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BRIEFS: DiRado places fifth twice at World Championships; Appel named preseason All-American

Stanford junior Maya DiRado placed fifth in both the 200 and 400 IM at the FINA Short Course World Championships in Istanbul. Her week included the best breaststroke split of the 200 (31.36) and a second-place performance through the first two legs of the 400. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/StanfordPhoto.com)

DiRado places fifth at World Championships twice

Cardinal junior Maya DiRado finished fifth in two of her three events at the FINA Short Course World Championships in Istanbul this week, placing higher than any other American in those two races, the 200 and 400 IM.

DiRado’s time of 4:28.55 in the 400 on Wednesday was five and a half seconds behind event winner Hannah Miley, but DiRado held onto second place through the butterfly and backstroke legs. Her 31.36 breaststroke split in the 200 on Saturday, best in the eight-person field, helped DiRado secure another strong fifth-place finish (2:07.77).

DiRado also placed 15th in the 100 IM on Thursday, turning in a time of 1:01.07 and falling short of the finals.

 NCBWA tabs Appel a preseason All-American

Senior righthander Mark Appel, the eighth pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, was named a NCBWA preseason All-American Wednesday. He turned down a $3.8-million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates to return for his senior season. (CASEY VALENTINE/StanfordPhoto.com)

Senior pitcher Mark Appel was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-America first team on Wednesday, just two months ahead of the Cardinal’s season opener on Feb. 15.

Appel earned NCBWA All-America recognition six months ago, after a 2012 season that saw the Stanford ace go 10-2 and pitch five complete games. The strikeout specialist punched out 130 batters, fifth-best in college baseball, and posted a 2.56 ERA.

His last outing was a forgettable Super Regional loss that saw Florida State put up seven runs on Appel in the fourth inning alone. The Seminoles swept the Cardinal to advance to the College World Series.

The righthander was the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, but was selected eighth by the Pittsburgh Pirates and opted to return for his senior season after turning down their $3.8-million offer.

Cardinal wrestling travels to Reno Tournament of Champions

Stanford is one of five Pac-12 teams competing in the Reno Tournament of Champions on Sunday, as the Cardinal (4-3) sees its first action since Nov. 24. That day Stanford picked up a win against South Dakota State before suffering a devastating 31-3 defeat against No. 7 Missouri.

On Dec. 29 and 30 the Cardinal will compete in the prestigious Midlands Tournament before it hosts the Stanford Duals on Jan. 6.

Women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer earn postseason awards

Junior Carly Wopat was named an AVCA first-team All-American Wednesday. Her .399 hitting percentage this season was ninth best in the country. (MICHAEL PIMENTEL/StanfordPhoto.com)

The American Volleyball Coaches Association released its All-America teams on Wednesday, naming junior Carly Wopat to the first team and giving honorable mention to freshman Inky Ajanaku. Stanford associate head coach Denise Corlett was also chosen as the Division I Assistant Coach of the Year for the second time.

A week earlier, six Stanford women’s soccer players had been selected to National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Pacific Region teams, with senior captains Mariah Nogueira, Alina Garciamendez and Rachel Quon earning first-team nods four days after their careers ended in the national semifinal. The Cardinal had two second-team representatives, junior goalie Emily Oliver and sophomore forward Chioma Ubogagu, and one third-team representative, redshirt junior forward Courtney Verloo.

Senior forward Adam Jahn was later named to the NSCAA men’s Far West Region second team.

Cardinal appears in men’s and women’s gymnastics polls; men’s volleyball picked fourth in MPSF

Stanford’s men’s and women’s gymnastics teams both earned top-10 preseason rankings from GymInfo last week, with the men picked fifth and the women sixth. The women will begin their season on Jan. 4 at the NorCal Quad Meet in San Jose, while the men will open the 2013 campaign at archrival Cal on Jan. 13.

The Cardinal men’s volleyball squad was chosen fourth in the MPSF preseason coaches’ poll, though it has finished higher in the conference than the poll had indicated in three of the last four seasons.

Seven softball games to be televised

The Pac-12 Networks will televise seven Stanford softball games this season, all of them during conference play in March, April and May. The Cardinal opens the season on Feb. 7 against Bradley and makes its first appearance on TV at Oregon on March 24.

—Joseph Beyda

About The Daily Sports Staff

The Daily Sports Staff is the collective moniker of an overworked, beleaguered, underpaid collection of sportswriters that feel comfortable enough with their own self-identities to give up any sense of individualism for the good of the sports section. To contact The Daily Sports Staff, send an email to dpark027 'at' stanford.edu to reach Do-Hyoung Park, keeper of the souls of those sportswriters.