On Wednesday afternoon, Stanford sand volleyball faced the San Jose State Spartans in the Cardinal’s sleek new stadium for their first match since the NorCal Invitational Pairs Tournament in early March. However, the long break between matches did not slow down the Cardinal, which swept the Spartans 5-0 to achieve victory and improve their overall and home record to 3-1.
Stanford had few struggles when playing against the Spartans. Sophomore Kelsey Humphreys and freshman Catherine Raquel dominated their opponents with a striking second set in which San Jose State scored only five points. After a close first set of 21-18, the pair buckled down in the second set to sweep easily.
The pair demonstrated a phenomenal team dynamic with several moments of miraculous dives and strong comebacks. Raquel has shown significant potential to contribute for Stanford going forward.
The tightest games within the match occurred for Stanford’s pairs of junior Inky Ajanaku and sophomore Grace Kennedy and of senior Lauren Birks and junior Brittany Howard. Ajanaku and Kennedy played meticulously when the set grew tighter and tighter as the match reached the end. With skillful defensive tactics from the duo, the pair managed to remain on top with two tight sets, winning 21-18, 22-20.
Birks and Howard followed the successes of Ajanaku and Kennedy, scoring a win for the Cardinal with their effortless attacks and seamless passes when the pair needed these moments the most.
On April 3 and 4, the sand volleyball team will head down to Miami to compete in the Surf ‘n Turf Invitational against Carson Newman, Florida International, Florida Atlantic and Webber International.
Contact Divine Edem at dedem ‘at’ stanford.edu.