Cardinal corner: Late volleyball lead slips away


On the verge of a conference-opening win, No. 9 Stanford gave up a late lead in the fourth set and ultimately fell 21-25, 25-14, 16-25, 26-24, 15-10 to No. 4 UCLA on Thursday at Pauley Pavilion.

Up 2-1, Stanford (7-4, 0-1 MPSF) led 20-16 in the fourth set and seemed in control of the match. After a UCLA timeout, the Bruins went on a 10-4 run to force a deciding fifth set with a 26-24 win in the fourth.

Jaylen Jasper/Stanford Athletics
The Bruins (9-2, 1-0 MPSF) jumped out to an early lead in the final set and was able to hold off the Cardinal down the stretch.

Sophomore opposite Jaylen Jasper led Stanford with 20 kills on .395 hitting to go with four digs, two blocks and the Cardinal's only ace of the night. It marked the second time this season Jasper has reached the 20-kill plateau.

UCLA out hit Stanford, .271 to .254, and finished with a 44-29 advantage in digs. The Cardinal won the blocking battle, 17.0 to 13.0, including 8.5 in the opening set to hold the Bruins to a .000 attack percentage.

Outside hitter Jordan Ewert finished with 14 kills, but hit just .163. The senior also had six digs and a career-high five blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Kyler Presho matched his career-high with seven blocks to go with five kills.

Setter Paul Bischoff finished with his first double-double of the season, tallying 36 assists and 13 digs. The junior also turned in a career-high with seven blocks. Redshirt senior Kyle Dagostino had a season-high 10 assists and four digs.

Stanford will take on No. 5 Pepperdine on Friday. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Malibu.

Men's golf

Junior Henry Shimp posted a 1-under-par 71 to spark Stanford on Thursday in the first round of the 28th Ari Amer Invitational at the Kings' Course in Hawaii.

The Cardinal produced a score of 2-over 290 and is tied for 16th in the 18-school, 54-hole event, its first of the spring campaign. No. 1 Oklahoma State blazed a 21-under total of 267 to pace the field.

Shimp recorded three birdies and is tied for 41st. The remaining four starters -- Isaiah Salinda, Brandon Wu, Nate Menon and Christopher Meyers carded 1-over 73s and are deadlocked for 65th.

Freshman Freddie Lee, competing individually, fashioned a squad-best five birdies to shoot 72 and is tied for 53rd.

Track and field

Stanford's Grant Fisher will race in what is perhaps the most well-known indoor track and field meet on the planet – the Millrose Games – on Saturday at The Armory in Manhattan's Washington Heights.

Fisher competes in the Dr. Sander men's 3,000 meters, during the NBC's live broadcast window.

Fisher, an electrical engineering major, is among three collegians in the field, along with Wisconsin's Morgan McDonald, who edged Fisher for the NCAA cross country crown, and Campbell's Amon Kemboi. Pros in the 13-runner field include Kemoy Campbell, a Jamaican and former Arkansas star who holds the fastest personal best (7:40.79) and Australian Patrick Tiernan, the 2016 NCAA cross country champ while at Villanova.

Fisher was fourth at the NCAA Championships last year in the 3,000 and holds a best of 7:48.56, from the 2018 Iowa State Classic. For reference, the Stanford indoor record is 7:46.81, by Chris Derrick during a runner-up finish at the 2012 NCAA Championships. The year's collegiate leader is Colorado's Joe Klecker at 7:48.32.

Also competing in the meet is Olivia Baker '18, a nine-time Stanford All-American and the 2016 NCAA outdoor 800 runner-up. Baker runs the Jack and Lewis Rudin Women's 800. Baker competes against a strong field that includes American record-holder Ajee Wilson and multiple NCAA 800 champ Raevyn Rogers, formerly of Oregon.

Two Stanford signees will race in the featured high school miles: Matt Rizzo of Bronxville, N.Y., in the boys' race and Lily Flynn of New Rochelle, N.Y., in the girls' race.

Men's tennis

No. 10 Stanford continues to challenge the best in the nation, with a pair of top-10 tests this week in Los Angeles. The Cardinal will face No. 5 USC on Friday at 3 p.m. at Marks Stadium and No. 7 UCLA on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.

Stanford is in the middle of a stretch of six consecutive road matches against top-20 opponents. The Cardinal suffered its first setback of the season last Saturday at No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus. Following this week's matches against the Trojans and Bruins, Stanford will make its second trip to the Midwest in three weeks to compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Cardinal is part of a 16-team field in the prestigious tournament in Chicago, where it will play at least three matches.

Stanford dropped one spot in this week's ITA poll, moving to No. 10 nationally. The Cardinal is coming off a 6-1 defeat to No. 2 Ohio State last Saturday in Columbus, with William Genesen capturing Stanford's lone point in the match.

Sophomore Axel Geller, 3-1 in dual play, moved up to No. 10 in the latest ITA singles poll. Junior William Genesen is ranked No. 33, senior Sameer Kumar is ranked No. 43 and freshman Alexandre Rotsaert is No. 61 in the latest poll, released on Wednesday.

Last season, Stanford defeated USC twice during the regular season and fell to the Trojans in the Pac-12 Championships. The Cardinal split its two matches with UCLA last season, defeating the Bruins (4-3) at home in February.

USC, ranked No. 5 nationally, enters Friday's match 5-0 in dual competition this season. UCLA, checking in at No. 7 in the latest ITA rankings, is 2-0 in dual play so far.


Juniors Jack Little and Kyle Stowers were named to the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list Thursday by USA Baseball.

Fifty five players from high school or college baseball made the list. A midseason list will be announced April 10, followed by semifinalists on May 15 and finalists on May 29.

The Golden Spikes Award, which is annually awarded to the top amateur baseball player in the country, will be presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation on June 14.

Little (management science and engineering) tied a program record with 16 saves as a sophomore in 2018, finishing 3-0 with a 0.60 ERA, a .167 batting average against and 58 strikeouts against eight walks in 45.1 innings out of the bullpen.

The Las Vegas native earned first-team All-America honors from D1 Baseball, Baseball America, Perfect Game, NCBWA and ABCA, and was a finalist for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year award. Little has also garnered preseason All-America nods from D1 Baseball, Baseball America, Perfect Game, NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

Stowers (communication), who hails from El Cajon, California, finished second on the team in 2018 in home runs (10), slugging percentage (.510) and RBI (42) while batting .286 and starting all 58 games.

He was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention and Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention while helping Stanford win its first conference championship since 2004. Stowers was named a preseason first-team All-American by Baseball America.

Stanford's season begins Feb. 15 when the Cardinal competes in the Angels College Classic in Phoenix with matchups against Ball State (Feb. 15), Wichita State (Feb. 16), Pepperdine (Feb. 17) and Grand Canyon (Feb. 18).

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