This Week in Sports: Pac-12 champions

Nov. 8, 2022, 12:27 a.m.

Welcome to This Week in Sports. We are The Daily’s sports editors, Zach Zafran and Ells Boone, and we’ll be walking you through the major games, events and stories from the past week, as well as providing a brief preview of what’s coming up this week.

Three seasons removed from a five-year streak as Pac-12 champions, Stanford women’s soccer has returned to right where they want to be. The team entered the week tied atop the Pac-12 with No. 1 UCLA, but following the Bruins’ 2-0 loss to USC, the Cardinal tied Cal 1-1 on Friday afternoon to claim sole possession of the Pac-12 Championship. On Monday, Stanford was selected as a No. 3 seed and will open up NCAA Tournament play at Cagan Stadium on Friday when they host San Jose State.

Stanford men’s tennis was well-represented at the conclusion of the fall season as freshman phenom Nishesh Basavareddy won the 2022 Men’s Singles ITA National Fall Championship, becoming the first freshman to do so since 2011 and the fourth Stanford player to do so in program history. Sophomore Max Basing also competed, taking an opening round victory to advance to the round of 16 before being eliminated by Duke’s Garrett Johns, the tournament’s top seed.

After an up and down regular season, field hockey closed its season strong, making it all the way to the finals of the America East Tournament as a No. 5 seed. The team defeated Vermont 2-1 on Thursday and then took down No. 23 Maine 3-1 on Friday, avenging its loss from earlier in the season. On Sunday, the Cardinal faced off against No. 17 UAlbany for the conference title but lost the overtime bout in a shootout. With the conclusion of the tournament, the Cardinal end their season with a 10-9 record.

Two golfers, a female on the right and male on the left, stand side-by-side
Junior Michael Thorbjornsen and sophomore Rose Zhang played together earlier this Fall at the Big Match against Cal. (Photo: BRANDON VALLANCE/ISI Photos)

No. 1 women’s golf had a storybook ending to its fall season, claiming the Pac-12 Preview title under the sun in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Rose Zhang led the way, carding an 11-under en route to her seventh career victory. The sophomore has now won half of the Stanford events she has competed in and sits only two wins behind the school record.

Following her performance, it was announced Zhang was named the Pac-12 Golfer of the Month for the second time in a row. Joining her was Michael Thorbjornsen, who also claimed his second-straight Pac-12 Golfer of the Month award after leading the men’s team to a comeback victory in the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate in late October. 

Two volleyball players jump up to block the ball
Womens volleyball during a 3-0 home win over UCLA from late October. (Photo: RANA TAKI/The Stanford Daily)

Returning to Maples Pavilion, No. 8 Stanford womens volleyball picked up a pair of victories against Utah and Colorado. Senior opposite Kendall Kipp put up game-highs of 21 and 19 kills in each match, respectively. The standout performances that earned her the title of Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. The Cardinal have now won 12 straight and have shown no signs of slowing down. The group hits the road, matching up with the Los Angeles schools down south on Wednesday and Saturday. 

Women’s swim and dive comfortably extended its undefeated start to the season, taking down San Jose State in a 162-63 dual meet victory on Friday. The Cardinal were without many key members of the squad due to illness, but several swimmers stepped up to the challenge of impressing in more than one event. After three dual meets in quick succession, the swimming unit will travel to North Carolina for the NC State Invitational while their diving teammates head to Austin, Texas for the Texas Diving Invite.

The men’s swim and dive team also competed against a Bay Area foe on Friday, as the squad took on Cal for the annual Triple Distance Meet. With a special scoring system, the Cardinal edged the Golden Bears in a number of events, with the margin of victory ranging from 16 seconds to 0.27 seconds. Up next for the team is the NCAState/GAC Invite later this month.

A football player leaps to catch a football
Washington State defeated Stanford in dominant fashion on Saturday. (Photo: MIKE KHEIR/The Stanford Daily)

Saturday afternoon was not kind to Stanford football, which lost to Washington State 52-14 at Stanford Stadium. Four first-half fumbles gave way to a 42-7 halftime lead for the Cougars. Now at 3-6, the Cardinal will head to Salt Lake City to play No. 12 Utah for a Saturday night matchup. 

More updates from The Farm:

  • No. 2 women’s basketball dominated in its official season opener Monday night versus San Diego State, defeating the Aztecs 86-48. Read the defending Pac-12 champions’ season preview here.
  • Men’s basketball opened up competition with a 88-78 victory over Pacific on Monday morning. The season ahead holds plenty of hope for a Cardinal program hoping to return to the NCAA Tournament. Senior Spencer Jones will be at the forefront. You can read about his journey here.
  • Cross country had a dominant showing at the Pac-12 Championships with the men’s team claiming first place and the women following close behind with a fourth place finish. Following the race, plenty of team members were honored with conference awards. 

Zach Zafran is the managing editor of the sports section. He is a sophomore from the Bay Area, who is majoring in Mathematical and Computational Science. Zach has previous experience reporting and writing with SFGATE, and you can find him around campus wearing swim trunks no matter the weather. Follow him on Twitter at @ZachZafran and contact him at sports 'at' stanforddaily.com.Ells Boone is the managing editor for the sports section. He is a junior from Virginia Beach, Virginia, studying communication. When not chasing after rebounds in Maples Pavilion or recording a podcast with Jibriel Taha, you can find him at TAP or watching his favorite Premier League team, Tottenham Hotspur, play. Contact him at eboone24 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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