24 kills on 28 swings with only one error. He was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
Conrad Kominski (2013-2016)
Awards and Honors: 2014 All-MPSF Second Team, 2014 All-American Second Team, 2015 All-MPSF Second Team, 2015 All-American Third Team, 2016 All-MPSF First Team (2016), 2016 Ryan Millar Award
After grabbing the starting spot his sophomore year, Kaminski turned himself into one of the nation’s top middle attackers his final three years. His senior year, he was named the winner of the “Ryan Millar Award”, given out annually to the top middle attacker in the nation. Throughout his career, he tallied 593 kills (1.82 kills per game) and averaged 1.11 blocks per game.
Kevin Rakestraw (2015-2018)
Awards and Honors: 2016 All-MPSF Honorable Mention, 2017 All-MPSF Second Team, 2017 All-American Honorable Mention (2017), 2018 All-MPSF Second Team
After redshirting and then starting slow his freshman year, the seven-footer finally put it all together to become one of the top middle attackers in the MPSF. Throughout his career, he collected over 1,000 kills, attacking at a .425 efficiency. He also racked up 269 total blocks (0.86 per game). Off the court, Rakestraw was named to the MPSF All-Academic Team four times.
Erik Shoji (2009-2012)
Awards and Honors This Decade: 2010 All-MPSF Second Team, 2010 All-American First Team, 2011 All-MPSF First Team, 2011 All-American First Team 2012 All-MPSF Second Team, 2012 All-American First Team
Throughout his illustrious career, Shoji racked up 1,402 digs, the most in college volleyball history, even surpassing the sideout scoring mark. Shoji helped lead the Cardinal to the National Title in 2010. Additionally, Shoji is the namesake for the “Erik Shoji Award”, given out annually by Off the Block to the nation’s top libero. Shoji is currently the starting libero for the USA men’s national team, and is widely considered the greatest libero to ever play collegiate men’s volleyball.