This Week in Sports: Women’s water polo repeats as NCAA Champion

May 15, 2023, 4:42 p.m.

Welcome to This Week in Sports. We are The Daily’s sports editors, Madeline Grabb 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.

No. 1 women’s water polo successfully defended its NCAA crown on Sunday, beating No. 2 USC for the second consecutive year to capture Stanford’s ninth national championship in program history. The Cardinal dominated Biola in the quarterfinals 23-0, but faced slightly more resistance from No. 3 UCLA in the semis before prevailing 14-9. After Stanford took an early lead in the championship match, the Trojans fought back and kept the score close. But the Cardinal eventually closed it out for an 11-9 victory, and they will return to the Farm with Stanford’s second NCAA title of the academic year thus far.

No. 1 women’s golf got one step closer to defending its national title with a commanding victory at the NCAA Pullman Regional this week to book Stanford’s 13th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. The Cardinal led throughout the competition and finished 50-under to tie the current program record. Sophomore Rose Zhang also shot 19-under to claim the individual crown, while her teammate junior Sadie Englemann took second place with 15-under. The Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. will play host to the NCAA Championships, where the Cardinal will begin their NCAA campaign in earnest on Friday.

No. 7 women’s tennis hosted the NCAA Super Regionals, dispatching No. 10 Ohio State on Friday at Taube Family Tennis Center. The Cardinal clinched the doubles point, and then victories in the first, third and fifth slots gave them the win, 4-1. A formidable opponent in No. 2 Texas A&M awaits Stanford in the quarterfinals, to be played on Wednesday in Orlando, Fla.

The Stanford Rowers team celebrates on the waterfront with a sign that says "PAC 12 CHAMPS"
Stanford rowers celebrate after winning their second straight conference championship and earning an automatic bid to this month’s NCAA regatta. (Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics)

Sunday also saw No. 4 women’s rowing win its second straight Pac-12 title, outpacing conference rivals to secure the championship and guarantee the Cardinal an automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA regatta. Stanford bested Washington by 3.5 points, as the Huskies finished second and Cal rounded out the top three. The Cardinal, who finished NCAA runner-up in 2021 and 2022 to Texas, will close out their season at this year’s national championships in Camden County, N.J. beginning May 26.

No. 7 softball opened the inaugural Pac-12 Tournament with a resilient victory over No. 17 Oregon on Thursday. Finding themselves trailing, the Cardinal registered all four of their runs during the final two innings to score a 4-3 win and progress to the next round. But Stanford could not pull off an upset the following day against No. 2 UCLA, and the Bruins won 1-0. The Cardinal will host the NCAA Regionals as the ninth seed, and begin tournament play against Long Beach State on Friday.

No. 4 baseball started a packed week with a 20-17 victory on the road over Santa Clara on Tuesday. Stanford then returned home and captured the Pac-12 title with a series win over Arizona. After a pair of wins on Friday and Saturday, the Cardinal fell in a high-scoring thriller on Sunday, with the Wildcats coming out on top 21-20. However, Stanford’s pair of victories still secured the Cardinal their second straight Pac-12 title. Next week, the Cardinal have three away matchups against Washington State to close out conference play.

Two tennis players fist bump on the court
Junior Aryan Chaudhary and senior Filip Kolasinski during a doubles match against Cal in April. While the Cardinal took the doubles point on Saturday, they lost a tight battle in singles to No. 4 Kentucky to conclude their NCAA tournament run in the Super Regionals. (Photo: KAREN HICKEY/ISI Photos)

Unseeded No. 21 men’s tennis fell in a close dual match to No. 4 Kentucky in its NCAA Super Regionals. Though Stanford earned the doubles point, the ensuing singles play was highly contested. It came down to a three-set battle in the sixth slot, which Kentucky won to survive and advance to the next round. Athletes now look to the approaching NCAA singles and doubles tournaments, which are set to take place at the end of the month.

No. 8 men’s rowing joined the women’s team in Oregon for its own Pac-12 Championships. The Cardinal also defended their placing from a year ago, finishing fourth. Cal won the day by tallying 72 points. The Bears were joined on the podium by Washington and Oregon State. Stanford finished just outside of the top three with 42 points. Next up for the Cardinal are the IRA Championships beginning on June 2.

Track & Field also was successful at the Pac-12 meet, as the men placed third overall and the women finished fourth. Highlights for Stanford included freshman Alyssa Jones breaking a school record that had stood for over three decades to win the women’s long jump, sophomore Udodi Onwuzurike topping the field in the men’s 200 meters, junior Kevin Yang winning the men’s triple jump and freshman Juliette Whittaker capturing the title in the women’s 800 meters. Postseason action continues for the Cardinal, with the NCAA West Prelims scheduled for May 24-27.

Madeline Grabb '25 is a senior staff writer from Sagaponack, New York who previously served as Sports Managing Editor for Vol. 263. She is studying communication and history. Contact her at sports 'at' Boone is the former managing editor for the sports section, serving for Volumes 262 and 263. He is a senior from Virginia Beach, Virginia, studying communication. You can usually find him chasing after rebounds in Maples Pavilion or recording a podcast with Jibriel Taha. Contact him at eboone24 'at'

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