Sports


Stanford's Ajanku earns Pac-12 defensive volleyball honor again

 

Stanford junior Inky Ajanaku was voted Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week in women's volleyball for the second-straight week on Monday.

Ajanaku led Stanford to five-set wins over top-10 ranked Big Ten opponents, including then-No. 1 Penn State and then-No. 9 Illinois last week in the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge.


The sweep enabled Stanford to take over the nation's top spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 poll on Monday.

The tournament's Most Valuable Player, Ajanaku posted a.442 hitting percentage over the two matches while averaging 3.50 points, 3.00 kills and 1.00 blocks per set.

Against the then-top ranked Nittany Lions, she hit a team-best .385, totaling 14 kills, including the 600th of her career, and four blocks for 16.0 points.

Against the then-No. 9 Illini, the Tulsa, Okla., native notched 16 kills, one shy of her career high, on a .500 hitting percentage to go with six blocks as the Cardinal fought back from a 2-1 deficit to remain undefeated on the year. Ajanaku now leads the Pac-12 with a .474 hitting percentage on the season.

Men's golf

Stanford opened its schedule right where it left off at the end of its previous regular season: on top of the leaderboard.

The Cardinal is first among the 12-team field at the Southwestern Intercollegiate, as 36 holes of the three-round event at the par-71, 6,964-yard North Ranch Country Club were contested Monday.

At 4-over, Stanford (280-292) is six strokes ahead of second-place Washington (578). The Huskies fired a tournament-best 2-over in the second round of competition. Host USC (580) is third overall.

Stanford, which collected six wins during the 2013-14 slate, closed its prior regular-season schedule with back-to-back wins. The Cardinal has not trailed through each of its last 14 days of stroke-play competition, a streak that originated March 28, 2014. Stanford last trailed on such an occasion at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters (March 9), when it finished second.

Maverick McNealy (66-72) and Jim Liu (69-69) are tied for first among individuals, with Viraat Badhwar (70-73) in seventh. Patrick Grimes (75-79) is tied for 54th and Dominick Francks (78-78) is tied for 58th.

McNealy was 6-under on the back nine of his opening round, tacking on an eagle on the par-5 15th.

Football

Stanford and the University of Central Florida (UCF) have agreed to play a two-game football series in 2015 and 2019.

Stanford will host the first game of the series with UCF visiting Stanford Stadium on Sept. 12, 2015. Stanford will travel to Orlando, Fla. on Sept. 14, 2019.

"We look forward to playing UCF as our first game against a Florida-based school," said Bernard Muir, Stanford's Director of Athletics. "UCF is a rapidly growing campus with a tremendous venue for football, one that our fans will enjoy visiting."

UCF has won at least nine games in three of the past four season while going 12-1 in 2013 and capping the season with a 52-42 win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl.

Stanford and UCF have never met on the football field. In fact, the game will mark Stanford's first regularly scheduled game against any team from the state of Florida.

Baseball

Former Stanford and Menlo School standout Danny Diekroeger was named team Most Valuable Player for the Class A State College (Pa.) Spikes. The 22-year-old third baseman from Woodside hit .286 for the short-season team.

A 10th-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals last spring, Diekroeger had a team-record 21-game hitting streak in addition to driving in 35 runs and recording a team-best four triples.

Diekroeger had a hit for the Spikes in a 2-0 victory over the Tri-City ValleyCats in the opening game of the best-of-three New York-Penn League playoffs on Sunday night.

The Spikes, one victory away from a NYPL title, now head to Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, N.Y. for Game 2 against the ValleyCats on Monday at 7 p.m.

Swimming

Tracy Duchac has been promoted to Associate Head Coach of the Stanford women's swimming and diving team, Cardinal AD Bernard Muir announced. Duchac has spent the past two seasons as an assistant for the Cardinal.

Duchac was instrumental in Stanford's second-place showing at the 2014 NCAA Championships. The Cardinal won four of five relays, Maya DiRado swept the IM races and Felicia Lee won the 100 fly, as Stanford outpaced expectations on its way to its best NCAA showing since 2010.

The former honorable mention All-American at Purdue was also an assistant when Stanford claimed eighth at the NCAA meet in 2013. The Cardinal has claimed 67 All-America honors during her two years on The Farm, including 11 from DiRado, who doubled as an Academic All-American.

In addition to her success with current student-athletes, Duchac has been vital in the recruiting process. Her efforts helped Stanford sign what many considered to be the No. 1 class in 2013-14, which was highlighted by 2014-15 U.S. National Team member Simone Manuel.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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