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Rodgers 13 under, Plummer into semis and Paye's Undisputed TNT is 3-0

A wild day for Stanford connections from China to Silvis, Ill. and Orlando, Fla.

Stanford sophomore Kathryn Plummer blocks a McNamara attack during a 21-18, 21-19 Plummer-Mima Mirkovic victory over MNegan and Nicole McNamara of Canada on Saturday. Photo courtesy of FIVB.

Stanford product Patrick Rodgers fired a 7-under 64 on the second day of the John Deere Classic in Illinois on Friday to assume a two-stroke lead on the field.

"I love coming to this tournament, first of all," Rodgers said in a press conference. "It's probably the most special stop on tour for me. It's crazy. It's already my sixth time playing here, so a lot of good feelings all week. Very comfortable in the area and on the golf course."


Patrick Rodgers.
Rodgers, who was raised in nearby Avon, Indiana, had eight birdies and a bogey to finish at 13-under 129 at TPC Deere Run.

"It was nice to keep making birdies and keep the gas pedal down," Rodgers said. "It was tricky with some breeze, but I know 13 under is not going to win the golf tournament. So, I got to keep that same mindset for the next two rounds."

Rodgers is still looking for his first win on the PGA Tour, though he has found some success. He's made nine of 23 cuts this season and has a pair of top 10 finishes.

"I put together a really nice round. Was very much in control. Rolled in some nice putts and stayed very patient," Rodgers said.

Beach volleyball

USA's Kathryn Plummer, a sophomore at Stanford, and Milica Mirkovic, a student at California, reached the semifinals of the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships, beating Canadian twins Megan and Nicole McNamara, 21-18, 21-19, Saturday in Nanjing, China.

Plummer and Mirkovic meet the Brazilian team of Eduarda Santos Lisboa and Ana Patricia Silva Ramos later Saturday.

They reached the quarterfinals with a convincing win over Thailand's top team Pawarun Chanthawichai and Thatsarida Singchuea on Friday.

Plummer and Mirkovic entered directly into the round of 16 after topping their pool in Nanjing where they met 2017 U21 Asian Championship winners Pawarun/Thatsarida. At over 6-feet, Plummer's presence at the net gave the Thai team a difficult time from the onset. In a technical performance from both teams, Plummer/Mirkovic's strength overpowered Pawarun/Thatsarida and earned the USA team a spot in the quarterfinals, 21-13, 21-12.

"It was definitely an interesting match because they're not a physical team, they're very shooty and very crafty with their shots, so we had to figure out how we were going to set up the block, how we're going to pull, how we're going to serve and even though they seem like a team that's not very intimidating, they are very smart with the way they play. So we had to be smart with the way we played," said Mirkovic.

The sun appeared from behind the clouds halfway through their match, magnifying the punishing heat and humidity that has been experienced every day in Nanjing.

"We're into the quarterfinals so it's obviously a great feeling. We're used to the heat, we're from California so it's always hot. The humidity takes a toll on everyone I think. I don't think you can really prepare for this, but it's good to go through some adversity and come out with wins so even though we may be a little frustrated because you feel like you can play a little bit better, fighting through some stuff definitely makes us better and makes us find different ways to win," said Plummer.

Plummer/Mirkovic won bronze and U19 Larnaka World Championships last year and will now face Canada's Megan McNamara and Nicole McNamara in the quarterfinals. (By FIVB).

Girls basketball

Paye's Undisputed TNT opened play at the AAU Nationals with three wins during pool play competition.

Georgia Paye was named Player of the Game in Paye's 59-29 win over Blue Star-Florida in the opener as all 12 players scored.

Rain Sheh scored 13 points to go with four assists and five steals in Paye's 49-40 victory over the Breakfast Club-Indiana.

Natalya Hotovec recorded 18 points, whjich included four 3-pointers, in helping Paye's beat the Katy Rebels, 69-33.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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