Luczak makes her fourth national rowing team

Gibbs a tennis winner on the ITF pro circuit in Buffalo

Stanford grad Grace Luczak became a four-time national team member when she and teammate Felice Mueller won the women's pair at the U23 U.S. Rowing trials Wednesday on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey.

Luczak and Mueller will represent the United States at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships July 21-24 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The U23 Women's Selection Camp's A entry of Luczak and Mueller won in 7:22.72, followed by the B entry, with Chrissy Holm and Cardinal sophomore Kristy Wenzel, who crossed the line in 7:53.68.

"It was a really great race," said Luczak, who won the gold medal in last year's under 23 women's eight and bronze in the women's four at the 2010 World Rowing Championships. "Felice and I had a really good time. We tried to stay relaxed in the conditions. The last 1,000 meters were pretty choppy and it was difficult to feather."

Luczak and Mueller had five boat lengths of open water at the 750-meter mark and continued to gain over the middle half of the course. Coming into the sprint, the crew maintained a 200-meter advantage.

In the women's four, the U23 Women's Selection Camp "A" boat took first in a 6:42.42. The boat was comprised of Stanford grad Erika Roddy, Jenifer Forbes, Maureen McAuliffe and Olivia Coffey. Their teammates in the "B" boat, Catherine McDermott, Gabrielle Cole, Martha Kuzzy and Kerry Simmonds, took second after crossing the line in 6:49.41. The "B" boat will represent the U.S. in Amsterdam.

The U.S. National Rowing Championships continue on Mercer Lake through Friday.

USA Men's volleyball

Stanford grad Kevin Hansen and his teammates will be playing on familiar ground Friday and Saturday when the U.S. National Team hosts Puerto Rico in Long Beach.

The world No. 5 U.S. (6-4 in FIVB World League action) needs a sweep of the Puerto Ricans to have a chance at advancing into the World League Final Round beginning July 6 in Gdansk-Sopot, Poland.

Brazil (9-2) clinched first place in Pool A to gain a berth in the final round. The U.S. needs to be one of the top three second-place teams to advance.

"Puerto Rico is a good team and we need to be ready for them," U.S. Team Captain Reid Priddy said. "We need to continue to improve what we are doing on our side of the net."

Priddy leads the U.S. in scoring and is 10th overall with 152 points on 126 kills, 16 blocks and 10 aces. Priddy, at outside hitter, ranks 10th among all World League "spikers" with a success percentage of 48.09.

Pool A standings: 1, Brazil 9-2 (27 points); 2, USA 6-4 (18); 3, Poland 6-5 (18); 4, Puerto Rico 0-10 (0).

USA beach volleyball

Stanford grad Kerri Walsh and teammate Misty May-Treanor went undefeated Wednesday to open the FIVB Swatch ConocoPhillips Grand Slam in Stavanger, Norway.

May-Treanor and Walsh, playing as the second seed in the tournament, won both their matches in Pool B. The duo defeated Netherlands No. 31 seeds Marloes Wesselink and Madelein Meppelink 21-18, 21-14 in 32 minutes to open the day. May-Treanor and Walsh downed Germany's No. 18 seeds Jana Kohler and Julia Sude 21-17, 21-16 in 36 minutes. The Americans will face Switzerland Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr, the 15th seeds in the tournament, on Thursday to conclude Pool B.

Cardinal grad Matt Fuerbringer and teammate Nick Lucena, the 17th seeds in the tournament, will face two pairs of Brazilians to open the main draw Pool J on Thursday. The Americans face Brazil's No. 16 seeds Rhooney de Oliveira Ferramenta and Pedro Solberg Salgado, followed by the top-seeds of Emanuel and Alison from Brazil.

USA baseball

Stanford sophomore Brian Ragira was dropped from the U.S. Collegiate National Team before Wednesday's 7-5 victory over host New Bedford.

Ragira went hitless in four appearances, scoring two runs. He was replaced by Cal State Fullerton's Michael Lorenzen.

Women's tennis

Stanford sophomore Nicole Gibbs won her first-round match at the Sargent & Collins, LLP $10,000 Championships in Buffalo on Wednesday.

Gibbs, a semifinalst at the NCAA singles tournament last May, beat qualifier Olivia Janowicz, 6-4, 6-0. She will meet qualifier Magda Okruashvili on Thursday morning.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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