Beach volleyball goes 1-3 in Southern California

Feb. 28, 2021, 9:42 p.m.

Stanford beach volleyball traveled to Southern California on Friday after not having competed in 355 days. They returned to the Farm with a 1- 3 record, after splitting a pair of matches with No. 16 Long Beach State and falling twice to No. 2 UCLA.

The Cardinal was also supposed to challenge No. 10 Pepperdine on Sunday, but extreme winds prompted the cancellation of the event. 

The team’s Friday morning matchup against Long Beach State resulted in a 2-3 Cardinal loss, but Stanford was quick to readjust to claim the afternoon match 4-1. The Cardinal’s No. 1 pair, junior Charlie Ekstrom and senior Sunny Villapando, went 2-0 against Long Beach State, narrowly defeating the duo of Tyler Spriggs and Mari Molina 22-20 and 21-19 in the day’s first match and later 21-19 and 21-18 in the second. 

No. 3 pair sophomore Maddi Kriz and freshman Maya Harvey also went 2-0 on the day, as did No. 6 duo freshmen Abby Converse and Ellie Gamberdella. 

Saturday’s doubleheader against UCLA was less favorable for the Cardinal. The Bruins claimed a 3-2 victory over Stanford in the day’s first match before coasting to an 5-0 victory over the Cardinal later that afternoon. Again at the No. 3 spot, Harvey and Kriz earned one of Stanford’s two wins in the opener, while junior Maddie Dailey and senior Amelia Smith took down Bruins duo Rileigh Powers and Jaden Whitmarsh 21-18, 21-16 as the Cardinal’s No. 4 spot. 

Freshmen Xolani Hodel and Kate Reilly pushed Devon Newberry and Lindsey Sparks to a third set during Saturday’s first match after splitting the first two 22-24 and 22-20, but were unable to capitalize and fell 14-16 in the third. 

The Cardinal now returns to the Farm to take on Saint Mary’s and UC Davis on Saturday. First serves of the day are set for 10 a.m. PT against Saint Mary’s, with UC Davis following at 2 p.m. PT.

Savanna Stewart is a managing editor in the Sports section. She is a junior from Twin Bridges, Montana studying Political Science and Communication and enjoys running and playing basketball. Contact her at sstewart 'at'

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