Ajanaku, Plummer help stop the Beavers in Pac-12 Conference


After a tough first set, the 11th-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team completed a sweep of Oregon State, 29-27, 25-15, 25-8, Friday in Gill Coliseum.

In the only scheduled meeting of the season between the Cardinal (8-2, 2-0 Pac-12) and Beavers (7-6, 0-2 Pac-12), Stanford hit .339, recorded 14 blocks and held a 56-41 advantage in digs. The Cardinal remains perfect all-time against the Beavers, improving to 64-0.

Freshman opposite Kathryn Plummer led the team with 12 kills on 18 errorless swings to hit a season-best .667. She also collected six blocks in the win. Redshirt senior middle blocker Inky Ajanaku hit .562, totaling 11 kills and three blocks.

Freshman outside hitter Michaela Keefe posted nine kills and matched her career-high with 13 digs. Leading 7-4 in the third set, Keefe reeled off 10 serves in a row before the Beavers could sideout.

Freshman Audriana Fitzmorris had eight blocks in the first two sets, while Ivana Vanjak finished with five kills and five blocks.

Freshman libero Morgan Hentz racked up 16 digs in the win, including one that dropped on the Beavers' side of the net for a kill in the second set.

In total, 14 Cardinal players took the court in the match, including the collegiate debut for redshirt freshman middle blocker Courtney Bowen.

The Brooklyn native tallied a block in her first match. Sophomore setter/defensive specialist Payton Chang earned her first playing time of the season, tallying two assists.

After escaping with a 29-27 first-set victory in which the Cardinal hit just .179 and committed eight attack errors, Stanford hit .414 in the second and .625 in the third.

Stanford returns to the Pacific Northwest next week, meeting No. 4 Washington on Wednesday and Washington State on Friday. Both matches will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

Men's soccer

Stanford's roll was halted, on the road, Friday night. After scoring 11 goals in its past three games, all victories, the No. 23 Cardinal was held to one late tally by San Francisco at Negoesco Stadium and dropped its final nonconference match to the Dons, 2-1.

Stanford heads into Pac-12 play with a 3-2-3 overall record and will begin its quest for a third consecutive conference title next Sunday, Oct. 2 when it hosts rival California at 5 p.m.

"The whole game was won and lost in the first 15 minutes tonight," Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn said. "San Francisco was fired up, had a tremendous crowd and great excitement. They were playing like it was a cup final and we were playing like it was a Sunday afternoon stroll. All credit to the way they played, but we have to look ourselves in the mirror and see about our attitude."

Stanford had the ball for stretches, but was unable to find the back of the goal until it was down two in the 86th minute.

Bryce Marion raced to the endline and crossed it to Foster Langsdorf, who sent what was looking like his seventh goal of the season until a Dons (3-5-0) defender stepped in front. Multiple ricochets later on attempted clearances, the ball bounded off USF's Aaron Lombardi and past Andre Glasnovic for an own goal.

Prior to that, Stanford's offensive effort had been characterized by a bevy of near misses. Left winger Sam Werner was looking for right winger Bryce Marion on a run to the far post, but his cross was just out of Marion's reach in the 29th.

Drew Skundrich played a through ball to Marion in the 50th who was wide in his attempt to beat Glasnovic to the far post. Tomas Hilliard-Arce in the 58th and Adrian Alabi in the 73rd each had headers from the middle of the box that sailed high.

Field hockey

A phenomenal defensive effort and Jessica Welch's fourth goal of the season led the 18th-ranked Cardinal to a 1-0 win over host UMass Friday at the Gladchuck Field Hockey Complex.

The first half saw both teams showcase their defensive prowess as only five shots were allowed in the first 35 minutes of action. Kelsey Bing stepped up to make a clutch save to keep the Minutewomen (4-4) quiet in the half. UMass was unable to collect on three penalty corners in the half.

The second half saw the Cardinal (3-4) offense come alive as it posted five shots in the period to force Emily Hazard to make her sole save of the game to keep UMass in the hunt. Welch broke the tie in the 62nd minute of action by eluding the defense before crushing a shot into the top shelf.

The Cardinal travels to Yale on Sunday for a 9 a.m. contest.

— Stanford Athletics

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