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Stanford's rally falls short in MPSF women's water polo

 

Stanford used a 5-1 run over the second and third quarters to storm back from an early three-goal deficit, but UCLA's Devin Grab scored her fourth of the afternoon on a penalty early in sudden death overtime to help the No. 2 Bruins escape with a 9-8 victory over the No. 3 Cardinal on Saturday.

Both teams scored twice in the first overtime period and were held scoreless in the second. Early in the third, UCLA's Mackenzie Barr drew a penalty on Stanford (19-4, 4-2 MPSF), which set up Grab's winner.

The teams' first meeting of 2016, the two schools could play each other multiple times in the postseason. The Bruins (22-3, 5-1 MPSF) secured the No. 2 seed in the upcoming MPSF Tournament while Stanford will be seeded third.

Jamie Neushul, who scored four goals for the third time this season, powered the Cardinal back into the contest late in the first half.

Scoreless over the game's first 14 minutes and down 3-0, Stanford scored a trio of unanswered goals in the final 2:18 of the second quarter to tie it by halftime.

Dani Jackovich started the Stanford run when she took a touch pass over the top from Neushul, patiently found an opening and slid the ball underneath UCLA's Alex Musselman.

Streaking down the pool, Neushul scored off a long feed from Julia Hermann with under a minute until intermission and with 11 seconds on the clock she sat five-meters out, used a few fakes and skipped it to the back of the cage.

Stanford's run continued in the third following a Grab goal 90 seconds into the period.

Neushul lobbed home her third straight for Stanford to tie the game, 4-4, when no one picked her up in front with 3:14 on the clock.

Kat Klass gave the Cardinal its first lead of the day on the counter following a Jordan Raney steal at 2:36.

The game teetered back-and-forth the rest of the way. Grab brought UCLA level in the fourth quarter (6:51), but Klass would respond when she went bar down and in after the ball cycled through Raney, Neushul and Madison Berggren multiple times.

UCLA tied it on its next possession and neither team was able to break the deadlock in regulation following a frantic final seconds that featured a Bruin offensive foul, Stanford breakaway, Musselman save and Hermann stop on a pool-length attempt at the buzzer.

The Bruins struck first in overtime, prompting a Jackovich answer. Then UCLA inched ahead again and was reeled in on Neushul's fourth of the game with 15 seconds to go in the first extra period.

Stanford will open the MPSF tournament at Cal State Bakersfield on Friday at 12:45 p.m. against sixth-seeded San Jose State.

The winner will face either UCLA or the host Roadrunners on Saturday at the same time.

Women's tennis

Freshman Melissa Lord and junior Carol Zhao and played together a total of eight matches. It must be a good fit. The Stanford duo competes for a doubles title Sunday at the Pac-12 Championship in Ojai.

Lord and Zhao, who teamed for the first time on March 25 in a dual against Colorado, square off against the No. 22-ranked duo of Alexandra Osborne and Ebony Panoho from Arizona State at 1 p.m. The match will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

Lord and Zhao (7-1 overall, 4-1 duals) have won three nail-biters to reach this point, including Saturday's 6-4 victory over Washington's No. 34-ranked duo of Nour Abbes and Maki Kobayashi.

Lord and Zhao have won all three of their tournament matches against nationally-ranked opponents after facing only unranked foes up to this point.

Stanford has produced eight conference doubles champions, with Zhao looking to repeat after capturing last year's title with fellow junior Taylor Davidson.

Zhao is trying to become the first Cardinal player to win back-to-back doubles conference crowns since Alice Barnes' three-year stranglehold from 2004-06 playing with two different partners.

Returning to Stanford's lineup on a full-time basis late last month, Zhao needed a partner for doubles.

Preferring not to break up the Cardinal's top duo of Taylor Davidson-Caroline Doyle and equally effective No. 3 tandem of Krista Hardebeck-Caroline Lampl, the coaching staff matched Zhao with Lord at the No. 2 position.

It could be the beginning of a long relationship.

Baseball

In a back-and-forth affair, Stanford ultimately fell to Arizona State, 9-6, in a Pac-12 contest Saturday.

The Sun Devils scored the game's first run in the second inning, as they did Friday night.

Junior Jack Klein got the offense going with the Cardinal's first hit in the third inning, also for the second straight gamer, and Stanford scored the game's next two runs.

Klein singled to right and scored all the way from first base -- he beat the throw home with a head-first slide -- on junior shortstop Tommy Edman's line-drive double down the left field line. Edman advanced to third on the throw and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by freshman Nico Hoerner.

Arizona State responded with the next two runs to take a 3-2 lead. Junior starter Chris Castellanos looked as if he would work around a leadoff double in the fifth. He forced two straight pop outs, but a walk was followed by a two-out double, and both Sun Devils scored.

The Cardinal put together five straight hits and scored three runs in the sixth inning. Sophomore Quinn Brodey blasted a solo shot over the wall in right field to tie the game, 3-3, with one out. Matt Winaker doubled, Alex Dunlap singled, and Austin Barr brought both home with a double to left field for a 5-3 lead.

However, Arizona State erased the Stanford lead with two solo home runs in the seventh. The Sun Devils then added three more in the inning to go-ahead, 8-5.

Dunlap led off the home half of the eighth with a double. The Cardinal got the tying run to the plate when sophomore Beau Branton drew a walk. But just one came across when Dunlap scored on a ground out by Bryce Carter to make it 8-6.

The Sun Devils added one in their last at-bat and held the Cardinal scoreless in the bottom of the ninth.

Following Sunday's series finale at 1 p.m., the Cardinal players will be available for postgame autographs.

Softball

Stanford's Pac-12 Conference contest against host Utah was postponed Saturday due to inclement weather.

The game will be played Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

— Stanford Athletics

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