Sports

Stanford finds volleyball title hopes up in the air

Press gains 40th career assist in Cardinal soccer win over Sun Devils

For the second time in three trips into Maples Pavilion, the California women's volleyball team left its tracks all over the floor.

Second-ranked Stanford suddenly finds itself playing second fiddle to the fifth-ranked Bears in the Pac-10 Conference race following its shocking, 21-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-16 setback to Cal Friday night.

The Cardinal (7-2, 16-2) slipped a notch below the Bears (8-1, 18-1) heading into the second half of the conference season, which begins with a trip to Oregon on Friday night.

Stanford has rarely found itself in a position of looking up at another school in the Pac-10 over the past four years. When it happened two years ago, the Cardinal responded with a victorious run to the conference title.

Stanford may need a little help over the next nine matches to secure a fifth straight Pac-10 banner.

Senior Alix Klineman recorded her eighth double-double of the season with a match-high 22 kills to go with 10 digs. She added three aces and two blocks.

Freshman Rachel Williams and sophomore Hayley Spelman also contributed to the offense with double-digit kills. Williams had a season-high 11 kills while Spelman added 10 kills.

Senior setter Cassidy Lichtman dished out 51 assists, had four kills, eight digs and two blocks. Senior libero Gabi Ailes recorded 15 digs.

The Cardinal was out hit for the first time this season, with the Bears hitting a remarkable .347 for the match while holding Stanford to a .268 clip.

Palo Alto High grad Rich Feller, in his 12th season at Cal, has elevated the Bears onto the national scene, and helped transform them into serious national championship contenders.

USC and Washington are tied for third in the conference, a game back of Stanford in the loss column, while Oregon, UCLA and Arizona State are right behind heading into Saturday's action.

Women's soccer

Christen Press saw her streak of scoring at least one goal end at nine matches. That still didn't stop her from making a little bit of history.

Teresa Noyola, Lindsay Taylor and Mariah Nogueira each scored a goal and top-ranked Stanford earned its 16th consecutive Pac-10 victory, beating host Arizona State, 3-0, on Friday night.

Press, the nation's scoring leader, recorded her 40th career assist, giving Noyola a hand on the game's first score in the first half. Press is tied with Marcie Ward for first all-time in school history for career assists.

The Cardinal (5-0, 14-0-2) travels to Tucson for a noon match against Arizona Sunday.

Men's soccer

A late goal gave UCLA a 1-0 victory over visiting Stanford in a Pac-10 contest Friday night.

The Cardinal (3-3, 7-7) looks to rebound at San Diego State in a 1 p.m. match Sunday.

The Cardinal had its chances, totaling eight shots for the game. Bobby Warshaw had three shots, including one on goal.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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