Without much fanfare, the eighth-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team won a pair of matches at the Service Academy Challenge in the Pentagon Athletic Center on Friday.
The atmosphere inside the Pentagon was by design. No cameras allowed, no cheerleaders, bands, reporters or broadcasters and refreshments were limited.
Availability were limited to players, coaches, staff and family members, and members of the Armed Services.
Army beating Air Force in five sets was, perhaps, the highlight for the military observers. For Stanford it was likely coming from being down, 16-11, to winning the second set against Yale.
Menlo School grad Jesse Ebner had four kills, three digs and a block for Yale.
Stanford (5-2) downed the Bulldogs, 25-17, 25-20, 25-18, and topped Army, 25-15, 25-17, 25-17.
Senior Rachel Williams led the way against Yale with 11 kills and six digs, while sophomore Brittany Howard added 10 kills, nine digs and three blocks.
Stanford's middle blockers, Carly Wopat and Inky Ajanaku, finished with nine kills and four blocks and six kills and five blocks, respectively. Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Burgess added nine kills on a .364 attack percentage.
Sophomore setter Madi Bugg controlled the offense with 39 assists and finished one dig shy of a double-double. Junior libero Kyle Gilbert tallied 17 digs and two assists in the win. As a team, the Cardinal posted a .385 hitting percentage, while holding the Bulldogs to a .171 clip.
Against Army, Howard was 9-0-21 (.429) with seven digs and a solo block to lead the Cardinal. Ajanaku hit .700 (7-0-10) with three blocks, while Williams finished with eight kills and three blocks. Burgess and sophomore middle blocker Megan McGehee each tallied six kills and two blocks.
Bugg shared time at setter with freshman Kelsey Humphreys. Bugg recorded 29 assists, seven digs and two blocks, while Humphreys notched nine assists. Gilbert led the defense with 10 digs.
As a team, Stanford hit .337, while Army posted a .097 attack percentage. It also marked just the second time this season that the Cardinal had more service aces (9) than service errors (6). Howard led the team with a career high four aces.
Stanford hosts Cal Poly on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Saint Mary's on Friday, also at 7 p.m. The match against the Gaels on Friday will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
JJ Koval scored twice within a four-minute span of the first half and Stanford rallied to beat visiting Grand Canyon, 2-1, in a nonconference match Friday night.
The Antelopes got on the board first, scoring in the 11th minute.
Grand Canyon got off just one other shot in the contest and none against Stanford senior goalkeeper Drew Hutchins.
In the 32nd minute, Aaron Kovar got a ball up in the air and Koval was able to head it into the net for the tying score.
Four minutes later, Koval struck again, this time converting a penalty kick.
The Cardinal (2-1-1) amassed 25 shots, 10 on goal.
Stanford hosts College of Charleston (1-3) next Friday at 7 p.m., followed by Colgate two days later, with a 1 p.m. game to be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
Stanford rented a share of sixth place, with three others, following the first day of the Illini Invitational on Friday at the par-70 Olympia Fields Country Club.
Stanford's David Boote and five others are tied for 10th on the individual leaderboard. Boote shot a 2-over 72 on the day.
Cardinal junior Patrick Rodgers is tied for 15th with a 3-over 73 and Menlo School grad Patrick Grimes shot a 75, tied with teammate Cameron Wilson for 35th.