Alix Klineman was already off to her best career start. She just took it to another level.
Stanford's senior outside hitter recorded one of the best matches in school history in helping the top-ranked Cardinal open the Pac-10 season with a 25-23, 27-25, 23-25, 25-21 victory over host Arizona State on Friday.
Klineman burned the Sun Devils with a career-high 39 kills in 74 total attacks, the second-best single-game mark in Stanford annals, matching three-time Olympian and four-time collegiate All-American Logan Tom and behind only Olympian and four-time All-American Bev Oden's 41 kills in a match against UCLA in 1990.
There's a connection here. Klineman has the potential to join Tom and Oden as four-time All-Americans and, perhaps, an Olympian.
In addition, Klineman had a mere two attack errors to rack up a hitting percentage of a cool .500.
Klineman was just as impressive on the defensive side of things, securing a season-best 18 digs to add to her historical evening on the banks of the Salt River in Tempe.
Senior Cassidy Lichtman was one kill shy of a triple-double with nine kills, 25 assists and 11 digs. Senior libero Gabi Ailes finished with a season high 25 digs, while freshman Rachel Williams hit .318 on nine kills.
Stanford (1-0, 10-0) returns to action Saturday at Arizona in another Pac-10 fling.
Stanford senior Bobby Warshaw may have a few more moves remaining in his bag of tricks, but none would compare to the extraordinary decision he made to score Stanford's first goal in an eventual 3-0 victory over visiting St. Mary's Friday night in the Stanford Classic.
The Cardinal (3-4) seems to have its swagger back after dropping its first four matches, all by one goal and two in overtime. Stanford has outscored its opponents by an 8-1 margin over the past three contests.
Warshaw's decisive bicycle-kick finish put the emphasis on swagger. He scored in the 61st minute to break a scoreless tie. Ryan Thomas started the sequence with an innocent looking corner kick that both Adam Jahn and Dominique Yahyavi played in the air.
The ball was heading away from Warshaw, who had but a few precious moments to assess the situation and conclude the bicycle kick was the appropriate move.
"I have done it in high school and youth, but that was the first one in college," Warshaw said. "We continued to show up and work to get this turned around. We just needed to find ourselves and begin playing the way we knew we could."
The Cardinal hopes to continue the good vibrations come Sunday when Denver visits for a 1 p.m. first kick.
"I thought we were conscientious with our defending, which allowed us to control the game," Stanford coach Bret Simon said. "We became the aggressor and that leads to chances in the attack and as a result more goals."
Yahyavi added his own goal three minutes later, his fourth goal in the last three games. Adoni Levine played a long ball up the gut and Yahyavi slipped behind the defense for a one-on-one with the keeper.
Stanford capped the night in the 86th minute when Thiago Sa Freire played a ball to a streaking Taylor Amman, who found the back of the net.
Jason Dodson was again solid in net for the Cardinal, recording three saves and earning his second-career shutout.
Stanford shot a 10-over-par 298 on Friday's first day of the Mason Rudolph Invitational being behind in Franklin, Kentucky.
The Cardinal, currently in 16th place, are 20 shots behind first place LSU, which shot a 10-under 278 to build a slim one shot lead over Purdue (279) and California.
Cardinal sophomore Sally Watson shot a 1-under-par 71 and is tied for 25th place, six strokes behind first round leader Michelle Shin of Wake Forest.