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Beach volleyball opens season with undefeated weekend at home

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No. 13 Stanford beach volleyball (4-0) started its season with four weekend victories at home against local competitors.

For its first match of the weekend, the Cardinal had a perfect 5-0 game versus Santa Clara.

The No. 5 pair of sophomore Courtney Bowen and freshman Kat Anderson won the first game of the weekend in two sets, 21-11 and 21-19. Following them was the No. 3 pair of junior Catherine Raquel and freshman Shannon Richardson and the No. 4 pair of freshmen Morgan Hentz and Caitlin Keefe, both with two set victories. Stanford’s first two pairs completed the sweep with two-setter wins of their own.

In the day’s final dual, Stanford played with the same lineup of pairs and clinched its second victory of the opening day with a 4-1 win against Cal Poly.

Pairs Bowen and Anderson and junior Ivana Vanjak and sophomore Payton Chang gave Stanford its first two points, both winning in two dominant sets. Raquel and Richardson saw a closer matchup, finishing with a victory in three sets, 21-16, 24-22, 15-10 to clinch the victory for the Cardinal.

Back at it on Sunday afternoon, the Cardinal looked strong despite their previous day of back-to-back games and inconsistent weather displays.

With a 4-1 win over Saint Mary’s to start of the Sunday double-header, Stanford played a similar lineup as Saturday’s matches. Bowen and Anderson started the day off with yet another two-set win. The No. 5 pair went on to finish the weekend 4-0, winning each of their matches in just two sets. Hentz and Keefe also had a two-set win to put the Cardinal up by two.

Raquel and Richardson again provided the clincher in three sets, 15-21, 21-14, 15-7. Vanjak and Chang added one more for the Cardinal at the No. 2 spot before freshmen Kathryn Plummer and Jenna Gray dropped their game in three sets to make the final score 4-1.

Against Pacific, the Cardinal struggled from fatigue but were able to come back and finish off their undefeated weekend with a 3-2 win. Bowen and Anderson again gave the Cardinal an early lead, closely followed by Hentz and Keefe at No. 4.

The Tigers bounced off at the No. 3 spot where Raquel and Richardson fell in straight sets 22-20, 21-13. Vanjak and Chang clinched the contest with a  21-19, 21-12 win before Plummer and Gray dropped their match in three sets 21-13, 13-21, 15-8.

Head coach Andrew Fuller was very satisfied with his team’s early success: “Cal Poly, Pacific, St. Mary’s and Santa Clara all played unique brands of beach volleyball, were well coached, and poked some holes in our teams that we’re excited to remedy.”

Stanford will next face Utah as it welcomes the Utes on Friday at 4 p.m.  

 

Contact Sydney Shaw at sshaw17 ‘at’ stanford.edu.