Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - January 28, 2011

Synchronized swimming, men's tennis highlight Stanford schedule this weekend

by Rick Eymer

Seniors Gayle Lee and Corinne Smith lead a young group of performers into Stanford's synchronized swimming season opener Saturday at 3 p.m. against visiting Incarnate Word.

The Cardinal finished second at both the U.S. Collegiate Championships and U.S. National championships last year.

Lee, a member of the Singapore national team, performed as a member of the first-place team event at the nationals. She missed the 2009 season with an injury.

Smith, who competed with the U.S. junior national team four years ago, has finished second in the team event in each of the past two collegiate championships.

Junior Maria Koroleva may have the most experience with Stanford, having also competed in duet, trio and figures the past two years in earning All-American status. She was with the U.S. national team at the FINA World Championships in Rome in 2009.

Koroleva is joined by fellow juniors Alex Bollaidlaw, Olivia Morgan and Koko Urata, all of whom have been All-Americans, performed for the U.S. junior national team or both.

Sophomores Madison Crocker, Jessica Guenther and Wendy Lu are also accomplished performers. Crocker is a collegiate All-American, Guenther competed with the Canadian national team and Lu was on the U.S. junior national team.

There are high expectations for freshmen Leigh Haldeman, Liane Lovett and Danielle Rossoni as well. Haldeman, whose father Bill was track and field and cross country star at Stanford, was an Age Group champion in figures and solo last year.

Like Haldeman, Lovett is also a graduate of Inglemoor High in Washington. Lovett was also a member of the U.S. junior national team.

Rossoni, who competed at the South Zone Senior Championships, holds a black belt in Wushudo Kung Fu.

Men's tennis

Alex Clayton and Greg Hirshman helped the eighth-ranked Stanford men's tennis team open the dual-meet season with an impressive 7-0 victory over visiting Sacramento State Tuesday.

Clayton, at No. 3 singles, and Hirshman, at No. 5 singles, each won by scores of 6-1, 6-2 as all six singles players won in straight sets.

Bradley Klahn, the Pac-10 Player of the Week, and Matt Kandath also won big, each recording a 6-3, 6-0 victory. Denis Lin won his match, 6-1, 6-3 and Ryan Thacher needed an extra game to earn his 6-1, 7-5 victory.

The Cardinal, which also swept its doubles matches, is back in action Friday, hosting Santa Clara at 10 a.m. as part of the ITA Kickoff Weekend.

Friday's winner meets either Nebraska or Vanderbilt at 10 a.m. Saturday. The survivor advances to the final rounds of the National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle beginning Feb. 18.

Women's water polo

Alyssa Lo, Melissa Seidemann and Cassie Churnside each scored three goals and the top-ranked Stanford women's water polo team ended its opening weekend unbeaten in four matches after beating host Michigan, 14-5, Sunday at the Michigan Kick Off in Ann Arbor.

Kelsey Suggs and Sacred Heart Prep grad Pallavi Menon each added two goals for Stanford (4-0), which also beat Indiana, 14-1, earlier in the day.

Victoria Kennedy and Kaitlyn Lo also scored for the Cardinal, which outscored its opponents 57-11 on the weekend.

Amber Oland recorded nine saves in goal against the Wolverines.

In the win over the Hoosiers, Jillian Garton, Menlo School grad Kim Krueger, Kaley Dodson, Annika Dries and Menon each scored twice. Kate Baldoni had 12 saves.

Stanford hosts its own Invitational on Feb. 5-6 at Avery Aquatic Center. The Cardinal meets Arizona State at 8:30 a.m. and California at 4 p.m. on the first day.

Women's gymnastics

Alyssa Brown, Shelley Alexander, Ashley Morgan and Allyse Ishino each won an event and second-ranked Stanford beat visiting UCLA, 196.200-194.825, in a Pac-10 meet Sunday.

Morgan won the floor exercise with a score of 9.925, while Alexander won the beam with the same score for the Cardinal (7-0) in its home opener.

Brown tied Ishino for the bars title, each recording a 9.850. Tauny Frattone won the vault for the Bruins.

Alexander was named the Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week and Morgan was honored with the Pac-10 Performance of the Week.

Stanford travels to Utah for a meet Friday night.

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