This Week in Sports: Cross country sweeps Pac-12 titles as volleyball loses first Pac-12 match

Oct. 31, 2023, 10:52 p.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.

Cross country

Stanford dominated the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships on Friday. The men’s team finished first for a record-setting 17th time, and the women took second, just two points behind first-place Washington. Senior Ky Robinson won the men’s individual title, covering the 8-kilometer (4.97-mile) course in 22:40.2, while senior Cole Sprout finished third in 22:56.5.

Freshman Amy Bunnage triumphed in the women’s 6-kilometer (3.93-mile) race, crossing the finish line in 19:09.7. Senior Lucy Jenks finished four places behind in 19:30.0. The men’s team was made up of graduate student Liam Anderson, fifth-year student Evan Burke, seniors Robinson and Sprout, juniors Robert DiDonato and John Lester, sophomores Callum Sherry and Zane Bergen, freshmen Milo Skapinsky and Lex Young and back-to-back Pac-12 men’s cross country coach of the year, Ricardo Santos. The women’s team consisted of graduate student Abi Archer; fifth-year student Grace Connolly; seniors Jenks and Zofia Dudek; sophomores Riley Stewart, Ava Parekh, Nicola Hogg and Caroline Wells and freshmen Bunnage and Sophia Kennedy. The women’s team was coached by the two-time USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year and two-time Pac-12 Cross Country Coach of the Year J.J. Clark and assistant coach Addy Royal.

Men’s water polo 

No. 3 Stanford (14-5, 2-2 MPSF) cruised to a 17-8 victory over No. 16 Pacific (11-10, 0-2 WCC) at Avery Aquatic Center on Thursday. The Cardinal controlled the game from start to finish. Junior Tanner Pulice drove the Cardinal to a 4-2 lead at the end of the first period with three goals on four shots. The team extended the edge to five goals heading into halftime. In the third period, both teams scored twice, but in the final period Stanford outscored the Tigers 6-1. Senior Ethan Parrish found the back of the net five times, while Pulice and freshman Alex Gheorghe added three goals each. Senior goalkeeper Nolan Krutonog logged 14 saves.

Women’s soccer

On Thursday, No. 4 women’s soccer (14-0-4, 7-0-3 Pac-12) battled to a scoreless draw against No. 23 USC (10-0-1, 3-0 Pac-12). Senior goalkeeper Ryan Campbell made five saves for the Cardinal and recorded her seventh clean sheet of the season. On Sunday, the Cardinal remained undefeated, tying No. 2 UCLA (15-1-1, 9-0-1 Pac-12) 1-1 in Los Angeles. The two teams were scoreless in the first half. After the intermission, the Bruins’ Sofia Cook opened the scoring in the 68th minute. The Cardinal responded a minute later when sophomore Jasmine Aikey took a free kick outside the box and tied the game. Stanford needed a win to stay alive in the Pac-12 title race, but did not score in the remainder of the game. Campbell was spectacular again, recording four saves.

Men’s soccer

No. 15 men’s soccer (7-2-5, 1-1-5 Pac-12) battled to a 1-1 tie against Cal (6-5-2, 2-3-2 Pac-12) in Berkeley on Sunday. Stanford was the aggressor in the first half but could not score; the two teams entered the halftime break tied at 0-0. The Bears took the lead early in the second half, but the Cardinal leveled the game in the 76th minute. Sophomore midfielder Zach Bohane took a free kick and found redshirt sophomore forward Jackson Kiil who headed the ball into the back of Cal’s net. The Cardinal missed a chance to take the lead in the last minute when sophomore forward Liam Doyle sent the ball over the crossbar from just outside the box. It was an even battle. The Cardinal had 12 shots (six on target) whereas the Bears had 13 (three on target).


Stanford (2-6, 1-5 Pac-12) fell to No. 5 Washington (8-0, 5-0 Pac-12) by a score of 33-42. After a slow start, the team trailed 7-21 but narrowed the gap to 13-21 before halftime after 22-yard and 47-yard field goals by senior kicker Joshua Karty. In the third quarter, the Cardinal outscored the Huskies 13-7. Entering the fourth quarter, the two teams were separated by just two points before Washington’s quarterback and Heisman frontrunner Michael Penix Jr. found Devin Culp for a 24-yard score a minute into the period. With 6:46 remaining, the Cardinal responded with a 2-yard rushing touchdown by sophomore quarterback Justin Lamson.

Shortly after, fifth-year cornerback Zahran Manley intercepted the ball in the Cardinal end zone to give Stanford the ball down two points with five minutes on the clock. However, Stanford’s potential go-ahead drive stalled when, on fourth-and-2 at its own 28-yard line, freshman wide receiver Tiger Bachmeier attempted a pass to junior wide receiver Jayson Raines who was unable to secure the catch. Washington capitalized on the opportunity, scoring a touchdown to seal the victory 42-33.

Women’s volleyball

Women’s volleyball (18-3, 11-1 Pac-12) had a mixed week. On Friday, the team beat host Arizona (6-17, 1-11 Pac-12) in straight sets (25-23, 25-17, 25-22). Fifth-year opposite hitter Kendall Kipp led the team with 14 kills, two blocks and two digs; she posted an impressive season-best .525 hitting percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Elia Rubin added 11 kills, five digs, a block and an ace, while redshirt senior McKenna Vicini and outside hitter Caitie Baird tallied another seven kills each. On Sunday, the Cardinal, on the road for a second consecutive week, did not play up to their usual high standards and fell 0-3 (16-25, 21-25, 14-25) to Arizona State (21-3, 9-3 Pac-12). The team was previously undefeated since mid-September. The loss was its first in Pac-12 play and third overall this year, putting an end to an impressive 12-match win streak.

Men’s swimming

On Friday, Stanford knocked off U.C. Santa Barbara 165-88 at Avery Aquatic Center, winning every event. Five seniors and three underclassmen posted NCAA B standard times. Seniors Luke Maurer won the 200 freestyle in 1:34.09, Aaron Sequeira the 100 backstroke in 47.01, Ethan Dang the 200 breaststroke in 1:56.32, Ethan Hu the 100 butterfly in 46.86 and Rick Mihm the 400 individual medley in 3:49.02. Junior Matt Fenlon won the 500 freestyle in 4:19.32, and sophomores Andres Dupont and Josh Zuchowski won the 100 freestyle in 42.65 and the 200 backstroke in 1:42.67, respectively.

Women’s swimming

On Friday, Stanford beat Arkansas 161-133 at Avery Aquatic Center. Freshman Caroline Bricker posted three personal bests, swimming 1:54.60 in the 200 fly, 2:07.15 in the 200 breaststroke and 4:05.51 in the 400 individual medley. Junior Lauren Burch and sophomore Emilie Moore, both of whom competed in the 3-meter dive, captured first and second respectively. The next day, the Cardinal beat Washington State 117-65, sweeping all ten events in their Pac-12 opener. Junior Lillie Nordmann won the 50 freestyle (23.44) and 150 backstroke (1:26.26). Sophomore Sophie Duncan won the 300 freestyle (2:51.68) and 600 freestyle (5:53.80), while Bricker added another victory in the 150 breaststroke (1:36.46). Junior Aurora Roghair finished first in the 150 freestyle in 1:17.95 and freshman Lucy Thomas won the 150 individual medley in 55:89. Sophomore Natalie Mannion added the remaining Cardinal individual win, clocking 1:25.87 in the 150 fly. Nordmann, Mannion, senior Janelle Rudolph and sophomore Gigi Johnson won the 400 medley relay in 3:41.64. Mannion, Johnson and juniors Anna Shaw and Meghan Lynch closed the day with a 500 freestyle relay win in 4:23.64.

Field hockey

Stanford (4-11, 1-7 America East) closed out its season with two games on the road. On Friday it dropped a 2-0 bout to Bryant (8-9, 2-6 America East). Sophomore goalkeeper Kendall Dowd posted a career-high seven saves. Although the team’s defense was solid again, the offense struggled, recording two shots on goal on five shots overall. Sunday’s game followed a similar pattern when Stanford took on No. 18 UMass Lowell (14-3, 7-1 America East). The River Hawks prevailed 3-0 and clinched the America East regular season title. The first period was scoreless, but Stanford gave up an unanswered goal in each of the remaining three periods. Sophomore goalkeepers Daisy Ford (first half) and Dowd (second half) combined for six saves.

Men’s tennis

Sophomore Samir Banerjee reached the final at the ITA Northwest Super Regional Championships last week and qualified to the ITA Fall National Championships. Banerjee, who did not drop a set on his way to the final, lost 6-3, 6-4 in the title match against Oregon’s Quinn Vandecasteele. Banerjee also reached the semifinals in doubles alongside senior Aryan Chaudhary, eventually losing in a tiebreak after splitting the first two sets with Pacific’s Peter Alam and Justas Trainauskas.


Stanford men took seventh place in the Open ACC Finals, hosted by Saint Mary’s College of Maryland on October 21-22.  The event had a highly competitive field of 18, including Harvard, Yale and Brown. The Cardinal had multiple strong races, earning wins in one A division and three B division races. Stanford ended the competition tied on points (237) with Yale for sixth place, but lost the head-to-head tiebreaker. At the same time in Connecticut, Stanford women earned bronze in the Yale Women’s Regatta. Stanford tied Boston College (150 points) but Boston College took second due to a head-to-head victory, leaving Stanford in third.

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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