Cardinal corner: Winning on the courts, the water and the sand

Emma Higuchi clinched Stanford's win at Washington on Saturday. Photo by Harjanto Sumali.

The 22nd-ranked Stanford women's tennis team completed a sweep of its Pacific Northwest road swing, defeating Washington 4-2 on Saturday afternoon.

Stanford (14-3, 8-0 Pac-12) extended its winning streak to 10 but was tested for the second straight day, following its 4-2 victory at Washington State on Friday.

Blake Sharp/Stanford Athletics
Emma Higuchi won her eighth in a row and improved to 4-0 career in three-setters, outlasting Katarina Kopcalic 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 at the No. 6 spot for the clincher.

The Cardinal, which has not lost since a 4-3 defeat to Florida back on Feb. 24, continued its surge as one of the nation's hottest teams as the postseason approaches.

Stanford took a 1-0 lead after capturing the doubles point with wins at the Nos. 2 and 3 spots.

After Washington (14-10, 4-5 Pac-12) evened the match at 1-1, Emily Arbuthnott prevailed 6-2, 6-4 on court four.

Janice Shin increased Stanford's lead to 3-1 with a 6-2, 6-4 victory at the No. 5 position.

The Huskies then cut the lead to 3-2, when Vanessa Wong knocked off Melissa Lord 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 at No. 2.

Higuchi provided the clincher, with Michaela Gordon locked in a battle midway through a three-setter at the top spot.

Stanford concludes its regular season on Friday against California. The match begins at 11 a.m. and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

Women's crew

No. 7 Stanford won six races on the first day of the Lake Natoma Invitational and also earned a second-place finish in the second varsity four Grand Final.

The Cardinal began the morning with the second varsity four boat racing Brown, Alabama and San Diego. Stanford finished second in the race with a time of 7:18.5, eight seconds behind Brown, who recorded a 7:10.5. Alabama finished third at 7:26.6, while San Diego recorded a time of 8:15.7 to finish fourth.

Stanford went on to win its next three races.

First, the Cardinal raced to a time of 6:30.5 in the second varsity eight, defeating Brown's time of 6:38.3. Alabama finished third with a time of 6:54.3, and San Diego recorded a 7:00.7.

Stanford's varsity eight boat kept up the theme of the morning by defeating the Brown-Alabama-San Diego trio once again. The Cardinal turned in a time of 6:22.6 on the Lake Natoma course, outpacing Brown's 6:30.3.

In the final race of the morning session, the Cardinal won the second heat of second varsity four racing. The Cardinal registered a 7:23.8, which outpaced Notre Dame's 7:25.9 and Alabama's 7:44.3.

The varsity four picked up racing for the Cardinal in the afternoon session, winning its race over Notre Dame, Alabama, and Sacramento State. Stanford registered a time of 7:20.4, 10 seconds ahead of Notre Dame's second-place time of 7:30.8.

Picking up where it left off from the morning session, the second varsity eight turned in another open-water victory over its competition. The Cardinal clocked a time of 6:33.8 to outpace the Irish's time of 6:45.2 for first place.

Stanford's varsity eight won its second race of the day by a wide margin over Notre Dame, Sacramento State, and Alabama. The Cardinal raced to a time of 6:23.1, defeating second-place Notre Dame by over 11 seconds, who completed the course in 6:34.4

The second varsity four capped off the day in the Grand Final, where it placed second behind Cal. Cal finished with a time of 7:09.0, while the Cardinal clocked a time of 7:17.2.

The Lake Natoma Invitational concludes on Sunday.

Men's crew

Stanford's No. 12 varsity eight boat outlasted No. 10 Wisconsin to highlight racing on the first day of the Stanford Invitational at Redwood Shores on Saturday.

The Cardinal raced through the Redwood Shores course to a time of 5:43.4, beating the Badgers, who finished with a time of 5:47.5.

In the second varsity eight, Wisconsin took the race over Stanford by open water. The Badgers recorded a time of 5:54.3, while Stanford completed the course in 6:03.4.

Stanford's third varsity eight boat also finished second to Wisconsin in the morning session. The Cardinal registered a 6:08.1, just under five seconds behind Wisconsin's 6:03.6.

The Cardinal began the afternoon racing session with a win in the second varsity eight boat over Hobart. Stanford recorded a time of 5:55.9 to Hobart's 6:01.1. The third varsity eight followed suit, defeating Hobart by over three seconds. The Cardinal registered a time of 6:07.1, outpacing Hobart's 6:10.5.

The varsity eight boat concluded the day's racing for Stanford with a convincing win over Hobart. The Cardinal put together a time of 5:54.0, while Hobart recorded a 6:02.2 on the course.

The Stanford Invitational continues Sunday at Redwood Shores. The Cardinal's first, second and third varsity eight boats are slated to race beginning at 9 a.m., as each team's coaches agreed to move racing up thirty minutes due to impending weather conditions Sunday.

Men's volleyball

Hitting a season-low .057, Stanford's season came to an end as it was swept at No. 2 UCLA, Saturday, in the first round of the MPSF Tournament at Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA (23-6) hit .389 for the match and recorded five service aces. The Bruins kept the Cardinal (6-20) off balance all night with its block, registering 14.0 for the match – seven in the second set alone.

Junior Jordan Ewert had a match-high nine kills, but hit -.043. Fifth-year senior Kevin Rakestraw closed out his career going a perfect 5-0-5 (1.000) and adding a solo block.

Plagued by injuries all season long, Stanford utilized its 12th different starting lineup against the Bruins. Senior Evan Enriques and freshman Kyler Presho were the only two Cardinal to start every match this season. Overall, 12 different Cardinal played in the match.

Redshirt freshman Cole Paullin had three kills on .400 hitting and a block in the third set. Freshman Jaylen Jasper added six kills and two digs.

Sophomore setter Paul Bischoff started the match and totaled 17 assists and four digs. He shared time at setter in the third set with junior Russell Dervay, who finished with eight assists. Enriques tallied a team-high five digs in his final match in the Cardinal uniform.

The Bruins won their third straight game against the Cardinal. It was the first time since 2001 that the teams had met in a postseason match.


Sophomore Teaghan Cowles had a pair of hits and sophomore Nikki Bauer tossed a complete game, but Oregon State beat Stanford softball, 4-1, on Saturday at Smith Family Stadium.

Bauer needed just 15 pitches to get through the first two innings. She allowed just one run through the first four innings, before the Beavers busted through with back-to-back two-out home runs in the fifth to go up 4-0.

Stanford threatened several times with runners in scoring position in the first, third and fourth, before breaking through in the fifth. Sophomore Hannah Howell laced a two-out double off the wall in right center and then scored on an RBI single to left by sophomore Kristina Inouye.

Cowles was 2-for-4 with two singles, while Howell finished 1-for-3 with a run and Inouye was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Junior Molly Fowkes added a single among Stanford's five hits. Freshman Maya Jackson made her first career start and made a diving catch in right field to save a run in the third.

Beach volleyball

No. 14 Stanford split its first day of action at the Pac-12 North Invitational, defeating Oregon, 5-0, and falling to No. 4 USC in a tight 3-2 contest.

Stanford began the day's action with a morning matchup with the Oregon Ducks.

The No. 5 pairing, Shannon Richardson and Blake Sharp, set the tone with a straight-sets win over Oregon. The duo made quick work of the Ducks, 21-5, 21-12.

Kate Formico and Catherine Raquel secured the second point for the Cardinal at the three. After defeating Oregon's Page/Johnson 21-14 in the first set, the tandem clinched its match with a decisive 21-4 decision in the second set.

Sunny Villapando and Courtney Bowen, who owned a 3-1 record as a pair coming into this weekend's duals, clinched the match for the Cardinal at the two. They turned in their own two-set victory, taking care of Oregon's Agost/Cole, 21-17, 21-10.

Stanford returned to the sand at Alki Beach to take on No. 4 USC.

USC's No. 1 pairing defeated the Cardinal duo of Morgan Hentz and Amelia Smith, 21-16, 21-11, to earn the first point of the dual. The Trojans doubled up their lead after a win at the three, where Kate Formico and Catherine Raquel fell, 21-14, 21-15.

Stanford rallied at the two, where Courtney Bowen and Sunny Villapando earned a straight-sets victory. They recorded a 21-16, 21-12 match to give the Cardinal its first point of the dual.

The Cardinal looked to even things up at the five, where Richardson and Sharp took on USC's Kremer and Belton. The duo won in straight sets, 21-16, 21-17, tying the dual at two points apiece heading into the conclusion of the No. 4 flight.

Partners Payton Chang and Caitlin Keefe began their match with a close 21-19 win in the first set. Hoping to close out the match, the duo then fell in the second set, 21-14. The duo battled through the third set, but fell to the Trojans, 15-11.

Stanford moves to 14-10 after the pair of duals. The Cardinal returns to Akil Beach in Seattle to finish the Pac-12 North Invitational Sunday and will face No. 13 California and Washington.

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