Sports

Stanford gymnasts earn Pac-12 Conference weekly honors

Stanford men's gymnast Akash Modi was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week for the second consecutive week, as announced by the conference.


Modi continued to shine in his home debut, helping lead Stanford to a 435.200-426.350 victory over No. 4 California. The freshman from Morganville, N.J., earned individual victories on parallel bars (15.850), floor (15.400) and the all-around (90.100).

According to the College Gymnastics Association, Modi's parallel bars score is the fourth-highest collegiate score since the scoring system was adjusted in 2008. His all-around score is 15th-highest since 2008.

Modi finished second on rings (15.150) and pommel horse (14.850), and posted strong scores on high bar (14.500) and vault (14.350).

Stanford has defeated California in nine consecutive meets and will see the Golden Bears again this Saturday, along with defending NCAA champion Michigan, in the Stanford Open at 7 p.m.

Women's gymnastics

Stanford's Kristina Vaculik and Rachel Daum were named Pac-12 Gymnast and Newcomer of the Week, respectively, as announced by the conference.

The duo helped fuel No. 12 Stanford's first-place finish against No. 19 Arizona and Sacramento State this past Sunday.

Vaculik had an outstanding meet, earning three individual victories and tying or setting three collegiate bests. Vaculik posted victories on bars and floor, scoring collegiate bests of 9.925 on both events, and earned her first collegiate all-around win with a personal-best 39.425.

Her performances on bars and floor were especially crucial in the Cardinal's victorious effort. After Stanford entered the final rotation on floor in second place, Vaculik's clutch routine in the anchor position sealed the victory for the Cardinal. Her big performance on bars helped right the ship after Stanford suffered a missed routine. Vaculik has scored 9.800 or higher in nine of 10 events this season.

It is Vaculik's first Gymnast of the Week honor and Stanford's 25th all-time.

Daum had a big day, starting the competition with a huge vault and a stuck landing that earned her a 9.875. Then, with Stanford in second place entering the final rotation, Daum delivered a terrific floor routine to earn a 9.900. Daum stuck each of her landings on every pass during the routine.

It is Daum's first Newcomer of the Week honor and Stanford's first ever Newcomer of the Week honor since the award was introduced last year.

The Cardinal returns to action Sunday when it travels to UC Davis at 1 p.m. for a quad meet against the Aggies, San Jose State and Utah State.

Softball

Stanford begins the 2014 season ranked 22nd in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association preseason poll, the organization announced this week.

The Cardinal finished the 2013 season 39-21 and ranked No. 21/22 in the nation. Stanford finished fourth in the Pac-12 Conference with a 13-11 mark and was 26-10 against nonconference opponents. The Cardinal was 20-6 at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium.

Stanford was one of six Pac-12 schools ranked in the preseason poll, second to only the Southeastern Conference's eight. Washington led the way with a third-place ranking, followed by No. 7 Arizona State, No. 8 Oregon, No. 16 UCLA, Stanford and No. 24 California.

Stanford will play some of the nation's best this spring, including 33 games against 17 teams that participated in 2013 NCAA Regional competition. The Cardinal will play 19 games against teams ranked in the preseason top 25.

The Cardinal opens the season Feb. 6 against North Carolina State at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

— Stanford Athletics

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