Stanford's Ajanku and Lutz earn Pac-12 volleyball honors


Stanford middle blockers Inky Ajanaku and Merete Lutz have been named the Pac-12 Offensive Player and Freshman of the Week, respectively, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.

The top-ranked Cardinal improved to 20-0, its best start to a season since 1994, with wins over No. 17 UCLA and No. 19 USC.

Ajanaku averaged a team-best 3.88 kills and 4.63 points per set while hitting .436. She also collected 1.50 blocks per set in the two matches. Against UCLA, the junior had a team-high 15 kills on 24 swings with just one error to hit .538. She added nine blocks against the Bruins, once shy of her career high. Versus USC, she tallied 16 kills, three blocks and two digs.

Lutz, who hit .489 in the two matches, led the Cardinal on the week with 1.88 blocks per set to go with 3.00 kills and 4.06 points. She accounted for 10 of the team's season-high 20.0 blocks against the Bruins, while adding 12 kills on 18 attempts with just one error to hit .611. She turned in 12 more kills against USC while notching five blocks and three assists.

Ajanaku's weekly honor is the fourth of her career, and the second time she has been named offensive player of the week. Twice she has earned defensive player of the week accolades this season.

Lutz picks up her second honor this season, marking the ninth freshman of the week award for Stanford all-time.

Stanford opens the second half of conference play on the road at Oregon State on Friday and at No. 11 Oregon on Sunday. Both matches will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.


Senior strong safety Jordan Richards has been named among 15 semifinalists for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award, given to the top defensive back in college football.

Richards has anchored one of the nation's great defenses as Stanford enters this week's game ranked among the top five statistically in scoring defense, total defense, passing defense and rushing defense. Richards leads Stanford in solo tackles (37) and has three forced fumbles.

Men's golf

Patrick Grimes has been voted team captain for the 2014-15 season by his teammates, as announced by Cardinal head coach Conrad Ray.

Grimes, a senior from Palo Alto, grew up attending golf camp at Stanford and prepped at nearby Menlo School.

Grimes and the Stanford squad return to the course for the Gifford Collegiate (Nov. 3-5) in San Martin.


Arden Pettit was one of 22 athletes to receive an invitation to try out for the 2015 USA Softball Junior Women's (19-Under) National Team, as announced by the Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball.

Pettit will travel to Irvine for the Selection Camp (Jan. 3-4) and pursue a spot on the 17-player roster to represent the United States at the World Cup of Softball X and the International Softball Federation Junior Women's World Championship.

Pettit, a freshman catcher/utility from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., joined the Cardinal after playing six years of varsity softball at The Benjamin School in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. She is her high school's career leader in all major offensive and defense categories and had her No. 15 jersey retired by the program.

— Stanford Athletics

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