Sports Shorts | August 16, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - August 16, 2013

Sports Shorts

IN THE RANKINGS . . . Stanford is No. 2 in both the conference and the nation after a pair of coaches polls were released Tuesday. Four-time defending conference champion Stanford was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 behind UCLA, but also was No. 2 in the initial NSCAA/Continental Tire national rankings behind North Carolina and ahead of No. 5 UCLA. In the Pac-12, the Cardinal received five first-place votes to seven for UCLA and was a narrow second to the Bruins in overall points, 117-115. Stanford returns six starters from last year's 21-2-1 team that reached the NCAA College Cup before suffering a 1-0 double-overtime loss to eventual champion North Carolina in a rainy semifinal in San Diego. It was the fifth consecutive College Cup appearance for the Cardinal, which will be seeking a sixth when the final four returns to Cary, N.C., in December. In conference play, Stanford has been perfect the past four seasons and compiled an 11-0 record last year. Stanford owns a 42-match Pac-12 winning streak, the third-longest conference winning streak in NCAA Division I history. North Carolina (1986-94) holds the record of 55, with Florida (1997-2001) next at 49. The Cardinal opens the Pac-12 season on Sept. 28 at Colorado (noon PT) and plays host to UCLA on Oct. 10 in a match televised by the Pac-12 Networks. ... The Stanford women's volleyball team opens the season ranked No. 3 nationally, according to the poll announced Monday by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Stanford has appeared in the top 10 of every preseason poll since its inception in 1996. The Cardinal, which received two first-place votes, returns all of its starters from last year's team that went 30-4, captured a Pac-12-best 15th conference title and advanced to the NCAA Berkeley Regional Final. Stanford is one of two teams (with Penn State) to appear in all 32 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournaments. The Cardinal returns 11 letterwinners from the 2012 team, including middle blockers Carly Wopat and Inky Ajanaku, who were both All-Americans last season.

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