Stanford women rally past USC in Pac-12 swimming meet


The second-ranked Stanford women's swimming and diving team clinched at least a tie for the regular-season Pac-12 title, rallying for a 152-148 victory over host No. 7 USC on Saturday.

The Cardinal (6-0, 6-0 Pac-12) clinched the meet with a second-place finish in the 400-yard free relay. Stanford handed USC (7-2, 5-1 Pac-12) its first conference loss of the season and remains unbeaten in the series with the Trojans since 1996.

Alex Clay
"I'm really proud of how the team battled," head coach Greg Meehan said of the road victory. "We haven't had a come-from-behind win in a long time, and it was nice to see our resilience. Speedo Ally (Howe), Sarah Haase, Janet Hu and Alex Clay were awesome."

In a meet where every point mattered, Howe, Haase and Hu combined with Lia Neal to win the opening event for the Cardinal. The foursome finished the 200-yard medley relay in 1:38.53.

Neal and Haase went on to claim Stanford's first individual victories with wins in the 200 free (1:45.87) and 100 breast (1:00.93), respectively.

Neal followed with a win in the 100 free (48.36) just after freshman Ella Eastin topped the field in the 200 fly with a time of 1:56.39. It was the first of two wins on the afternoon for the rookie.

Eastin also came up with a huge win in the final individual event of the day to give the Cardinal the edge heading into the last relay. She tapped the wall at 1:58.30 to hold off a pair of Trojans in the 200 individual medley.

Senior Alex Clay swept the diving events, earning crucial points in the showdown. She won the 1-meter event over teammate Gracia Leydon-Mahoney with a score of 300.38, and then garnered another nine points with the top score of 315.45 in the 3-meter.

Hu was also a double-winner in the second half of the meet. She started with a winning effort in the 200 back (1:54.62), and out-touched the Trojans in the 100 fly at 53.33.

Haase swept the breaststroke events with a victory in the 200 as well (2:12.25).

Stanford hosts Pac-12 rival and third-ranked Cal on Saturday, Feb. 13 at noon at the Avery Aquatics Center.

The Trojans knocked off the Golden Bears on Friday.

Men's gymnastics

The No. 2 Cardinal kept its season perfect Saturday night as it took first with a team score of 435.000 in a tri-match against No. 18 Washington (398.050) and No. 20 SC United (355.100).

Career bests were in abundance on the night as Stanford took team wins and individual titles in all six events.

Gabe Flores led the way with a 15.300 score on the floor, while Drew Burton, Grant Breckenridge and Jordan DeClerk all posted career bests in the event to lead Stanford to a 72.150 team score.

Drew Willoughby led the way in pommel horse with a career best score of 15.150. Drew Burton added a 13.750 score to tie his career best while Robert Neff added in a 13.850 for a season best to give Stanford a team score of 70.400.

Jordan DeClerk played hero on rings with a season best score of 14.800 to take the individual title, while Gabe Flores and Drew Burton also posted career bests as Stanford took home its third event win with a 71.150 score.

The Cardinal kept the momentum rolling in vault as Gabe Flores posted a 14.950 in another career best performance.

Grant Breckenridge followed up with a 14.850 and Gareth Weiss next with a 14.650 to take second and third in the event while Stanford posted a 73.350 team score for its fourth event win.

Defending NCAA parallel bars champion Brian Knott was next to register an individual title for a season best 15.300.

Dennis Zaremski and Robert Neff also broke the 15 mark for season and career bests of 15.150 and 15.050 to lead Stanford to its second-highest team score of 73.600.

Stanford remained hot for high bar as Robert Neff recorded a career-high of 15.250 in the event.

Season bests were posted by Ryan Sheppard (15.100) and Brian Knott (15.000) to tally a 74.350 team score and keep the Cardinal unbeaten (7-0)on the season.

The Cardinal returns to action on Saturday, hosting Michigan and California at 4 p.m. in Burnham Pavilion.

Men's tennis

No. 17 Stanford collected its fourth win of the season with a 7-0 victory over San Diego State on Saturday on the indoor courts at the Broadway Tennis Center in Burlingame.

Stanford (4-1) won the doubles point thanks to victories at the Nos. 2 and 3 spots. David Wilczynski and Yale Goldberg played to a 6-0 win and Tom Fawcett and Sameer Kumar clinched the point with a 6-3 victory.

Michael Genender gave Stanford its first singles point, ripping past Raul de la Torre 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 6 spot. Nolan Paige followed with a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 3. The clincher came from Fawcett, his third of the season.

The Cardinal finished the match with three more wins. Kumar pushed his win streak to five with a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 5 before teammate Maciek Romanowicz finished his match in the No. 4 spot, topping Jonas Meinzer 6-1, 6-2. Wilczynski went to a tie-breaker before winning his match.

Stanford returns home Tuesday, hosting Santa Clara at 3 p.m.

Women's gymnastics

No. 12 Stanford scored season-bests in two events and had multiple standout individual performances to finish fourth with a 196.075 Saturday night at the Metroplex Challenge.

Second-ranked Oklahoma posted the meet's highest score with a 197.550, followed by No. 6 LSU (196.750), Washington (196.175), Stanford and No. 16 Missouri (195.825).

The Cardinal (7-4, 1-2 Pac-12) battled through a slow start on floor and vault to post season-best scores of 49.325 on bars and 49.300 on beam.

Elizabeth Price extended her winning streak in the all-around to four weeks with a season-best 39.600 to edge Oklahoma's Chayse Capps (39.575) for the top spot.

Price tied for the individual event victory on bars (9.950), tied for third on beam (9.900), tied for fourth on vault (9.875) and tied for sixth on floor (9.875).

Price has scored 9.825 or higher in 15-of-16 performances this season and 9.900 or higher in 28-of-41 performances during her collegiate career. She has registered 11 individual event victories in 20 possible events this season.

Ivana Hong continued to produce big scores in her events, tying for the individual event victory on beam with a 9.925 and tying for fifth on bars with a 9.900.

It is the second consecutive week Hong has produced a 9.925 on beam and the second meet in a row she's claimed the individual victory.

Nicolette McNair continued to be one of Stanford's most consistent gymnasts, hitting each of her three routines for scores of 9.800 and above.

She tied her season best on bars (9.875), set a season high on beam (9.850) and tied her season best on vault (9.800). McNair has scored 9.800 or higher in 11-of-12 routines this season.

Rachel Daum made her season debut on floor and beam. She delivered a clutch performance on beam in the anchor position to score a 9.800 and prevent Stanford from having to count a missed routine from earlier in the rotation.

Stanford got off to a slow start on floor with a 48.550. Price led the team with a 9.875 and Haley Spector generated a 9.775.

The Cardinal built momentum on vault with five-of-six gymnasts scoring 9.725 or higher. Price again led the Cardinal in the event with a 9.875, followed by Nicolette McNair with a 9.800 and Taryn Fitzgerald with a 9.775.

Stanford exploded on bars for a 49.325 – tying for the second-highest score of the meet. Nicolette McNair got the Cardinal started on a positive note with a 9.875.

Price led the way for the third consecutive event with a 9.950 and Hong closed the rotation with a season-best 9.900.

The Cardinal finished the meet on a high note, scoring a meet-best 49.300 on beam in the final rotation.

Nicolette McNair got Stanford off to a good start with a 9.850 but a fall in the second position meant the Cardinal would need to hit each of its next four routines.

Stanford delivered in a big way with Hong following the missed routine with one of the night's best performances to earn a meet-high 9.925. Price followed with a 9.900 and Melissa Chuang earned a 9.825.

Daum stepped to the beam for the first time this season and battled through her routine to earn a 9.800.

The Cardinal will look to build on its strong finish when it plays host to Arizona State on Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. in Burnham Pavilion.

Women's tennis

No. 8 Stanford dropped a 4-1 decision to host top-ranked Vanderbilt on Saturday, coming up empty during its two-match road swing against a pair of top 25 opponents.

Stanford enters February at 1-2 overall, representing the first time in school history that the Cardinal owns a losing record. The program has played 1,032 total matches, spanning 42 years.

Playing with three freshmen in the lineup and without the services of lat year's NCAA singles runner-up Carol Zhao, the Cardinal was coming off a 4-3 loss to No. 25 Mississippi on Friday in a neutral-site match.

Stanford had an opportunity for a bounce-back win against the defending NCAA champions on their home court, but Vanderbilt's depth proved to be the difference.

The Cardinal moved in front 1-0 after capturing the doubles point, thanks to a pair of 6-2 victories at the Nos. 1 and 3 spots. Taylor Davidson and Caroline Doyle evened the stakes after Vanderbilt had gained an early edge, before Krista Hardebeck and Caroline Lampl provided the clincher on court three.

Vanderbilt (3-0) then seized the momentum in singles, quickly notching four straight-set wins to take control of the match. With the Commodores leading 3-1, Courtney Colton defeated Melissa Lord 6-3, 6-1 at the No. 4 spot.

The scheduled match between Caroline Lampl and Fernanda Contreras on court six was never started, as the indoor facility only accommodates five matches to be played at once.

Stanford returns to action next Saturday, hosting Saint Mary's in a 3 p.m. tilt.

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