By James Hemker
No. 11 beach volleyball (0-4) faced a tough start to its season last weekend, dropping all four of its matches in the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Beach Classic. The team had as hard a starting lineup as anyone — facing No. 1 UCLA (5-0), No. 4 Pepperdine (3-1), No. 5 Hawai’i (2-2) and Saint Mary’s (1-3).
On Saturday, the Cardinal faced the Bruins in the morning and the Waves in the afternoon. The 0-5 result against UCLA was not entirely unexpected, given that the Bruins are the reigning national champions.
Against Pepperdine, the matches were much closer and the decision fell to the Waves 2-3. In the No. 2 slot, freshman Tori Ashkinos and senior Courtney Bowen picked up the first win of the season, and freshman Maddie Dailey and junior Morgan Hentz claimed the second victory after a tight three-set match.
Despite the losses, head coach Andrew Fuller stayed positive about the day.
“The freshmen came in ready to compete on their first weekend of their collegiate careers,” he said. “It was really cool to see their responses against two of the top five programs in the country.”
Though Sunday ended the same way, the women played much closer matches and forced more three-set games. Saint Mary’s surprised the Cardinal 5-0, but three pairings went to three sets, and two pairings ended the third set within a three point difference.
The team rebounded against Hawai’i, however, picking up two points. Freshman Charlie Ekstrom and sophomore Sunny Villapando recorded their first team win at the No. 1 slot, while Ashkinos/Bowen found their second win in the second flight.
The team will travel to Arizona next weekend for the Pac-12 South Beach Invitational featuring No. 2 USC (0-0), No. 14 Arizona (3-0) and Oregon.
No. 1 UCLA 5, No. 11 Stanford 0
- Sarah Sponcil/Lily Justine (UCLA) def. Charlie Ekstrom/Sunny Villapando (STAN) 21-12, 21-19
- Zana Muno/Abby Van Winkle (UCLA) def. Tori Ashkinos/Courtney Bowen (STAN) 21-18, 21-16
- Savy Simo/Mac May (UCLA) def. Maddie Dailey/Morgan Hentz (STAN) 18-21, 21-13, 15-10
- Izzy Carey/Megan Muret (UCLA) def. Melissa Daniel/Amelia Smith (STAN) 21-10, 21-9
- Madi Yeomans/Lindsey Sparks (UCLA) def. Blake Sharp/Jordan McKinney (STAN) 21-13, 21-5
Order of finish: Doubles (4,5,1,2,3)
No. 4 Pepperdine 3, No. 11 Stanford 2
- Brook Bauer/Heidi Dyer (PEP) def. Sunny Villapando/Charlie Ekstrom (STAN) 21-9, 21-17
- Courtney Bowen/Tori Ashkinos (STAN) def. Gigi Hernandez/Deahna Kraft (PEP) 21-19, 22-20
- Maddie Dailey/Morgan Hentz (STAN) def. Jenna Tunnell/Skylar Caputo (PEP) 21-14, 19-21, 15-12
- Maddie Dilfer/Alexis Filippone (PEP) def. Amelia Smith/Melissa Daniel (STAN) 21-13, 21-15
- Nikki Lyons/Katie Gavin (PEP) def. Blake Sharp/Jordan McKinney (STAN) 26-24, 21-12
Order of finish: Doubles (4,1,5,2,3)
Saint Mary’s 5, No. 11 Stanford 0
- Sarah Chase/Lindsey Knudsen (SMC) def. Sunny Villapando/Charlie Ekstrom (STAN) 21-13, 21-17
- Emily Bible/Lindsey Calvin (SMC) def. Courtney Bowen/Tori Ashkinos (STAN) 21-16, 16-21, 15-4
- Alexsa Parker/Sienna Young (SMC) def. Morgan Hentz/Maddie Dailey (STAN) 22-20, 21-16
- Morgan Kendrick/Jennifer Laird (SMC) def. Amelia Smith/Melissa Daniel (STAN) 10-21, 21-13, 15-13
- Selbie Christensen/Chandler Cowell (SMC) def. Blake Sharp/Jordan McKinney (STAN) 21-11, 13-21, 15-12
Order of finish: Doubles (1, 3, 4, 5, 2)
No. 5 Hawai’i 3, No. 11 Stanford 2
- Charlie Ekstrom/Sunny Villapando (STAN) def. Amy Ozee/Morgan Martin (UH) 21-19, 8-21, 20-18
- Tori Ashkinos/Courtney Bowen (STAN) def. Emily Maglio/Hi’ilawe Huddleston (UH) 16-21, 21-12, 15-9
- Ari Homayun/Julia Scoles (UH) def. Maddie Dailey/Morgan Hentz (STAN) 21-9, 21-14
- Kylin Loker/Pani Napoleon (UH) def. Amelia Smith/Blake Sharp (STAN) 21-18, 21-15
- Jenna Banz/Paige Dreeuws (UH) def. Melissa Daniel/Jordan McKinney (STAN) 21-11, 21-7
Order of finish: Doubles (5, 3, 4, 2, 1)
Contact James Hemker at jahemker ‘at’ stanford.edu.