A member of the U.S. Boys Youth National Team who received an award at a recent international tournament will be among new players joining Stanford for the 2016 season.
Stanford announced Thursday that high school senior outside attackers Jordan Ewert, Matt Klassen and Ryan Smith all signed national letters of intent with the Cardinal.
“The modern men’s volleyball game has become very outside hitter focused,” Stanford coach John Kosty said in a statement. “To be successful at our level, the outside hitters must take on a heavy burden of passing, serving, defending and attacking out of the front and back rows. With the signing of Jordan, Matt and Ryan, in addition to the players currently on our roster, we feel we have the pieces needed to be successful. We expect that these young men will help us vie for an NCAA title while performing at an exceptionally high level in the classroom and the community.”
Ewert, a 6-foot-4 outside attacker from Antioch, California, during the summer helped lead the U.S. Boys Youth National Team to a gold-medal finish at the NORCECA Continental Championship and was named the tournament’s Best Receiver. The outside attacker last year also earned most valuable player honors at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships.
Klassen, a 6-foot-6 outside attacker from Milwaukee, was a first-team all-conference selection last year as his high school team reached the state semifinals. In addition, Klassen’s club team this summer finished at the USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championships.
Smith, a 6-foot-7 outside attacker from Clovis, California, helped his high school team last season win a sectional title and climb as high as No. 3 in the maxpreps.com national rankings. As a Texas native who moved to California in an effort to improve his volleyball develpment, Smith also won a gold medal at the 2014 USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championship this summer.
“We feel fortunate to sign these three outstanding scholar-athletes,” Kosty said. “They give us a trio of outside hitters that will have a large impact in the MPSF. More importantly, they are true Stanford students and embody everything that we look for in terms of work ethic, great citizenship, and love of the Stanford culture.”
Stanford ended last season earning one of the two at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the championship match. The Cardinal for the upcoming season return a majority starters from that NCAA championship runner-up team, including All-American setter James Shaw.