This Week in Sports: Women’s volleyball and women’s soccer dominate again

Oct. 12, 2023, 1:09 a.m.

Welcome to “This Week in Sports.” We are Kenneth King and Charis Charitsis from The Daily’s sports section, and we will be walking you through the major games, events and stories from the past week.

Women’s volleyball

Women’s volleyball recorded another successful week, improving its record to 13-2, 6-0 Pac-12. On Friday, the team beat Washington in Seattle (11-6, 2-4 Pac-12) three sets to one (25-15, 21-25, 25-19, 25-21). Fifth-year opposite hitter Kendall Kipp recorded a season-high 21 kills with a .514 attack percentage, while sophomore outside hitter Elia Rubin turned in another double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. Rubin also tallied three blocks, two aces and two assists. Two days after downing the Huskies, the Cardinal traveled four hours to Pullman, Wash. to face No. 4 Washington State (15-2, 5-1 Pac-12). The first three sets were up for grabs. Stanford won the first two (31-29, 29-27) but lost the third (23-25). However, it did not let any negative momentum carry into the fourth, winning the set 25-18 and clinching the match. Rubin posted with a match-high 21 kills and 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the year, while Kipp added 20 kills and redshirt senior outside hitter Catie Baird tallied another 18. The victory over the Cougars extended the Cardinal’s win streak to seven.

Women’s soccer

On Thursday, No. 3 women’s soccer (12-0-1, 5-0-0 Pac-12) beat No. 25 Colorado (10-3-1, 2-2-1 Pac-12) 3-1 in Boulder. Despite an early goal deficit, the Cardinal controlled the game and capitalized on their offensive pressure as the first half was nearing its close. In the 41st minute, sophomore forward Lumi Kostmayer fed sophomore midfielder Jasmine Aikey, who blasted ​​a magnificent right-footed shot from outside the box to tie the score. With seconds remaining before halftime, freshman midfielder Joelle Jung, off a corner kick deflection, found the upper corner of Colorado’s net, giving Stanford a lead that the team never relinquished. In the second half, the Cardinal controlled the pace of the match, yielding another goal in the 62nd minute. Freshman forward Erica Grilione sent a ball across the box to find fifth-year midfielder Maya Doms for the final goal. Next, the Cardinal traveled to Salt Lake City to take on Utah this past Sunday. In a defensive battle, the game was decided in the 11th minute. Freshman Maryn Wolf penetrated the box and set up redshirt sophomore forward Andrea Kitahata for the game-winner. The 1-0 win left the Cardinal unbeaten in the season.

Men’s water polo 

Stanford fans had the opportunity to witness back-to-back clashes against the nation’s top-ranked teams from Los Angeles. The action at Avery Aquatic Center opened on Saturday, when the Cardinal (10-5, 1-2 Pac-12) took on No. 3 ranked USC (10-4, 0-3 Pac-12). Although the Trojans scored on their first possession, the Cardinal took control thereafter. With 5:34 left on the clock in the final period, they extended their lead to four goals. However, in what nearly became a repeat of the Cardinal’s final-second OT loss to USC two weeks earlier, USC leveled the game at 11 each and sent the teams once more into overtime. A resilient Cardinal team made sure the result, this time, was different. With the score tied at 13-13, senior Jackson Painter scored the game-winning goal at five meters, snapping USC’s five-game winning streak in the series. 

The next day, the Cardinal took on No. 1 UCLA (17-0, 3-0 Pac-12). In the opening quarter, Stanford struck first when freshman Christopher Arakelian skipped a shot into the back of the net. However, the Bruins responded with three unanswered goals. Thereafter, the teams exchanged goals, bringing the score to 2-4 as the first quarter came to a close. Senior Riley Pittman scored next, drawing the Cardinal within a goal with six minutes to go in the first half. But that was as close as Stanford came. UCLA scored four of the next five goals, taking a 4-8 lead and ultimately winning the match 7-11. 

Field hockey

Stanford field hockey (4-9, 1-5 America East) traveled to the East Coast to take on Vermont (5-8, 2-3 America East) and No. 18 Albany (9-3, 5-0 America East). Against the Catamounts, freshman Star Horlock scored for the second consecutive game. Although this was the only Cardinal goal, it was enough for the 1-0 victory. The shutout was led by sophomore goalkeepers Daisy Ford (one save) and Kendall Dowd, who fended off 10 shots. On Sunday, against Albany, the Cardinal were on the opposite end of a 1-0 score. Ford, who played the entire game, had six saves, allowing only a first-half goal. The team’s improvement on the defensive end needs to be matched by similar offensive productivity as the team approaches the most challenging part of the season.


This past weekend, Stanford claimed another regatta first place at the Stu Nelson hosted by Connecticut College, scoring 148 points and leaving Yale with 163 in second place. The Cardinal also competed in the Open ACC Round 1B, hosted by Harvard, where they earned second place in the regatta among 18 teams.

Women’s tennis

Graduate student No. 14 Angelica Blake and junior No. 21 Alexandra Yepifanova posted impressive wins, reaching the sweet-16 in the All-American Championships in Cary, N.C. last week. Blake beat UNC’s No. 5 Reese Brantmeier (6-4, 5-7, 7-5) in the round of 32. With little time to recover, she fell to Cal’s Jessica Alsola the next day. Yepifanova convincingly beat NC State’s No. 72 Abigail Rencheli 6-1, 6-4 in the opening round. She next took on No. 3 Alexa Noel from University of Miami. Yepifanova lost the first set in a tiebreak before succumbing to her top-ranked opponent 7-6 (4), 6-2. In doubles, Bleka teamed up with sophomore Alexis Blokhina. In the opening round, the sixth-ranked duo beat UNC’s No. 53 Abbey Forbes and Reilly Tran, 6-4, 6-2. In the round of 16, they faced Auburn’s DJ Bennett and Selin Ovunc. With match tied at a set a piece (4-6, 7-5), it was decided in a 10-point tiebreak that the Cardinal dropped 3-10.

Men’s tennis

Sophomore Samir Banerjee competed at the All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla. this past weekend. The No. 29 ranked sophomore beat Memphis University’s No. 35 Pablo Alemany in the round of 64, 7-6 (8), 6-3. In the round of 32, Benerjee faced Notre Dame’s No. 5 Sebastian Dominko. After winning the opening set 6-4, he dropped the second set in a tiebreaker, before losing the deciding set and the match 6-4, 6-7(3), 1-6. Graduate student Filip Kolasinski reached the round of 16 in the ITA Regional Championship in Berkeley before falling to Pacific’s Tiago Silva.

Charis is a senior staff writer and recent alum (Ph.D.’23). If CS is his hobby, sports is his passion. Firm believer that the coach is the most important position in every team sport. A member of the sports section but not a journalist by any stretch of the imagination.

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