Ticket Booked to Gulf Shores
GULF SHORES, Ala. – For just the second time in program history, Stanford beach volleyball will head to Gulf Shores, Ala. to compete in the 2022 NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship. The Cardinal was one of eight at-large berths to the tournament that just this year expanded to a 16-team field.
Earning the No.9 seed, Stanford starts its time in Gulf Shores with a battle against eight-seed Florida Atlantic Wednesday, May 4 at 7 a.m. PT on ESPNU.
Also competing in the tournament from the Pac-12 are No. 1 seed USC, No. 3 seed UCLA, and No. 11-seed California, while No. 2-seed TCU, No. 4 -seed LMU, No. 5-seed Florida State, No. 6-seed LSU, No. 7-seed Grand Canyon, No. 10-seed Georgia State, No. 13-seed Hawai'i, No. 14-seed Stetson, No. 15-seed Texas A&M- Corpus Christi, and No. 16-seed UT Martin fill out the rest of the field.
The Cardinal enters the tournament with a 24-11 ledger, the most wins in program history. Throughout 2022, Stanford recorded eight wins over ranked opponents with all of its losses coming to ranked opponents. Eight of their 11 defeats were handed to the Cardinal by teams ranked in the top-10, and five of those came from the No. 1 or No. 2 team in the nation (at time of play).
Stanford heads to the Gulf Shores with a dynamic lineup, led by seniors Maddie Dailey, Charlie Ekstrom, and Jordan McKinney. Ekstrom is just one win away (59) from tying the Cardinal's mark for second-most wins in a career, while McKinney and Dailey sit with 43 and 57 career victories, respectively. Eight members of the Cardinal's lineup hold twenty-or-more individual wins throughout 2022.
Sophomores Xolani Hodel and Kate Reilly head up the Cardinal's lineup and will play in the No. 1 position. The winningest pair in program history (30 wins total) holds an 18-6 overall record and is just one win shy of tying the Cardinal's record for most wins in a single season as a pair. Reilly owns part of the record for most wins in a season, totaling 24 in 2022.
Ekstrom and junior Maddi Kriz have made their mark at the No. 2 position, recording a 17-6 record as a duo with a 15-4 mark when playing on court two. Kriz is just one win away from her 50th career victory, which she hopes to claim on the white-sand beaches of Gulf Shores.
The Cardinal's final three pairs of freshman Taylor Wilson and sophomore Emmy Sharp, senior Dailey and sophomore Harvey, and senior McKinney and freshman Emma Morris look to dominate on courts three through five. Harvey owns the other half the Cardinal's record for most wins in a season, racking up 24 victories with different partners during the 2022 campaign.
Combined, the ten members of the Cardinal in the regular lineup have won 421 individual matches while wearing a Stanford uniform.
Wednesday's single-elimination duals will bring the field down to eight teams. The tournament will then follow its usual format of a double-elimination bracket, starting on May 6.