Freshman Ella Eastin set the tone for the new year, swimming to a pair of victories and helping the third-ranked Stanford women down visiting Arizona State, 176-63, in a Pac-12 swim meet Friday.
The Cardinal (3-0, 3-0 Pac-12) do it all over again Saturday when No. 7 Arizona comes to Avery Aquatic Center for a noon meet.
Eastin cruised past the field for victories in both the 400 individual medley and 500 freestyle. Eastin stopped the clock at 4:09.01 for a nine-second win over a pair of teammates in the 400 IM, and not long after, earned a 13-second victory in the 500 free with a season-best effort of 4:48.92.
"I think I'm in a really good spot," Eastin told the Pac-12 Network. "I've been responding really well to the training and being able to train with some awesome athletes and girls has been a blessing. I'm really excited."
Gracia Leydon-Mahoney claimed the 3-meter diving title with a score of 340.73, and was followed by teammates Alex Clay (316.58) and Lilly Hinrichs (312.45). Clay was also the runner-up in the 1-meter event with a score of 291.83.
"We had a pretty good first meet and I'm happy with our performances today," Cardinal diving coach Patrick Jeffrey said. "They all dove really well and we were consistent across the board. I'm encouraged for what is coming."
In the 100 free, Janet Hu was the first of three straight Cardinal swimmers to touch the wall. The sophomore finished in 50.22, while Lindsey Engel earned the silver at 50.89 and Nicole Stafford garnered third at 51.33.
Lia Neal edged Hu in the 50 free by one-hundreth of a second. Neal touched the wall at 22.83 for the win.
Tara Halsted bested the field in the 200 butterfly with a winning time of 2:00.17, while Sacred Heart Prep grad Ally Howe finished first in the 200 back at 1:57.25, and Heidi Poppe won the 200 breast at 2:15.61.
Senior Allison Brown broke 10 minutes in the 1,000 free with a season-best effort of 9:57.41.
The Cardinal also claimed both relays with Hu, Poppe, Engel and Julia Ama as winners in the 400 medley (3:38.53) and Alex Meyers, Engel, Stafford and Ama combining to finish in 3:22.64 in the 400 free.
Sophomore Liam Egan recorded a pair of victories, five others also won races and Stanford swept the relays in beating visiting Arizona State, 157-83, in a Pac-12 Conference swim meet Friday.
The 10th-ranked Cardinal (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) return to competition Saturday, hosting No. 6 Arizona at noon at Avery Aquatic Center.
Egan raced 1:38.33 to win the 200 free and went 4:27.12 to capture the 500 free. Junior Justin Buck finished first in the 1,000 free in 9:19.38 and junior Spencer DeShon swam 20.47 to win the 50 free.
Freshman Abrahm DeVine was clocked in 3:53.14 to win the 400 individual medley. DeVine owns the nation's 13th-best time (3:45.50) of the season, which he achieved at the A3 Invitational in November.
Freshman Matt Anderson won the 200 breast in 1:59.12.
Keyed by strong performances from Gabriel Vega and Madison Hayden, No. 8 Stanford cruised past visiting UC San Diego, 25-16, 25-20, 25-19, in its regular season home-opener at Burnham Pavilion on Friday night.
The Cardinal (4-1, 2-1 MPSF) rebounded from its first loss of the year against top-ranked BYU by recording its second sweep of the year while sending the Tritons (1-4, 0-3 MPSF) to their third consecutive loss.
Ranked in the national top-10 for the first time since the end of the 2014 season, Stanford built leads of 8-2 and 19-11 en route to winning the first set 25-16.
Thanks to several early blocks from senior middle blocker Conrad Kaminski, the Cardinal jumped out an 8-2 advantage, forcing UCSD into its first timeout.
The Tritons, unable to solve Stanford's front line, never got closer than five thereafter in the opening set and were held to a .000 hitting percentage (8 kills, 8 errors).
Kevin Rakestraw and Hayden led the Cardinal with three kills apiece, and the team had 5.5 total blocks to UCSD's one. Stanford remained perfect (5-0) in opening sets this season.
UCSD put up a much tougher fight in the second, but its efforts were thwarted by strong performances from Hayden and Kaminski, who combined for eight kills on 13 attempts.
Early kills from Tanner Syftesad and Shayne Beamer gave the Tritons their first lead of the match at 4-2, but Stanford rallied to tie the set at eight and never trailed from there, prevailing 25-20.
The Cardinal stayed efficient on offense, hitting over .300. Senior James Shaw added two services aces, and his play at the net helped Stanford limit the normally potent Kirill Rudenko (3.00 kills/set) to zero second-set kills.
UCSD continued its strong play well into the third set, but Stanford's size and power were simply too much as it finished off the sweep 25-19.
Vega totaled eight kills on 12 attempts in the third, with fellow senior Alex Stephanus recording two kills off the bench. Freshman Chris Moore notched the game-winning kill in his collegiate debut.
Vega finished with a match-high 12 kills, and added an ace to go along with three block assists. Kaminski and Rakestraw notched four blocks each, and Shaw was tops on the team with 28 assists. UCSD was led by six kills apiece from Ian Colbert and Beamer.
The Cardinal next face fourth-ranked UC Irvine on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Burnham Pavilion.