Card Flies High
STANFORD, Calif. – No. 10 Stanford beach volleyball bounced back in strong fashion, opening the Pac-12/WCC Challenge with two wins on Saturday. The Cardinal defeated Saint Mary's 4-1 in its first match before a 3-2 win over No. 12 Cal.
For just the second time this year head coach Andrew Fuller made a change at the top of his lineup, and it paid off with consecutive wins. Charlie Ekstrom and Kate Reilly played together at the top spot, the first time this season that duo appeared at No. 1. That duo had played one match together at the No. 2 spot against UCLA on opening weekend in February.
Sunny Villapando and Xolani Hodel played together at the No. 2 spot and went 2-0 on the day. Villapando continues to build upon her school record for career wins, now totaling 59.
Right behind Villapando is senior Amelia Smith, whose two wins on Saturday now give her 51 career victories and move her past Morgan Hentz for second all-time. Smith and partner Emmy Smith moved to the No. 4 spot on Saturday after going 8-2 up to this point at the No. 5 spot.
The Card got two wins at the No. 5 spot from Maddie Dailey and Jordan McKinney, who served up the clinching wins for Stanford in both matches.
At 2-0, Stanford is primed for the championship match tomorrow afternoon after its noon match with No. 11 Pepperdine, who went 0-2 on the day. The winner of Cal (1-1) and Saint Mary's (1-1) will play Stanford in the championship, while the loser will take on Pepperdine in the consolation match at 2 p.m.
No. 10 Stanford 4, Saint Mary's 1
Flight #1: Charlie Ekstrom/Kate Reilly (Stanford) def. Crash Parker/Hawley Harker (SMC) 21-13, 19-21, 15-13
Flight #2: Xolani Hodel/Sunny Villapando (Stanford) def. Chandler Cowell/Elena Baka (SMC) 21-13, 21-17
Flight #3: Jasmin Suarez/Sienna Young (SMC) def. Maya Harvey/Maddi Kriz (Stanford) 21-12, 21-19
Flight #4: Emmy Sharp/Amelia Smith (Stanford) def. Morgan Kendrick/Boo Laird (SMC) 21-15, 21-9
Flight #5: Maddie Dailey/Jordan McKinney (Stanford) def. Makenna Joyce/Selbie Christensen (SMC) 21-18, 21-11
Order of finish: 4, 2, 5, 3, 1
No. 10 Stanford 3, No. 12 Cal 2
Flight #1: Mima Mirkovic/Caroline Schafer (Cal) def. Charlie Ekstrom/Kate Reilly (Stanford) 21-14, 21-17
Flight #2: Xolani Hodel/Sunny Villapando (Stanford) def. Jordan Polo/Ainsley Radell (Cal) 12-21, 21-16, 15-12
Flight #3: Alexia Inman/Grace Paulson (Cal) def. Maya Harvey/Maddi Kriz (Stanford) 21-14, 16-21, 15-7
Flight #4: Emmy Sharp/Amelia Smith (Stanford) def. Maya Gessner/Maddie Micheletti (Cal) 21-16, 21-16
Flight #5: Maddie Dailey/Jordan McKinney (Stanford) def. Brooke Buchner/Ava Mann (Cal) 21-13, 21-18
Order of finish: 4, 2, 5, 1, 3