By Sydney Shaw
With the Pac-12 championships around the corner, Stanford beach volleyball (21-8, 3-4 Pac-12) wrapped up its regular season this past weekend as Arizona State swept the court 5-0.
Losing at the No. 4 spot, the Cardinal duo of Catherine Raquel and Shannon Richardson lost in straight sets and gave Arizona its 1-0 lead. The No. 1, 2 and 5 pairs for the Cardinal also lost in straight sets. At the No. 2 position Stanford’s duo of Ivana Vanjak and Payton Chang put up a hard fought second set almost forcing a third, before losing 22-20 in a tiebreak.
“Both Arizona and Arizona State played well and we’re excited to carry the experience into next week,” said first-year head coach Andrew Fuller.
It was the No. 3 pair of Morgan Hentz and Caitlin Keefe who forced the Cardinal’s only third set but lost in the third 15-13.
Although a shutout was not the outcome that the Cardinal expected, it was good experience for the team to play a competitive Arizona squad that they might see again in the championships.
“It was a really valuable weekend for the team to compete in the heat of Arizona and gain some familiarity with the facilities for the Pac-12 Championships,” Fuller said.
Stanford will head back to Tucson to compete in the second annual Pac-12 Conference Beach Volleyball Championship and Pac-12 Pairs Championships next week, April 27-29. The matches will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday and will be streamed on Pac-12 networks.
Contact Sydney Shaw at sshaw17 ‘at’ stanford.edu.