The top-ranked Stanford women's water polo team won its own invitational for the third consecutive year, beating fourth-ranked UCLA, 9-5, in the championship game Sunday at Avery Aquatic Center.
Junior goalie Kate Baldoni was easily the Player of the Game after recording 15 saves for the defending national champion Cardinal (6-0), which is playing the season without All-American 2-meter players Annika Dries and Melissa Seidemann, who took the year off to compete with the United States Olympic team. Freshman Maggie Steffens has delayed her college career for the same reason.
Baldoni also recorded eight saves in Stanford's 11-6 victory over San Jose State earlier in the day. She was replaced by Menlo-Atherton High grad Emily Dorst, who recorded two saves in the fourth period.
Stanford travels to San Jose State to meet the Spartans in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener Saturday at noon.
Victoria Kennedy, Kaley Dodson and Kelsey Suggs each scored twice in the title match, a hotly contested affair. Kennedy scored from close range with 3:38 left in the second period to break a 2-2 tie and sparking a three-goal outburst which also featured power-play goals from Sacred Heart Prep grad Pallavi Menon and Kaitlyn Lo.
The Bruins, with Sacred Heart Prep grad KK Clark leading the way with three goals in the game, stayed within striking distance and cut the lead to 5-4 midway through the third period. M-A grad Becca Dorst also scored for UCLA, which reached the back of the net once in the final 12:43 of play,
Clark has scored at least once in all seven games for the Bruins (6-1) and leads the team with 18 overall. Dorst scored in both games Sunday. Alyssa Lo also scored for Stanford
Ashley Grossman scored three times for the Cardinal in its earlier win over the Spartans, who matched Stanford goal for goal through the first period.
The Cardinal scored four unanswered goals in the second period, including one from Cassie Churnside, to take control of the contest.
Kiley Neushul scored twice while Catherine Carpenter, Monica Coughlan and Jillian Garton also added goals for Stanford.
Third-ranked USC beat No. 2 California, 10-5, in the third-place match.
Nicole Pechanec tied for first in floor exercise and scored her career-high in the all-around to help No. 12 Stanford to its season-high score in a 197.250-196.450 loss to No. 10 UCLA on Sunday at the John Wooden Center in Los Angeles.
Stanford (4-2) eclipsed 196 points for the first time in four meets this season and earned team high scores on the vault and floor. Pechanec had two of Stanford's four 9.9 scores on way to a runner-up finish in the all-around, with 39.325 points to 39.550 for UCLA's Samantha Peszek.
Pechanec also had a 9.9, for a second place on the uneven bars, and those scores were matched by teammates Ivana Hong and Nicole Dayton on vault. It was the second 9.9 on vault in as many meets for Dayton, tying a career-best for the junior, and it marked a career-best in the young collegiate career of Hong.
Stanford resides in seventh place following Sunday's first round of the Wildcat Invitational, which is being held at the Vistoso Golf Club outside of Tucson.
The Cardinal shot a first round 305, 20 strokes behind leader Arizona, which shot a 3-under 285 on Sunday.
Top-ranked UCLA is in second place at 289, followed by Arizona State (291), New Mexico (300), Colorado (301) and Denver (301).
Stanford freshman Mariko Tumangen is tied for 13th after she carded a two-over 74. She is seven strokes back of first round leader Mannon Gidali of Arizona, who posted a five-under 67 on the 6,321-yard Visoto Golf Club layout.
Stanford fencers finished strong at the Midwest Invitational Sunday, with the women's squad going 3-2 and the men 4-0. The Cardinal women defeated Stevenson, Cleveland State and Lawrence. The men bested North Carolina, Detroit-Mercy, Cleveland State and Lawrence.
The women finished the tournament 4-8, the men 5-4. The women was without one of its top competitors in Katya Stavisky, who will miss the rest of the season with a stress fracture.
"We had to pull her the day before we left Stanford," Cardinal coach Lisa Milgram said. "It is a huge loss for us. We expected her to qualify for championships."
The women were led by Lily McElwee in foil, Ashley Titan in epee and Julia Klepner in sabre.
The men were led by Turner Caldwell in foil, Jeremy Klepner in sabre and Kian Ameli in epee.
The men's squad qualified ten fencers for the NCAA Championships and the women eight. Stanford will host an NCAA Regional on March 10.
No. 16 Stanford wrestling team dropped a 22-15 decision at Arizona State on Sunday in its final dual meet of the year.
The Cardinal (3-2, 8-8) will begin preparations for the Pac-12 tournament, to be held at Boise State beginning Feb. 26. Ryan Mango, one of the nation's top wrestlers, missed the weekend activities but is excepted to be at full strength for the conference championships.
Redshirt junior Matt Sencenbaugh, wrestling for the first time in almost a month, recorded an 8-1 decision over David Prado at 125 pounds.
Redshirt sophomore Bret Baumbach pulled out a 9-1 major decision over Rush Hall at 165 pounds and senior Nick Amuchastegui, ranked No. 1 in the nation, recorded a 9-0 major decision over Eric Starks at 174 pounds. Amuchastegui (18-0) completes an undefeated regular season.