The Stanford men's swimming and diving team had a chance to win going into the event of its meet with visiting No. 3 USC and that is fair enough.
The third-ranked Trojans struck early and often, yet had to hold off the resilient Cardinal for a 156-139 dual meet win Saturday at Avery Aquatic Center.
The ninth-ranked Cardinal battled the Trojans in each race as nothing came easy for either squad, with many outcomes decided by the narrowest of margins on Stanford's Senior Day.
"We knew that USC had some very strong frontliners and their strengths were our weaknesses," Stanford coach Ted Knapp said. "The challenge for us today was to win events, and although we raced really well, we didn't win enough races for the victory. If you look at the races we lost, the differences between first and second place were very slim. That goes to show you how important the details in racing can be. All of our seniors got to compete today in front of a very strong contingent of fans, family, alumni and students."
Stanford prepares for its regular-season closer at Cal on Feb. 23, followed by the Pac-12 Conference Championships (March 3-6) and NCAA Championships (March 28-30).
"A win today would have been nice, but we have a greater goal in mind," Knapp said. "Our competition will get more talented and our seasonal plan is designed so we can move from training mode to racing mode."
USC made a late surge to clock a 3:11.78 to win the 400 medley relay in front of Stanford's 3:11.94. The Cardinal held the lead until Vladimir Morozov's 41.31 in the final 100 yards gave the Trojans the win.
Drew Cosgarea and Cristian Quintero mirrored each other for most of the 1,650 free in neighboring lanes. It was not until the final 25 yards that the race was decided, as Quintero touched .10 seconds ahead of Cosgarea with a 15:15.53.
Thomas Stephens (1:37.34) challenged Dimitri Colupaev (1:37.27) in the 200 free with Colupaev eventually touching first.
David Nolan shelved Stanford's first win by going 47.51 in the 100 back. The race also held implications for bragging rights in the Swanston household, as Stanford's Matthew Swanston (49.11) out-touched his brother, USC's Jeff Swanston (51.57).
Nolan's second win came in the 200 individual medley, capturing the event by over two seconds ahead of USC's Morten Klarskov (1:48.85).
Matt Thompson (1:44.52) topped the field in the 200 back with Nolan (1:45.01) taking second.
Mason Shaw (55.85) was second in the 100 breast and Mack Montgomery (1:46.25) was followed by Tom Kremer (1:47.04) for a 1-2 finish in the 200 fly to give the Cardinal a chunk of points.
Shaw later finished second in the 200 breast with a 2:02.64.
Morozov broke the Avery Aquatic Center record in the 50 free (19.33), going under the three-year old mark set by Cal's Nathan Adrian (19.34). Aaron Wayne was second in 20.10. Morozov (43.07) got the better end of the 100 free with Wayne (43.86) and Andrew Saeta (44.39) rounding out the top three.
In the 500 free, Casgarea (4:29.60) was third as teammate Robert Hommel (4:31.15) took fourth. Gray Umbach (48.07) and Jack Lane (48.16) finished second and third, respectively, in the 100 fly.
Kristian Ispen (374.10) and Noah Garcia finished 1-2 in the 1-meter diving event. Ispen (435.60) and Garcia (348.83) duplicated the feat in the 3-meter edition.
USC won the 200 free relay in 1:19.46 as Quintero held off a charging Saeta in the final stretch. Stanford clocked a 1:19.49 for second.
Women's water polo
Senior Melissa Seidemann and freshman Maggie Steffens each scored three times and the top-ranked Stanford women's water polo beat host UC Davis, 15-4, Saturday.
The Cardinal (9-0) takes a two-week break from action, returning in time for the UCI Invitational in Irvine on Feb. 23-24.
In addition to Seidemann and Steffens, Stanford got a pair of goals each from Kaley Dodson, Kiley Neushul and Anna Yelizarova.
In the cage, sophomore Emily Dorst and freshman Gabby Stone combined for five saves, each playing a half.
Brian Cook had 12 kills and Steven Irvin 10 to lead No. 4 Stanford to a 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 men's volleyball victory over UC San Diego in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play at Maples Pavilion on Saturday.
Stanford (8-4 overall, 5-4 MPSF) extended its winning streak at Maples to 11, and continued its mastery of UCSD (4-10, 2-8) by taking a 40-3 series lead.
The Cardinal bounced back from a four-set loss to visiting No. 1 UC Irvine at Burnham Pavilion on Friday night, in a which featured a combined 39 kills from Cook and Irvin.
Stanford coach John Kosty tinkered with his lineup against UCSD, giving freshman setter Joe Ctvrtlik his first start. Ctvrtlik, the son of two-time world player of the year and Olympic gold medalist Bob Ctvrtlik, responded with 33 assists, eight digs, and three blocks, including one solo, while playing the entire match.
The two weekend matches were the only ones at home over a span of 34 days for Stanford, which next travels to No. 10 Cal State Northridge and No. 2 Long Beach State next weekend.
Track and field
Stanford freshman Amy Weissenbach ran the second-fastest indoor 800-meter race in school history on Saturday at the Husky Invitational.
Weissenbach was timed in 2:05.83 to place fifth in the fast heat of the invitational section on the 307-meter flat track at Dempsey Indoor on the campus of the University of Washington. Shannon Leinert, a post-collegiate runner, won the race in 2:04.53.
In her second collegiate race at that distance, Weissenbach came within 0.15 of Justine Fedronic's year-old Stanford indoor mark of 2:05.68. Fedronic, a senior, is redshirting the indoor season.
Weissenbach also is now tied for the ninth-fastest 800 in school history, including indoor and outdoor. The Los Angeles native set the National Federation high school record (high school-only competition) of 2:02.04 in 2012 at Harvard-Westlake School, won the third of her California state 800 titles, and ran in the Olympic trials.
Stanford won seven of 10 bouts and defeated San Francisco State, 28-11, Saturday, at Burnham Pavilion.
Stanford improves to 6-14 overall, while the Gators fall to 8-8 on the year.
Redshirt freshman Evan Silver Silver recorded five takedowns, three nearfall points, an escape and riding time to pick up his fourth major decision over Mark Collier at 125 pounds. He now has a team-leading 24 wins on the year.
At 149 pounds, senior Timmy Boone registered a 3-1 decision over Conrad Snell. They battled to a 1-1 tie late in the third period, where Boone secured the winning takedown with just one second left in the match. He is now 18-14 overall.
Stanford takes on host CSU Bakersfield in Pac-12 action Sunday.
Stanford defeated Cal Poly in nine innings, 7-6, and Indiana, 8-2, Saturday at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe.
Stanford (4-1) combined for 28 hits in the two games. Senior Teagan Gerhart, who tallied nine strikeouts against Cal Poly, earned the win in the circle, improving to 2-1 overall.
Freshman Kelsey Stevens picked up her second win of the season against Indiana, posting five strikeouts in 5.0 innings of play. Sophomore Nyree White closed the Indiana game, fanning two batters.
Erin Ashby hit a solo home run to left field in the seventh to force extra innings.
Cal Poly scored a run in the top of the ninth to pull ahead.
Stanford loaded the bases ahead of Cassandra Roulund, who ripped a double to left to win the game.
Against Indiana, Stanford took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Winter reached on an infield single and then Rich blasted a home run to centerfield. It was the first home run of the season for the senior.
Stanford wraps-up the Kajikawa Classic on Sunday, Feb. 10 against Kentucky.