PALO ALTO, Calif. – The Arizona beach volleyball team picked up its biggest win of the season on Friday when they defeated No. 10 Stanford, 3-2, as part of the Pac-12 North Invitational. Later in the day, Arizona posted a 5-0 sweep of Utah to improve to 18-4 overall on the season.
In the match against Stanford, the dual was tied 2-2 heading into the final match – the No. 1 pair for each school. Arizona’s senior duo of Sarah Blacker and Alex Parkhurst had dropped the first set, 21-15, before rallying to win set two, 21-13. In the decisive final set, Blacker and Parkhurst pulled away at the end to claim the nail-biter, 15-13.
After a three-set victory in their match against Utah, Blacker and Parkhurst improved to 15-6 when paired together this season.
The pair of Abby Russell and Hope Shannon went 2-0 on the day with a win over Stanford at No. 2 pair and then a two-set win over Utah at No. 3 pair. They are now 18-4 together on the season.
Perhaps the UA pair playing the best right now is Dilara Gedikoglu and Kali Uhl, who improved to 11-0 on the year after a three-set win over Stanford and a two-set victory against Utah.
Miranda Erro was paired with Caroline White at No. 5 pair against Stanford and they came up short in their match. But in the afternoon, Annie Kost was put in the lineup with Erro and the duo cruised to a 21-14, 21-12 win.
The Wildcats are back in action at Stanford on Saturday, taking on No. 2 USC at 8:00 a.m. on Pac-12 Networks and No. 4 UCLA at 11:00 a.m. (no television).
Arizona 3, #10 Stanford 2
1: Alex Parkhurst/Sarah Blacker (ARIZ) def. Xolani Hodel/Maddi Kriz (STAN), 15-21, 21-13, 15-13
2: Abby Russell/Hope Shannon (ARIZ) def. Charlie Ekstrom/Maya Harvey (STAN), 23-21, 18-21, 15-10
3: Kate Reilly/Emmy Sharp (STAN) def. Alana Rennie/Grace Cook (ARIZ), 21-16, 22-20
4: Kali Uhl and Dilara Gedikoglu (ARIZ) def. Kelly Belardi/Ashley Vincent (STAN), 21-18, 18-21, 15-12
5: Line Andersson/Sophie Kubiak (STAN) def. Caroline White/Miranda Erro (ARIZ), 21-13, 21-19
Order of finish: 4, 2, 5, 3, 1*
Arizona 4, Utah 1
1. Alex Parkhurst/Sarah Blacker (ARIZ) def. Amaya Messier/Katie McAlister (UTAH), 17-21, 21-18, 15-11
2. Alana Rennie/Grace Cook (ARIZ) def. Grace Andrews/Chloe Naranich (UTAH), 19-21, 21-12, 15-10
3. Abby Russell/Hope Shannon (ARIZ) def. Bella…
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