Widgets Magazine

Stanford women’s athletics captures Capital One Cup

The Stanford Women’s Athletics Program received its fourth Capital One Cup during the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) awards ceremony last month.

The Cardinal was highlighted this past year with four NCAA titles, three of which were captured by women’s teams in volleyball, water polo and swimming and diving. While these programs ended their seasons with a first-place finish, nine other Stanford teams earned top-10 spots in the 2016-2017 Capital One women’s division, including tennis, golf and basketball. The men’s athletic program won a NCAA championship in soccer, and the women’s lightweight rowing team brought home another national title in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association.

Volleyball opposite and fifth-year senior Merete Lutz described how the women’s athletic program fosters success through a supportive environment.

“The athletic department does an awesome job. They’re really involved–they help us out and promote us, and the Stanford community really supports its athletes,” Lutz said. “The student athlete community is also very strong. It’s probably the best part about being a Stanford student athlete: everyone wants to support each other.”

The Stanford women’s teams rounded off the year with a record-breaking Capital One score of 175.5, 46.5 points above second-place honoree USC. Lutz expressed her thoughts regarding Stanford’s historic victory.

Stanford has always been a ridiculously good athletic program- we’ve always had a lot of success, and it’s really awesome to see all these teams continue to have success and continue to be some of the best in the nation,” Lutz added. “To see that growth is really something special.”

The 2016-2017 victory marks the fourth year that the Women’s Athletics Program took home a Capital One title, having previously accepted the honor after the 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2014-2015 seasons. No other women’s program has captured four Capital One crowns.

“We can’t express enough the pride we feel as our women’s athletics programs bring home the fourth Capital One Cup victory in school history,” Stanford’s Jaquish & Kenniger Director of Athletics, Bernard Muir said. “It is a result of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that the women student-athletes of Stanford have earned the most Capital One Cup wins in the history of the program. Each and every student-athlete in this program should be proud of the remarkable legacy they are building for themselves and for our institution.”

Alumna and Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike accepted the Capital One trophy at the 2017 ESPY ceremony on behalf of Stanford. Ogwumike, who received the 2016 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Most Valuable Player Award, played for the Cardinal from 2008 to 2012 and is the Stanford women’s basketball program’s second-highest scorer of all time.

“It’s just amazing for the women to win the award for the fourth time,” Ogwumike said. “It’s important because the Capital One Cup embodies what Stanford athletics are about, performing at the highest level on and off the court.”

The Capital One Cup is just one of many accolades that the Stanford athletics program has brought home. For the past 22 years, the NCAA has annually awarded the Cardinal the Directors’ Cup for outstanding success in Division I sports.

“It’s the best place to be a student athlete–especially a female athlete, because so many women’s programs here are so accomplished,” Lutz said. “Just being around all these amazing people who are doing so well and killing it in the classroom too, it really says a lot about Stanford and the people here.”


Contact Prameela Kottapalli at 19prameelak ‘at’ students.harker.org.