STANFORD, Calif. – With four-time Olympic medalist and 2000 graduate of Stanford Kerri Walsh Jennings looking on, the Cardinal improved to 10-4 on the season with a 3-2 win against California on Tuesday at the Stanford Beach Volleyball Stadium.
“I was really happy about the responses from our team today, whether it was giving up six points and bouncing back or making calm changes to our game when pressed,” said first-year head coach Andrew Fuller. “It was a surreal moment to have Kerri on the court with us, knowing that all of this – collegiate beach volleyball and the growth of our sport – is a ripple effect from the steps she has taken.”
Stanford took the early lead after Catherine Raquel and Shannon Richardson won two lengthy sets, 23-21, 26-24. Cal fought back with a win in the No. 5 match – the Cardinal’s pair of Courtney Bowen and Kat Anderson dropped a three-setter, 17-21, 21-14, 16-14, to make it 1-1.
Stanford clinched the dual with points in quick succession, with the No. 1 and No. 2 pairs both picking up 2-0 wins in the second wave of matches. Kathryn Plummer and Jenna Gray put the Cardinal ahead, 2-1, with a 21-19, 21-12 win, before Ivana Vanjak and Payton Chang clinched the dual at 3-1 with a 22-20, 21-12 in the No. 2 match.
No. 3 Morgan Hentz and Caitlin Keefe dropped their match, 21-19, 16-21, 17-15, to make the final score 3-2 in favor of Stanford.
Prior to the dual, Jaquish and Kenninger Director of Athletics Bernard Muir joined Walsh Jennings for a special ceremony on Court 1. The court was named in honor of Walsh Jennings, a four-time All-American at Stanford who helped deliver indoor national championships to The Farm in 1996 and 1997.
“We were honored to play Cal in Kerri’s presence,” added Fuller. “We have a great weekend ahead with Oregon, Boise State and Washington, and I’m excited about the direction of our team.”
The Cardinal returns to action on Friday when it hosts Oregon at 3 p.m. PT. Stanford then hosts Boise State and Washington on Saturday at Noon and 3 p.m., respectively. Live results for all matches are available at GoStanford.com.
1. Plummer/Gray (Stan) def. Merino/Gaffney (Cal) 21-19, 21-12
2. Vanjak/Chang (Stan) def. Stepanof/Bark (Cal) 22-20, 21-12
3. Rodberg/Campbell (Cal) def. Hentz/Keefe (Stan) 21-19, 16-21, 17-15
4. Richardson/Raquel (Stan) def. Lindahl/Anderson (Cal) 23-21, 26-24
5. Gustafson/Neff (Cal) def. Bowen/Anderson (Stan) 17-21, 21-14, 16-14
Exh. Dueck/Waldbuger (Cal) def. Red-Horse Mohl/DiSanto (Stan) 21-17, 21-15