Sports

Ajanaku leads Stanford women to sweep of volleyball opener

 

Junior middle blocker Inky Ajanaku recorded 14 kills and seven blocks and the Stanford women's volleyball team topped host Iowa State in the nonconference opener for both teams on Friday.

Jordan Burgess added 15 kills and 16 digs for the third-ranked Cardinal, which plays at No. 7 Nebraska at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Ajanaku recorded the first kill in each set, and added a nice assist to Brittany Howard as Stanford opened with a 25-16 win.

The Cardinal opened a 22-9 edge in the second set and then survived a Cyclones' rally to win 25-18 on a Burgess kill.

Ajanku recorded seven kills and five blocks in the first two sets, hitting .589. She hit .522 for the match.

Kyle Gilbert recorded 11 of her 18 digs in the third set. Madi Bugg had 42 assists.

Stanford has recorded six straight season-opening wins.

Field hockey

Lauren Becker scored twice, once on an assist from Alex McCawley, and No. 12 Stanford opened its season with a 4-0 victory over No. 18 Delaware in the Stanford tournament on Friday.

Dulce Davies recorded eight saves in the net for the Cardinal, which hosts Liberty at noon Sunday.

Fran Tew and Maddie Secco also scored for Stanford.

Men's soccer

No. 20-ranked Stanford came up empty against Creighton on Friday night in its season opener, falling 2-0 to the host Bluejays in front of a crowd of 2,612 in Omaha, Neb.

The score line wasn't necessarily indicative of what developed as a tightly contested affair in slick and damp conditions. Creighton managed seven shots, while the Cardinal fired off six and had a number of good looks right before the half. But an early tally for the Bluejays put the Cardinal in the unenviable position of chasing the equalizer.

"Creighton played very well and took a couple of good chances," Stanford head coach Jeremy Gunn said. "We gave them the initiative after 10 minutes and they managed to capitalize with a good goal. It allowed them to settle into the game a bit more whereas we were playing catchup."

Creighton's Ricky Lopez-Espin opened the scoring for his squad in the 11th minute following a Stanford giveaway in its own territory. The freshman gathered the ball off the boot of junior Timo Pitter on the right side of the box and beat Stanford sophomore keeper Andrew Epstein to his left. Lopez-Espin was again involved in CU's offensive output in the 53rd minute, when he assisted on sophomore Fabian Hebers' eight-yard finish from the left side.

Slater Meehan and Jordan Morris forced Creighton goalkeeper Connor Sparrow to make a pair of first-half stops and Jimmy Callinan fired off a pair of promising attempts in the 40th and 44th minutes that went just wide of the target. Eric Verso's shot on goal in the 80th minute, which was also handled by Sparrow, was Stanford's best chance in the second half.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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