Sports


Cardinal seniors make it 100 women's water polo wins

 

Stanford All-Americans Ashley Grossman, Kiley Neushul and Maggie Steffens each scored four times and freshman Jordan Raney added her first career hat trick to propel the No. 2 Cardinal women's water polo team to a 20-5 victory over visiting Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday.

The win moved Stanford's record to 20-1 overall and a perfect 5-0 in MPSF play. Not only was it the Cardinal's 38th straight regular-season conference victory and its 26th straight win at home, but it was also the 100th in the careers of Stanford's decorated senior class.

Grossman, Neushul and goalkeeper Emily Dorst, a M-A grad, were honored in a pre-game ceremony. The trio has led Stanford to a 100-7 overall record, including a pair of national championships.

Steffens opened the action with a feed in front from Gurpreet Sohi at 7:39. Grossman then reeled off three in a row and the match was never in doubt.

Katie Dudley, Neushul and Grossman each scored in the fourth to help Stanford reach the 20-goal plateau for the fifth time this season. Neushul's four goals tied a season high and she reached 50 for the fourth straight season.

Stanford, winners of nine straight, is averaging 14.52 goals per game while allowing 4.67. The Cardinal is on pace to set the program's scoring record (13.31 GPG – 2014) and to post its best defensive effort since 2007 (4.41 GAA).

Stanford closes out its regular season on Thursday at California (17-5, 3-2 MPSF) in a match televised on the Pac-12 Networks at 5 p.m.

Women's tennis

No. 13 Stanford won its sixth straight, beating visiting No. 16 Pepperdine, 6-1, Sunday at Taube Family Tennis Stadium as part of the 16th annual ZOOM Marketing Spring Smash.

The Cardinal (15-4) looked sharp in its final home match of the regular season, collecting its fourth victory over a top-20 opponent.

After claiming the doubles point for a 1-0 lead, Stanford powered through singles play with five convincing wins.

Krista Hardebeck made it 2-0 following a 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Matea Cutura at the No. 4 spot.

Caroline Doyle brought Stanford closer to clinching with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Apichaya Runglerkriangrkai at the No. 3 position.

Ellen Tsay made it official minutes later when she rolled past Michaela Capannolo 6-2, 6-0 on court five.

Pepperdine (13-5) earned its only point with a singles win at No. 6.

Stanford concludes the regular season on Saturday at California at noon.

Women's golf

Mariah Stackhouse, Casey Danielson and Shannon Aubert each finished in the top 20 while putting the finishing touches on the PING/Arizona State Invitational on Sunday at Karsten Golf Course.

Stackhouse was 16th at 1-over, Danielson tied for 17th at 2-over and Aubert signed off at 3-over. The trio combined for 10 birdies in the final round of the three-day event.

Stanford (288-287-296) was sixth overall among the 15-team field at 7-over. Arizona won the event at 3-under.

Lauren Kim (68-76-76) tied for 27th and Quirinne Eijkenboom (73-76-75) knotted for 52nd.

Stanford now looks to defend its league title at the Pac-12 Conference Championships (April 20-22) in Boulder, Colorado.

Men's golf

Stanford finished the Western Intercollegiate with a third-place finish among the 14-team field at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz.

Stanford (354-353-360) was 10-over on the day and 17-over for the event, which was won by Texas (+2) after the Longhorns went 10-under Sunday.

It was the sixth straight top-10 finish for the Cardinal and fourth consecutive showing in the top-10.

Oregon took second after bettering the Cardinal by one stroke. Texas' Scottie Scheffler took medalist honors at 9-under.

"The story of the week was the great test that Pasatiempo provided," Cardinal coach Conrad Ray said. "It's as close of a feel in terms of green speeds, firmness and setup that will compare to NCAA championships."

The conference tournament will take place April 27-29 in Pullman, Washington.

"In this field, to finish third is an accomplishment, and gives us some good momentum going into the Pac-12 Conference Championships," Ray said.

Maverick McNealy birdied three holes on the front and started the back nine with bogeys on three of the first four holes. He finished 1-under par and tied for fourth after nailing a birdie putt on the par-3 18th.

McNealy (68-70-69) was 3-under overall and joined in the top-10 by playing partner Viraat Badhwar. Badhwar's 2-under was good for sixth after rounds of 69-69-70.

Patrick Grimes (73-71-72) tied for 20th at 6-over.

"We didn't have our best stuff," Ray said. "We played a little cautious and tried to protect the lead early. Texas came out playing well and made some birdies. There are lessons to be learned for us in terms of being aggressive, controlling our shots and worrying less about the results."

Lacrosse

Stanford senior Emily Newstrom scored a career-high four goals to help Stanford to a 22-2 victory over Saint Mary's in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action Sunday.

No. 15 Stanford (9-2 overall, 5-0 MPSF) continued its domination of the Gaels (0-12, 0-6), improving to 28-0 against them.

Now, the Cardinal can turn its attention to fellow contenders San Diego State (4-2) and USC (6-0), who arrive for Stanford's final home weekend.

Stanford plays the Aztecs Friday (7 p.m.) and, regardless of the Cardinal's result, will play USC for at least a share of first place on Sunday at 3 p.m.

The winner also will have the inside track to the No. 1 seed In the MPSF tournament (April 30-May 3), which determines the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.

The Sunday contest serves as Senior Day for Stanford's Hannah Farr, Kyle Fraser, Rachel Kalick, Meredith Kalinowski, Newstrom, Rachel Ozer, and Chinna O'Suji.

On a warm day in Moraga, Stanford scored the first 11 goals and shut out the Gaels for the first 29:27. Stanford's 22 goals matched its total from two others games this season – 22-7 in the season-opener against Fresno State and 22-11 at Vanderbilt.

The two goals were the fewest allowed by Stanford since a 16-1 victory over Fresno State in the first round of the 2010 MPSF tournament.

Stanford continued its advantage in draw controls, winning 16 of 25 and outshot the Gaels, 37-8. Stanford coach Amy Bokker used 28 players in the game.

Fourteen players scored for the Cardinal, which now has 10 players with at least 10 goals this year.

Elizabeth Cusick scored three goals and had two assists, and Alexandra Crerend, Alex Poplawski, and Fraser scored two goals apiece.

Lucy Dikeou picked up three draw controls and Adrienne Anderson caused two turnovers.

Ozer, a fifth-year senior playing the final collegiate game in her hometown, had a goal and two assists for Stanford.

Softball

Bessie Noll hit her second home run in as many days, Hanna Winter had two hits and moved up the ranks of Stanford's all-time stolen base leaders but visiting No. 8 UCLA completed a series sweep of the Cardinal, winning 10-2 Sunday in Pac-12 softball action.

Stanford (1-11 Pac-12, 16-25 overall) looks to rebound Wednesday with a nonconference game against visiting St. Mary's at 6 p.m.

Winter stole her 10th base of the season -- she's only been caught twice -- and the 57th of her career to move into sole possession of third on Stanford's all-time list behind Sarah Hassman (99) and two-time Olympic gold medalist Jessica Mendoza (86).

While the Cardinal defense was solid, the Bruins continued to swing a big bat at the plate and capitalized on Stanford's limited pitching options due to injuries. The Bruins produced 15 hits.

"We knew UCLA was going to be a tough match-up but we battled," Stanford coach Rachel Hanson said. "We need to be a little more disciplined at the plate but defensively we really competed this weekend and did well."

Kylie Sorenson (4-6), typically Stanford's starting shortstop, made her fourth consecutive start. Kayla Bonstrom, Kaitlyn Lagattuta and Erin Ashby also pitched for Stanford.

"Our position players who were pitching did a great job of managing the game the best they could," said Hanson. "Each of them did a good job today of limiting UCLA to no huge innings offensively."

Bonstrom is Stanford's top hitter. She leads the team in several offensive categories, including RBI (44), doubles (14), home runs (10), batting average (.442), slugging percentage (.825) and on-base percentage (.544). The RBI total equals her total from all of last year.

Men's crew

No. 13 Stanford completed the Stanford Invitational with three victories over UC San Diego on Sunday, giving the Cardinal six wins in six races over the two-day event.

"It is always nice to rack up some wins," Cardinal sophomore Erik Holmvik said. "It is tough to recover from losses and switch momentum, but we are all really happy with the results of yesterday afternoon and this morning."

The varsity eight started things with a winning race over the Tritons.

Stanford looked good throughout and came under the bridge with a sizable lead.

By the end they had stretched it out to several boat lengths of open water to win by over 17 seconds. The final time for the Cardinal was 5:54.2 as they closed out the weekend with a 2-1 record.

The second varsity eight used a good start to beat UC San Diego. The Cardinal was first through the bridge, though the Tritons stayed within striking distance. Stanford was able to hang on, winning in a time of 6:07.7.

"We switched some guys around and tried out different equipment," said Holmvik. "We thought that would give us some extra bite on the front end. We had a really good start and kept chipping away at them to set ourselves up to bring it home at the end."

The third varsity eight gave the Cardinal its third win of the day, gliding past UCSD with a time of 6:15.9, nearly 10 seconds faster than the Tritons.

"We are still trying to find the right combination in the varsity boat," said Holmvik. "Our lineups are still subject to change. We are also really trying to work on holding the body of the piece together and maintaining the aggressive rhythm we start with."

The Cardinal return to its home race course, Redwood Shores, next weekend when it welcomes Oregon State and Wisconsin for the Pac-12 Challenge.

Women's crew

What happens when you put three of the top six teams in the country in one race? You get some really great racing, that's what.

That is what happened on Sunday at the Lake Natoma Invitational when No. 6 Stanford faced No. 2 Brown and No. 3 Cal to close out the weekend.

"The racing was really outstanding and conditions were excellent," Stanford coach Yasmin Farooq said. "The opportunity to square off against Brown and Cal today capped off a first rate weekend and gave valuable insight on our progress so far."

The varsity eight was a match-up of three of the top boats in the country. Stanford got off to a poor start and trailed both Cal and Brown right out of the gate.

The Cardinal was able to draw level with Brown in the second 500 meters of the race. The two schools were battling for second throughout with Cal in the lead.

"It was a great opportunity to see two of the top teams in the nation," said Cardinal junior Ellie Parker. "We learned the areas of growth we need to focus on. As a team it was a great stepping stone towards our end goal."

In the final 500 meters, Brown started to make a move, but Stanford countered with a good finish to place second behind Cal. The Cardinal (6:29.1) crossed less than a second in front of Brown (6:30.0).

The varsity four had the best start of the day for Stanford as they took the early lead.

made a charge to take the lead away in the second 500 meters, while the Cardinal opened up a boat length on Cal for second.

The Golden Bears tried to come back on Stanford, but a strong sprint for the Cardinal left them behind. Stanford had a second place time of 7:26.5, four seconds up on Cal.

The 2V8 jumped out to a great start and was second off the line to Brown. However, Cal was able to catch them a quarter of the way through the race.

The Golden Bears continued to move and overtook Brown as well for first, while Stanford ended up third with a time of 6:42.4. The Cardinal was eight seconds back of Brown.

Stanford will compete in the Big Row against California on Saturday, May 2.

Sand volleyball

Stanford appeared in the finals of two of the three brackets of the Stanford Invitational pairs tournament on Sunday at Stanford Sand Volleyball Stadium.

Pairs from UCLA won the championship in all three brackets, including an all-UCLA final in the 1s and 2s flight.

Stanford's No. 3 pair of Jordan Burgess and Merete Lutz went 2-1 Sunday, falling to UCLA's No. 4 team of Karly Drolson and Rachel Inouye, 21-11, 23-21.

The Cardinal's No. 6 team, Petra Grutzik and Dana Ritchie, also reached the finals of the 5s and 6s' bracket. They finished the day 3-1, dropping the championship to UCLA's No. 5 team Lexi Jasper-Baylin and Ivey Schmitt, 19-21, 21-16, 21-19.

Stanford's top pair, senior Lauren Birks and junior Brittany Howard, reached the semifinals in the 1s and 2s bracket.

The Cardinal defeated Saint Mary's No. 2 pair of Mary Hernandez and Clare Powers, 21-14, 21-15 before falling to UCLA's top team of Zoe Nightingale and Kamila Tan, 11-21, 21-18, 15-8.

Stanford hosts Pacific on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

Sailing

The Stanford men placed three boats among the top five of the Cardinal In-Conference Regatta.

Stanford's top boat won with 23 points, followed by Stanford's No. 3 boat with 39 points. The Cardinal's fourth boat was fifth (73) and the second boat (101) placed ninth.

At the Bryson's Women's Regatta, also hosted by Stanford, the Cardinal won the title with 67 points, followed by USC (132) and Cal (150).

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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