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Sand volleyball avenges earlier loss to Pacific

The Stanford sand volleyball team came back with a vengeance to beat the University of Pacific on Tuesday, winning 3-2 in the new Stanford Sand Volleyball Stadium. The Cardinal avenged a 5-0 sweep at the hands of the Tigers from the beginning of March.

“There were a lot of things we took back from [the Stanford Invitational] as a team and as a pair that we wanted to work on, so it was really cool to see us implement that into our game,” senior outside hitter Lauren Birks said.

Junior outside-hitter Brittany Howard (abvoe) was an integral part of Stanford's success in the Stanford Invitational this past weekend, along with partner Lauren Birk. (BOB DREBIN/stanfordphotos.com).

Junior outside hitter Brittany Howard was an integral part of Stanford’s success in the Stanford Invitational this past weekend, along with partner Lauren Birks. (BOB DREBIN/stanfordphotos.com).

The match started out with an exciting win from the No. 5 pair Inky Ajanaku and Grace Kennedy. They lost a tight first set, 21-19, but quickly recovered, winning their second set 21-15 and their third, 16-14 in overtime.

“They played really well in the moment when they had to,” head coach John Dunning said about the pair.

Stanford’s No. 2 team, Madi Bugg and Ivana Vanjak, also snagged a win for the Cardinal, defeating Pacific’s Mia Feiner and Gillian Howard in two sets, 21-15, 21-19.

Securing the final win for the Cardinal was the No. 1 pair Lauren Birks and Brittany Howard. They played a dynamic first set, winning in overtime 26-24, and then sealed off the victory with a 21-18 win. But the No. 1 pair noted that it has elements to improve on before the end of the season.

“It needs to be from the very first play that we are playing cleanly,” Howard said.

“The really neat thing out here is that we are getting better every single day we come out,” Dunning said. “We have players that are playing at a much higher level than they were before.”

Stanford now has a week off before it welcomes Saint Mary’s to the Farm and the new stadium next Tuesday. The match is set for a 4:30 p.m. start.

Contact Laura Stickells at lauraczs ‘at’ stanford.edu,

About Laura Stickells

Laura Stickells is one of the Managing Editors of Sports at The Stanford Daily. Growing up in the small, rural town of Bishop, California, Laura captained the powderpuff football team and became particularly adept at driving heavy equipment in her later years, a skill that helped her find a position as an intern at NBC Sports this summer working on Olympic coverage. In her spare time, Laura competes on the Stanford Equestrian Team. She also writes football better than the boys. Laura is a sophomore majoring in communications and can be reached at lauraczs 'at' stanford.edu.