Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - April 11, 2014

Stanford roundup: Women's water polo faces a showdown

Top-ranked Cardinal visits conference co-leader UCLA with first place and possible MPSF tourney No. 1 seed at stake

by Rick Eymer

Something will have to give over the next week as the three top women's water polo teams in the country will be facing big tests.

Top-ranked Stanford (3-0 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, 17-1 overall) visits co-No. 1 UCLA 3-0, 21-2) on Friday at 1:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks) with first place in both the conference and country on the line.

Third-ranked USC (4-1, 21-1), the defending national champion whose only loss was to the Cardinal two weeks, hosts the Bruins next Wednesday.

By then, the conference picture should be cleared up as far as the top seeds for the MPSF tournament is concerned.

Stanford, UCLA and the Trojans likely have clinched their respective places already in the national championship, which will be held in Los Angeles.

The Bruins, with losses to the Cardinal and USC, handed Stanford its only loss of the season. The Cardinal needs a victory if it wants the top seed for the conference tournament. UCLA is looking at three games in six days, with a meeting against visiting San Jose State scheduled for Saturday.

The Stanford-UCLA rivalry once again features the meeting of the Dorst family, with senior utility player Becca Dorst the Bruins third-leading scorer with 29 goals. Junior Emily Dorst is one of three goalies who have played for Stanford this season. The sisters both attended Menlo-Atherton High.

Stanford's sister act of Kiley and Jamie Neushul will again be facing off against former Dos Pueblos High teammate Kodi Hill and Cardinal freshman Cassidy Papa will play against fellow Corona del Mar grads Alex Musselman and Victoria Kent.

Cardinal sisters Kaley Dodson and Cory Dodson will see former Los Alamitos teammate Rachel Fattal of the Bruins.

Stanford has won eight straight since losing to the Bruins, including last weekend's 14-4 victory over Arizona State, in which the Cardinal did not allow a goal over the final 26 minutes of action. Annika Dries and Ashley Grossman each scored four times against the Sun Devils.

UCLA is coming off a win over Cal State Bakersfield and brings a five-game winning streak into the fray.

Baseball

Dominic Jose doubled home two runs to tie it and pinch hitter Brant Whiting singled in the go-ahead in the bottom of the eighth inning as Stanford rallied to beat visiting UC Davis, 7-6, in a nonconference game on Tuesday night.

Palo Alto resident Alex Blandino and Zach Hoffpauir each hit a home run for the Cardinal (11-14), which snapped a four-game losing streak. Menlo School grad Danny Diekroeger drove in two runs for the Cardinal, which improved to 4-4 in one-run games.

Stanford returns to Pac-12 Conference action Friday, with the first game of a scheduled three-game series at conference leader Washington.

Men's golf

Stanford senior Cameron Wilson is one of five finalists for the Byron Nelson Award, as announced Tuesday by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

Wilson made the final cut for the award presented by Cleveland Golf/Srixon along with Brandon Hagy and Joel Stalter of Cal, Northwestern's Jack Perry and Alabama's Cory Whitsett.

Candidates for the Nelson Award must be a graduating senior, and the selection committee considers equally a nominee's entire collegiate academic and golf career as well as his character and integrity while in college. Particular consideration is given to a nominee's good citizenship, as portrayed by Byron Nelson over the course of his life and golf career.

Women's lacrosse

For the second consecutive weekend, Stanford plays an undefeated MPSF opponent as the Cardinal (9-2, 3-1) travels to Eugene to take on Oregon (7-4, 3-0) on Friday at 5 p.m. The game is scheduled to be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.

The Ducks are among three teams still perfect in MPSF play, along with Denver (5-0) and USC (5-0).

Men's tennis

Stanford No. 1 singles player John Morrissey recovered from a tough first-set loss to claim a 6-7, 6-0, 6-4 triumph at the top of the ladder to clinch a 4-2 nonconference men's tennis victory over visiting Cal Poly on Tuesday.

Competing in only its second home match in two weeks, Stanford (10-4) surrendered only four games combined en route to capturing the doubles point for a 1-0 lead.

Anthony Tsodikov followed with a 6-3, 7-5 win on court five, but Cal Poly countered with its first point thanks to a 6-3, 6-2 victory from Ben Donovan at the No. 2 spot.

Robert Stineman added a 7-5, 6-1 triumph at the No. 6 position to extend Stanford's lead to 3-1.

Stanford hosts Washington in a Pac-12 match on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Track and field

Stanford sophomore Steven Solomon was named Pac-12 Men's Track Athlete of the Week, the Pac-12 announced Wednesday.

Solomon dominated the 400 meters at the Australian national championships on Saturday, winning by 0.87 while recording a time of 45.36 to break a Stanford school record that had stood since 1994.

It was the fastest 400 for Solomon since his run to the final at the 2012 Olympic Games, and is the second-fastest among collegians outdoors this season. Solomon also secured a spot on Australia's Commonwealth Games team with the victory.

Solomon will run in the 400 meters and in the 4x400 relay at the Big Meet against California on Saturday at Berkeley's Edwards Stadium. The men's 400 is at 1:15 p.m. and the men's 4x400 at 2:50 p.m.

The meet begins at 9:30 a.m. with the women's hammer throw. The first running event is noon, with the women's 3,000 steeplechase.

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