Uploaded: Thursday, September 20, 2012, 12:31 AM
Stanford ends volleyball losing streak toCal
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|By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
Junior Carly Wopat and freshman Jordan Burgess combined to record 30 kills and hit at a .463 clip to pace No. 6 Stanford past visiting California, 25-17, 25-17, 28-26, Wednesday in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
Freshman Inky Ajanaku added 11 kills and hit .562 as the Cardinal (1-0, 9-2) won its seventh straight after losing two in a row in late August.
"This was a good thing for us," Stanford coach John Dunning said. "They have people who have taken it to us."
The Cardinal ended a four-match losing streak to California, coached by Palo Alto High grad Rich Feller. The Bears (0-1, 6-5), who were ranked 17th in the nation, have stuttered a bit without three potential starters.
Junior Adrienne Gehan had 11 kills and 13 digs to lead Cal, which had a five-match winning streak snapped.
Stanford also has its share of injuries, with senior setter Karissa Cook and junior outside hitter Rachel Williams, an All-American last year, each nursing injuries.
The difference for the Cardinal lies in its No. 1 ranked recruiting class. Burgess, who had 16 kills, 13 digs and recorded a hitting percentage of .467, has stepped into a starting role along with fellow freshmen Madi Bugg, Brittany Howard and Ajanaku.
"We're thankful that we have five freshmen who decided to come here and who are mature on the court," Dunning said. "They've learned a lot of volleyball, can handle this level and add a lot of depth to the team."
Now that the freshmen have gotten through their first Pac-12 match, they'll get a chance to go on the road for the first time in conference play. Stanford visits Utah (0-1, 9-5), which lost its Pac-12 opener at Colorado in three sets.
USC beat visiting UCLA in a matchup of the nation's top two ranked teams and No. 9 Oregon topped Oregon State in other matches on Wednesday. Washington beat Washington State and Arizona bested Arizona State on Tuesday night.
Stanford grad Logan Tom, a four-time Olympian, was recognized by the crowd during an informal interview, with Bev Oden, at intermission.
Chiney Ogwumike served as analyst for the KZSU broadcast of the match.
Stanford opens its fall season for men's tennis this weekend, competing in the 12th annual Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic at the Meadowood Napa Valley Resort in St. Helena.
Representing the Cardinal in singles will be Daniel Ho, Matt Kandath, John Morrissey and Robert Stineman. Doubles teams in competition include Kandath/Morrissey and Ho/Stineman.
This year's 32-team singles tournament features the top four players from the following six schools: Stanford, California, Georgia, Harvard, Illinois and Texas. Also joining the field are eight junior players from the USTA National Junior Elite Division.
The winner of the tournament will receive a USTA-sponsored wild card into a USTA Pro Circuit event that is yet to be determined.
Competition gets underway Friday morning and concludes with the finals on Sunday morning.
The No. 3 Stanford women's soccer team puts its 31-match conference winning streak on the line when it plays host to Arizona State in a Pac-12 opener on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Sunday's match is designated as Juvenile Diabetes Awareness Day, largely because of the influence of Stanford junior forward Shelby Payne, who is a Type 1 diabetic.
Payne, who will not play Sunday because of injury, has been active mentoring children who also have diabetes and in encouraging them to continue to participate in sports. A number will be in attendance at the match.
Stanford hosts Loyola Marymount in a nonconference match Friday at 4 p.m.
The Cardinal exhibited some of its soccer skills during intermission of the women's volleyball match Wednesday night.
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