Sports

Stanford women's water polo opens with a tournament

Stanford opens its 2014 season this weekend, hosting the Stanford Invitational Saturday and Sunday at Avery Aquatic Center.

This year's edition of the annual eight-team event features No. 2 Stanford, No. 6 UC Irvine, No. 7 Hawaii and No. 18 UC Davis making up Bracket A, while No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 California, No. 12 San Jose State and No. 16 Michigan make up Bracket B.

Games will be held at the Avery Stadium pool and Belardi Pool beginning at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. Sunday.

Under the tutelage of head coach John Tanner, in his 17th year at the helm, the Cardinal returns a trio of ACWPC All-Americans in senior two-meter Annika Dries (35 goals in 2013), drivers Maggie Steffens (60 goals), Kaley Dodson (31 goals) along with first-team All-MPSF driver Kiley Neushul (50 goals).

Also returning for the Cardinal are sophomore driver Anna Yelizarova (46 goals), senior driver Kaitlyn Lo (26 goals), and junior two-meter Ashley Grossman (20 goals), who missed the first half of 2013 due to injury.

Stanford finished last season 29-3 and this year will go for its third NCAA title in four seasons. The Cardinal was denied a three-peat last year as USC captured a 10-9 quadruple overtime win in the NCAA Championship game at Harvard.

This weekend will bring a handful of sisters together, including Stanford junior goalie Emily Dorst and UCLA senior Becca Dorst; Stanford junior Kiley Neushul and freshman Jamie Neushul; UCLA junior Sami Hill and sophomore Kodi Hill.

Meanwhile, Menlo-Atherton High grad Brittany Krappe is a sophomore at San Jose State and Dos Pueblos High in Santa Barbara will be represented by the Neushul sisters, Hill sisters and Tiera Schroeder. Corona del Mar High also will have five former players competing for UCLA, Stanford, and Cal.

STANFORD INVITATIONAL

Saturday (group play)

Avery Stadium

8:45 a.m. -- Stanford vs. UC Davis

10 a.m. -- Hawaii vs. UC Irvine

3:30 p.m. -- Stanford vs. Hawaii

4:45 p.m. -- UCLA vs. California

Belardi Pool

8:45 a.m. -- UCLA vs. Michigan

10 a.m. -- California vs. San Jose State

3:15 p.m. -- UC Irvine vs. UC Davis

4:30 p.m. -- San Jose State vs. Michigan

Sunday (group play)

Avery Stadium

8 a.m. -- Stanford vs. UC Irvine

9:10 a.m. -- California vs. Michigan

Belardi Pool

8 a.m. -- Hawaii vs. UC Davis

9:10 a.m. -- UCLA vs. San Jose State

Consolation/Championship games

Belardi Pool

1 p.m. -- Seventh place (A4 vs. B4)

Avery Stadium

1 p.m. -- Fifth place Game (A3 vs. B3)

2:15 p.m. -- Third place (A2 vs. B2)

3:30 p.m. -- Championship (A1 vs. B1)

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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