Sports

Stanford volleyball, baseball teams upset ranked foes

 

The Stanford men's volleyball team regained the momentum after dropping the first set and rallied to knock off visiting BYU, 21-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-18, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match Friday.

The fourth-ranked Cougars (10-3, 13-4) had a five-match winning streak end. They had won 10 of their previous 11 and dropped to 2-3 on the road.

Stanford (4-8, 7-11) won two in a row for the first time all season and will try to make it three straight Saturday when the Cardinal and BYU meet again at 7 p.m. The Cougars have never lost two in a row.

"BYU is a good team and they played well and consistently in the first game," Stanford coach John Kosty said. "We made some nice adjustments in games two, three and four to help improve our situation and get more transition swings."

In all seven of Stanford's wins this season it has out hit its opponent, including .246 to .183 Friday against BYU.

"I also think we served more effectively in games two, three and four," Kosty said. "I think our middles really helped contain their outside hitters and took away some things from them. They got some nice touches and we just played consistent volleyball, which is nice to see from this team."

Junior James Shaw returned to the starting setter position, finishing with 41 assists, eight digs and five kills. He also tied his season-high with three service aces.

"One of the key things for us tonight is that we passed well," Kosty said. "Passing well gets James up tight to the net and a 6-8 setter causes a lot of issues when the pass is on top of the tape."

Stanford did not give up a service ace to the Cougars as the Cardinal's passers, Evan Enriques, Madison Hayden and Daniel Tublin, posted a 1.000 reception percentage. The trio also played solid defense, combining for 22 of the team's 39 digs.

Offensively, redshirt sophomore opposite Gabriel Vega paced the team with 16 kills on a .312 attack percentage and eight digs. Hayden added 11 kills and three aces, while Tublin totaled eight kills and three blocks.

"Gabo has found a home on the right side," added Kosty. "He has been very consistent over the last three to four weeks now. I am very happy with how he is playing and developing as an opposite. The confidence he is exuding every time he takes a swing."

Stanford's middle blockers, Conrad Kaminski and Spencer Haly, both hit .400 or better and tied for a team-best four blocks.

Baseball

Quinn Brodey drove in the go-ahead run, and the Stanford bullpen took care of things from there on Friday, with the Cardinal beating No. 12 Texas, 5-3, in a nonconference game.

Sophomore Chris Viall threw a career-high 6 2/3 innings to earn his first win of the season, as Stanford blanked Texas for the final seven innings in the second contest of a four-game set.

Daniel Starwalt, Chris Castellanos and Colton Hock followed Viall, with Hock pitching a perfect ninth for his third save.

The lower end of the Cardinal lineup produced all the offense, with junior Austin Barr reaching base four times and driving in a run. Brodey recorded two hits and two RBI, and Jack Klein and Bryce Carter each drove in a run.

Menlo School grad Mikey Diekroeger was 1 for 2 and scored three times.

"It's really fun to watch us succeed even without (the injured players), especially when the freshmen step in and feel more comfortable," Barr said. "I think it will be good for us down the stretch because we will need everybody to get as far as we did last year and further."

Stanford (9-6) is missing its leading returning hitter in Zach Hoffpauir, junior shortstop Drew Jackson, freshman infielder Jesse Kuet and senior starting pitcher John Hochstatter, all down with injuries and all unlikely available for the rest of the series.

Viall, who has struggled with his control at times, settled in to allow just six hits. He threw 106 pitches, 67 for strikes, while walking three and striking out two.

All three Texas runs were scored on one swing, a three-run homer from Taylor Stell to start the scoring with two outs in the second inning. The runs were unearned, but the home run itself was definitely earned.

Stanford chipped away with two runs in the bottom of the second, before taking its first lead in the sixth inning. Brodey played a major role in each frame, providing an RBI base hit to short in the second and knocking in the go-ahead run on a double that barely stayed fair over the first base bag. Barr, who had singled home the tying run with two outs, came all the way around from first and slid under the tag at home to put the Cardinal on top.

Barr got a hit in his only official at bat, but reached base four times to lead the Cardinal. Brodey was the only player in the game with multiple hits.

"I just took what they gave me and got on base," Barr added. "That's what it takes to help us win. We're shorthanded and we're doing whatever we can to try to get wins right now."

Stanford will look for its third win over the Longhorns at 2 p.m. Saturday. Sophomore right-hander Brett Hanewich is slated to pitch against Texas ace Parker French.

Women's tennis

No. 10 Stanford notched its third shutout of the season, blanking Utah, 7-0, in its Pac-12 opener Friday afternoon at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

Stanford (8-2) entered Friday's match in an unfamiliar spot, coming off back-to-back losses for the first time since 1983.

The Cardinal figured to be in a good position entering Pac-12 play after navigating through a challenging nonconference slate that featured all nine opponents ranked No. 54 or higher and five among the top 20.

After capturing the doubles point for a 1-0 lead, Krista Hardebeck and Caroline Doyle won easily in straight sets to put Stanford on the verge of clinching the match.

Ellen Tsay made it official with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Alexia Petrovic at the No. 5 spot before the Cardinal finished off the shutout.

Stanford is idle until a March 21 visit to UCLA.

Sand volleyball

Stanford opened its season with a 5-0 victory over Sacramento State on Friday as part of the NorCal Invitational being played on Stanford's campus.

The win marks the first in its new facility, Stanford Sand Volleyball Stadium, for the Cardinal.

Also picking up wins on the first day of the tournament were Santa Clara, 3-2 over USF, Pacific, 4-1 against California, and Saint Mary's, 5-0 over San Jose State.

Stanford will meet Santa Clara in the team semifinals on courts one and two on Saturday, March 7 at 9 a.m. PT. Pacific and Saint Mary's make up the other semifinal and will play at the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation (ACSR) courts.

Softball

Tylyn Wells had two hits and drove in two runs but Stanford dropped a 10-5 decision to visiting Minnesota as part of the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic on Friday.

The Cardinal (12-12) scored five times in the sixth to pull within 7-5 before the Golden Gophers (13-4) added onto their lead in the seventh.

Erin Ashby added two hits for Stanford, which plays Santa Clara and Minnesota on Saturday.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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