Sports

Tokyo Olympics: Klineman and Ross win beach volleyball opener

Huske advances to 100 fly finals; women's volleyball and men's water polo win openers

Stanford grad Alix Klineman receives the ball during the FIVB World Tour in 2019. Courtesy FIVB.

Former Stanford All-American Alix Klineman made a successful Olympic debut Sunday when she and Olympic veteran April Ross beat China's Chen Xue and Xinxin Wang, 21-17, 21-19, in the preliminary round of the beach volleyball tournament at Shiokaze Park.

Klineman and Ross, who earned a bronze medal playing with Stanford grad Kerri Walsh Jennings in the 2016 Rio Olympics, entered the Olympics as the world's top-ranked duo.

The U.S. scored four straight points to snap a 4-4 tie and take control of the first set. China closed within 20-17 before Ross recorded a kill to end it.

The second set was far more dramatic as neither team led by more than three points during the set.

The Americans opened an 11-8 lead but China rallied within one. After one long rally, a Klineman kill made it 14-12.

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The match was tied at 15 and again at 18 and then China moved ahead 19-18.

That's when Ross asked for a timeout and took it to regroup. Returning to the court, Ross and Klineman scored the next three points, with Klineman recording the kill for a 21-19 win.

Klineman scored 16 points, 12 on kills and four on blocks.

The Americans are scheduled to play a team from Spain on Tuesday and a team from the Netherlands on Friday.

Rowing

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Stanford grad Veronica Toro Arana, representing Puerto Rico, placed sixth in her quarterfinal heat of the women's single sculls on Sunday.

Toro Arana is out of medal contention but will row again at the Sea Forest Waterway in the semifinal C/D on Thursday.

Canada placed fourth and the U.S. finished fifth in their repechage race in women's four and will compete in the B final at Sea Forest Waterway on Wednesday.

Stanford grads Stephanie Grauer is in the stroke position for the Canadians and Grace Luczak is in the stroke position for the Americans.

Great Britain won the race with a time of 6:46.20. Canada was timed in 6:51.71 and the U.S. in 6:53.26.

Swimming

Former Stanford All-American and Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel swam the anchor leg of the 4x100 free relay Sunday, helping the U.S. earn a bronze medal. Photo by Michelle Bishop on June 17, 2021.

Former Stanford star Simone Manuel helped the United States 4x100 free relay team earn a bronze medal on Sunday in a race that saw Australia earn gold with a world record time of 3:29.69 at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.

The Americans finished in 3:32.81, .03 seconds behind Canada. After 50 meters, Manuel had the U.S. in second place. The U.S. opened the second leg of the relay in sixth.

In the women's 100 fly semifinal, incoming Stanford freshman Torri Huske placed third, with the sixth best overall time of 56.61 to qualify for the finals, which will be contested Monday.

Stanford's Taylor Ruck, who earned a silver medal with Canada in the women's 4x100 free relay, placed third in her preliminary heat of the 100 back, swimming 59.89.

Incoming Stanford freshman Regan Smith won her heat with a time of 57.96. Both swimmers advance into the semifinls.

Stanford grad, Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Katie Ledecky easily qualified in the 400 free, winning her heat in 4:00.45.

Stanford's Andrei Minakov, competing for the Russian Olympic Committee, swam a leg in the men's 4x100 free relay that placed fourth in their heat with a time of 3:13.13, also qualifying for the semifinals.

Volleyball

The U.S. women's national team beat Argentina, 25-20, 25-19, 25-20, in its first match of the Olympics.

Former Stanford All-American Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson recorded six points on four kills and a pair of blocks.

Jordan Thompson was virtually unstoppable, recording 18 kills on 23 swings for a hitting percentage of .652. She also added a pair of blocks.

The U.S. meets China in another preliminary match in Pool B on Tuesday. The Americans will also play Turkey, the Russian Olympic Committee and Italy during pool play, all at Ariake Arena.

Water polo

Former Stanford All-American Alex Bowen scored five goals on six shots in helping the U.S. men's national team beat Japan 15-13 in a Group A preliminary match Sunday at the Tatsumi Water Polo Center.

Stanford grad Ben Hallock added three goals and Cardinal alum Drew Holland recorded nine saves for the Americans (8-6, 1-0), who meet South Africa on Tuesday.

The U.S. last played South Africa at the 2019 FINA World Championships in South Korea, winning 20-3.

Japan held an 8-7 halftime advantage and extended that to 10-8 early in the third quarter.

The U.S. scored three straight goals, with Bowen netting to go-ahead goal, to tale an 11-10 lead into the final quarter.

Japan closed to within 14-13 when Seiya Adachi scored with 1:49 remaining to play. Johnny Hooper responded with a goal with 26 seconds remaining to seal it.

Badminton

Mountain View resident and Los Altos High grad Timothy Lam lost his Olympic debut, 21-12, 21-9, to Japan's Kento Momota in men's singles group play stage.

Lam, a quarterfinalist at the Pam Am Championships earlier this year, meets South Korea's Kwang-hee Heo, a former world junior champion, on Monday at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza BDM on Group A.

Heo will be playing his first match.

Basketball

KZ Okpala, who played at Stanford before turning pro, started for Nigeria, which lost to Australia 84-67 in an opening round contest at Saitama Super Arena Sunday.

Okpala played 16 minutes, scored four points, grabbed three rebounds and recorded an assist.

Nigeria plays Germany in Group B action on Wednesday. Team USA, which lost to France on Sunday, plays Iran in Group A action.

Softball

Mountain View High grad Victoria Hayward went 0-for-4 on Sunday in Canada's 1-0 loss to Japan in eight innings.

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Tokyo Olympics: Klineman and Ross win beach volleyball opener

Huske advances to 100 fly finals; women's volleyball and men's water polo win openers

Uploaded: Sun, Jul 25, 2021, 4:20 am

Former Stanford All-American Alix Klineman made a successful Olympic debut Sunday when she and Olympic veteran April Ross beat China's Chen Xue and Xinxin Wang, 21-17, 21-19, in the preliminary round of the beach volleyball tournament at Shiokaze Park.

Klineman and Ross, who earned a bronze medal playing with Stanford grad Kerri Walsh Jennings in the 2016 Rio Olympics, entered the Olympics as the world's top-ranked duo.

The U.S. scored four straight points to snap a 4-4 tie and take control of the first set. China closed within 20-17 before Ross recorded a kill to end it.

The second set was far more dramatic as neither team led by more than three points during the set.

The Americans opened an 11-8 lead but China rallied within one. After one long rally, a Klineman kill made it 14-12.

The match was tied at 15 and again at 18 and then China moved ahead 19-18.

That's when Ross asked for a timeout and took it to regroup. Returning to the court, Ross and Klineman scored the next three points, with Klineman recording the kill for a 21-19 win.

Klineman scored 16 points, 12 on kills and four on blocks.

The Americans are scheduled to play a team from Spain on Tuesday and a team from the Netherlands on Friday.

Rowing

Stanford grad Veronica Toro Arana, representing Puerto Rico, placed sixth in her quarterfinal heat of the women's single sculls on Sunday.

Toro Arana is out of medal contention but will row again at the Sea Forest Waterway in the semifinal C/D on Thursday.

Canada placed fourth and the U.S. finished fifth in their repechage race in women's four and will compete in the B final at Sea Forest Waterway on Wednesday.

Stanford grads Stephanie Grauer is in the stroke position for the Canadians and Grace Luczak is in the stroke position for the Americans.

Great Britain won the race with a time of 6:46.20. Canada was timed in 6:51.71 and the U.S. in 6:53.26.

Swimming

Former Stanford star Simone Manuel helped the United States 4x100 free relay team earn a bronze medal on Sunday in a race that saw Australia earn gold with a world record time of 3:29.69 at the Tokyo Aquatics Center.

The Americans finished in 3:32.81, .03 seconds behind Canada. After 50 meters, Manuel had the U.S. in second place. The U.S. opened the second leg of the relay in sixth.

In the women's 100 fly semifinal, incoming Stanford freshman Torri Huske placed third, with the sixth best overall time of 56.61 to qualify for the finals, which will be contested Monday.

Stanford's Taylor Ruck, who earned a silver medal with Canada in the women's 4x100 free relay, placed third in her preliminary heat of the 100 back, swimming 59.89.

Incoming Stanford freshman Regan Smith won her heat with a time of 57.96. Both swimmers advance into the semifinls.

Stanford grad, Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Katie Ledecky easily qualified in the 400 free, winning her heat in 4:00.45.

Stanford's Andrei Minakov, competing for the Russian Olympic Committee, swam a leg in the men's 4x100 free relay that placed fourth in their heat with a time of 3:13.13, also qualifying for the semifinals.

Volleyball

The U.S. women's national team beat Argentina, 25-20, 25-19, 25-20, in its first match of the Olympics.

Former Stanford All-American Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson recorded six points on four kills and a pair of blocks.

Jordan Thompson was virtually unstoppable, recording 18 kills on 23 swings for a hitting percentage of .652. She also added a pair of blocks.

The U.S. meets China in another preliminary match in Pool B on Tuesday. The Americans will also play Turkey, the Russian Olympic Committee and Italy during pool play, all at Ariake Arena.

Water polo

Former Stanford All-American Alex Bowen scored five goals on six shots in helping the U.S. men's national team beat Japan 15-13 in a Group A preliminary match Sunday at the Tatsumi Water Polo Center.

Stanford grad Ben Hallock added three goals and Cardinal alum Drew Holland recorded nine saves for the Americans (8-6, 1-0), who meet South Africa on Tuesday.

The U.S. last played South Africa at the 2019 FINA World Championships in South Korea, winning 20-3.

Japan held an 8-7 halftime advantage and extended that to 10-8 early in the third quarter.

The U.S. scored three straight goals, with Bowen netting to go-ahead goal, to tale an 11-10 lead into the final quarter.

Japan closed to within 14-13 when Seiya Adachi scored with 1:49 remaining to play. Johnny Hooper responded with a goal with 26 seconds remaining to seal it.

Badminton

Mountain View resident and Los Altos High grad Timothy Lam lost his Olympic debut, 21-12, 21-9, to Japan's Kento Momota in men's singles group play stage.

Lam, a quarterfinalist at the Pam Am Championships earlier this year, meets South Korea's Kwang-hee Heo, a former world junior champion, on Monday at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza BDM on Group A.

Heo will be playing his first match.

Basketball

KZ Okpala, who played at Stanford before turning pro, started for Nigeria, which lost to Australia 84-67 in an opening round contest at Saitama Super Arena Sunday.

Okpala played 16 minutes, scored four points, grabbed three rebounds and recorded an assist.

Nigeria plays Germany in Group B action on Wednesday. Team USA, which lost to France on Sunday, plays Iran in Group A action.

Softball

Mountain View High grad Victoria Hayward went 0-for-4 on Sunday in Canada's 1-0 loss to Japan in eight innings.

Rick Eymer

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