No. 3 Women's Volleyball Takes On No. 2 Nebraska In NCAA Championship Semifinal
Dec. 10, 2001
CARDINAL MAKE 13TH TRIP TO FINAL FOUR: The third-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team (30-2, 17-1 Pac-10) are headed to San Diego, Calif. for the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball National Championship Semifinals after a 3-0 sweep of #15 Texas A&M in their Regional Final. The Cardinal will take on No. 2 Nebraska (31-1, 20-0 Big 12) on Thursday, December 13 at 8 p.m. in Cox Arena. The 2001 Pac-10 Champion Cardinal take an 17-match winning streak into Thursday's matchup.
ESPN TO TELEVISE CARDINAL SEMIFINAL: Stanford's semifinal match against Nebraska will be televised on a tape-delayed basis, airing Friday, Dec. 14 at noon PT on ESPN. Saturday's championship match will be shown live at noon PT on ESPN. Chris Marlowe and Heather Cox will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively for all matches.
NCAA REGIONAL WRAPUP: Stanford hosted No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 13 Utah and No. 15 Texas A&M last weekend in one of four regionals across the U.S. Texas A&M upset Wisconsin 30-28, 30-24, 30-23 on Friday evening to advance to the Regional Championship. Stanford defeated Utah 30-17, 30-17, 28-30, 30-19 to advance as well. On Saturday, the Cardinal swept the Aggies 30-21, 30-19, 30-20 in the regional championship to earn a trip to San Diego. Logan Tom led the match with 20 kills while Sara McGee noched nine blocks on the night.
REGION ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Four Cardinal student-athletes were selected to the all-tournament team following Saturday night's win. Senior setter Robyn Lewis, senior middle blocker Tara Conrad along with sophomore middle blocker Sara McGee were tabbed to the team as well as the most outstanding player of the tournament - Logan Tom. Texas A&M put two on the all-tourney team: setter Jenna Moscovic and outside hitter Erin Lechler.
TOURNAMENT TRIVIA: The Cardinal are making their 13th Final Four appearance ... Stanford is 21-0 at home in the NCAA tournament since 1994 ... Since joining the Pac-10, the Cardinal is 61-17 (.782) in the NCAA Tournament ... Stanford is one of only four teams to have appeared in all 21 NCAA Championships (UCSB, Penn State, Pacific) ... The Cardinal are one of twoPac-10 teams in the 2001 tournament who are among the final four teams ... During the '90's, Stanford is 35-0 in the NCAA tournament when they win game one ... the Cardinal's last trip to the NCAA Semifinal match was in 1999.
CARDINAL NOTCH 10TH 30-WIN SEASON: With Stanford's 3-1 win over No. 13 Utah on Friday night gave the Cardinal its 10th 30-win season (2001, 1999, 1997, 1996, 1994, 1992, 1991, 1982, 1981, 1980). The Stanford record for most wins in a single season is 33 (1997 and 1980).
NEBRASKA NOTES: The Huskers, seeded second, enter Thursday's match with a 31-1 overall record ... They are coached by John Cook ... The Huskers are currently ranked No. 2 in the AVCA/USA Today Coaches Poll ... The team is led by Nancy Metcalf (4.28 kpg/3.09 dpg) and Laura Pilakowski (3.38 kpg/2.99 dpg) ... Nebraska enters Thursday's match on a 29-match winning streak ... Nebraska is the defending National Champions ... Stanford leads the all-time series with the Husker, 5-3 ... The last time the two teams met was in Sept. 4, 1998 in San Diego, at the SDSU Tournament, as Nebraska defeated the Cardinal, 3-1 ... The Huskers are leading the nation with a 4.21 blocks per game average.
LONG BEACH LEDGER: Long Beach State, seeded first in the tourney, enters Thursday's match against Arizona with a perfect 32-0 mark ... The 49ers are ranked No. 1 in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll ... They are coached by Brian Gimmillaro ... The squad is led by Cheryl Weaver (4.61 kpg/2.09 dpg) and Tayyiba Haneef (4.94 kpg/2.29 dpg) ... The Cardinal hold a 13-2 advantage in the all-time series with LBSU, however dropped a 3-1 decision to the 49ers earlier this season in Long Beach ... The 49ers are 2-0 vs. Pac-10 teams this year and also defeated Nebraska earlier this season ... Long Beach State is hitting .364 as a team in 2001.
WILDCAT HAPPENINGS: Arizona, seeded fifth, enters Thursday's match with LBSU with a 25-4 record ... They are coached by Dave Rubio ... The Wildcats are ranked fourth in the AVCA/USA Today Coaches Poll ... The team is led by outside hitter Lisa Rutledge (4.09 kpg/2.81 dpg) and Shannon Torregrosa (3.78 kpg/2.28 dpg) ... They enter Thursday's match on a six-match winning streak and are 9-1 in their last 10 matches ... Stanford owns a 40-3 advantage in the all-time series with Arizona and won both meetings with the 'Cats this season (W, 3-2 in Stanford and W, 3-2 in Tucson) ... Senior setter Dana Burkholder is averaging 13.07 assists per game as well as 2.49 digs.
PAC-10 NAMES ALL-ACADEMIC TEAMS: Stanford had nine student-athletes named to the 2001 Pac-10 All-Academic teams last week. Senior outside hitter Sara Sandrik was a first-team selection while sophomore Sara McGee was a second-team pick. Seven Cardinals were honorable mention selections: senior Michelle Chambers, senior Tara Conrad, junior Ashley Ivy, senior Emily Lawrence, senior Robyn Lewis, senior Anna Robinson and junior Logan Tom.
TOM NAMED NCAA REGION MVP: Junior outside hitter Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, UT) continues to add to her list of postseason accolades after being named to the Outstanding Player at Stanford's NCAA Regional this weekend. She was also named to the Pacfic All-Region team ast week and 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year last month. Tom, a three-time All-Pac-10 selection, becomes the eighth different Stanford player to garner Pac-10 Player of the Year honors and the fifth time in the last seven years a Stanford player has won the award. Tom was instrumental in leading Stanford to at least a share of the 2001 Pac-10 title, marking the ninth time the Cardinal have shared or won the Pac-10 championship in the 16 seasons of Pac-10 volleyball. In postseason play this year, she is averaging 5.23 kills, 4.46 digs and 0.62 service aces per game. Tom, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, leads the Conference in kills (4.95 kills per game), points (5.92 points per game) and service aces (0.55 sapg). She's second in the Conference in digs (3.49 dpg). Tom closed out Pac-10 play earning an unprecedented three consecutive Pac-10 Player of the Week honors and captured the award five times during the 2001 season. On the season, she is leading the squad in kills, digs and service aces. Tom has 25 double-doubles in 33 matches this season and has tallied at least 10 kills in 48 of the last 49 matches played. Her 64 service aces in 2001 ranks her second in Cardinal history for a single season. The 2000 Olympian helped lead the U.S. Women's National Team to a fourth-place finish at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney.
NNAMANI TABBED PACIFIC REGION FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Freshman Ogonna Nnamani continues to impress as she was honored as the Pacific Region Freshman of the Year as well as the 2001 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. She was also tabbed to the Pacific All-Region team as well and is now eligible for all-america consideration. A 6-1 outside hitter from Normal, Ill., Nnamani and Tom provided the Cardinal attack with a potent 1-2 punch as the two topped the Pac-10 with a combined 8.71 kills per game. Nnamani's 3.82 kills per game is the most among Pac-10 freshmen, as is her 4.40 points per game. Nnamani earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on Sept. 10 after hitting .384 with 44 kills (4.00 kpg) and 30 digs (2.73 dpg) in wins over No. 4 Penn State, No. 25 Texas and No. 18 Texas A&M respectively. She is the sixth Cardinal to receive the conference honor. Nnamani has recorded 10 or more kills in 28 of 31 matches for the Cardinal as well as four double-doubles (kills-digs). She is one of five Cardinal players to have 10 or more service aces this season. Nnamani was named MVP of the Verizon/Texas A&M Invite and was an all-tournament selection at the Jefferson Cup this season. She is averaging 3.31 kills in the post season while hitting at a .379 clip.
McGEE NAMED TO REGIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Sophomore middle blocker Sara McGee (Davis, Calif.) had a solid weekend and for her efforts was named to the NCAA Regional all-tournament team. She was named to the Pacific All-Region team as well as first-team All-Pac-10. McGee continues to dominate at the net for Stanford, leading the league in blocks with 1.57 per game and ranks among the top 15 nationally. In conference matches, she is averaged 2.36 kills and 1.58 blocks per game while hitting .426 (second in the league in Pac-10 matches only). For the year, she is hitting .363 while averaging 2.17 kills and 1.57 blocks per game. McGee had a stellar night against No. 15 Texas A&M with seven kills and a match-high nine blocks. She was recently tabbed a third-team selection on the 2001 Verizon Academic All-District VIII team - the only underclassman on the 18-member list.The 6-3 middle blocker has notched a career-high 12 blocks twice this season (vs. Santa Clara (10/2) and Arizona (10/7)). She was an All-Pac-10 All-Freshman selection last season for Stanford.
LEWIS TOPS 1,000 ASSISTS FOR THE SEASON: Redshirt senior setter Robyn Lewis (Long Beach, CA) went over 1,000 assists for the year, as she tallied 39 against the Aggies in Saturday night's 3-0 win. Lewis now has 1,023 assists on the season and her 2,192 career assists puts her in fifth all-time at Stanford. She was also named to the NCAA Regional all-tournament team this weekend. On the year, she is averaging 12.36 assists, 2.20 digs and 0.80 blocks. In postseason play this season, Lewis is averaging 12.77 assists, 2.08 digs and 1.08 blocks per game. She was an honorable mention 2001 Pac-10 All-Academic selection as well as an all-tournament selection at the Verizon/Texas A&M Invite earlier this year. Lewis showed her true potential her sophomore year when she earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors after averaging 12.15 assists per game. She also averaged 1.00 blocks per game that season as well.
DID YOU KNOW? The Cardinal are leading the conference in blocking for the fourth consecutive season ... The Cardinal have not dropped a match to an unranked opponent this season ... Head coach John Dunning notched his 450th career win with a 3-2 win over Arizona (10/7) ... Stanford is 14-2 vs. ranked opponents this season ... Junior Logan Tom has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week seven times during her career becoming one of only two players in the history of the league to have been honored as Player of the Week seven or more times (Natalie Williams, UCLA has been honored eight times) ... Stanford has won 21 consecutive home matches dating back to last season ... Stanford is now 4-0 in five game matches and 20-0 in three game matches in 2001 ... Stanford has won 95 of 116 games played this season ... In the Cardinal's first game against Texas A&M, the squad did not commit a single hitting error (18-0-39), hitting .462 ... Stanford's 3-1 victory over then-No. 4 Penn State in State College, Pa. marked the Nittany Lions first non-conference home loss since Sept. 4, 1993 vs. Nebraska.
AROUND THE PAC-10: Logan Tom is ranked first in the league in kills per game (4.95), points per game (6.02) and service aces (0.55) and second in digs (3.49) ... Sara McGee is first in blocks per game (1.57) and Tara Conrad is second (1.42) ... Ogonna Nnamani is ranked sixth in kills (3.82) and eighth in points per game (4.33) ... McGee is seventh in hitting percentage (.363) while Ashley Ivy is sixth in service aces (0.37) ... Robyn Lewis is fourth in assists (12.48) ... As a team, Stanford ranks second in hitting percentage (.310), tied for fourth in assists (14.86), first in blocks (3.60), fifth in kills per game (16.46), third in service aces (1.68) and first in opponent hitting percentage (.161).
CONRAD TABBED TO NCAA REGION ALL-TOURNEY TEAM: Senior middle blocker Tara Conrad (Torrance, CA) is having her best season on the Farm and was recently named an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection as well as a Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention pick. This weekend, she was tabbed to the Regional all-tournament team for her efforts. In the postseason, Conrad is averagin 3.08 kills and 1.38 blocks while hitting at a .403 clip. Her season-high 152 blocks on the season, leads the team and league. On the year, she is averaging 2.47 kills (third on the squad) and 1.42 blocks per game (second in the league). Conrad leads the squad with 23 block solos and is second with 129 block assists this season. She is ranked first in the Pac-10 among active block leaders with 424 for her career surpassing Washington's Lisa Underhill (415). Conrad was an honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic pick last season and was an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection in 1999 as well as a Pacific Region all-tournament pick.
CARDINAL BLOCK PARTY: As a team, the Stanford Cardinal are averaging 3.60 blocks per game to lead the league and rank in the top 5 nationally. In 33 matches this season, Stanford has outblocked its opponent in 27 matches, tied in two and been outblocked in only four. Both Cardinal middle blockers are averaging a block or more per game (Conrad and McGee) and are ranked 1-2 in the league in blocks per game. Sophomore Sara McGee leads the team averaging 1.57 blocks per game, followed by senior Tara Conrad's 1.42 blocks per game. Sophomore Jenn Harvey checks in with 1.06 blocks per game while rightside hitter Ashley Ivy is averaging 0.90 blocks. In the postseason, the Cardinal are averaging 3.85 blocks per game and have four starters averaging over a block per game (McGee 1.77 bpg, Conrad 1.38 bpg, Ashley Ivy 1.08 bpg and Robyn Lewis 1.08 bpg).
MAJOR RULE CHANGES FOR 2001 COLLEGIATE SEASON: The face of collegiate volleyball will see some changes this season as rally scoring for all games and the let serve are introduced. All games will be played to 30 points (must win by two points) except for the fifth game which will be played to 15 points. A served ball will remain in play if it hits the net and continues its path to the opposition's court and remains in bounds. Also look for the international pursuit rule, an experiemental rule, that can be implemented in a match if both coaches agree. The rule allows for players to retrieve a ball that has crossed the plane of the net to the opponent's free space, provided the player doesn't touch the opponent's court and sends the ball back to their court.
FAST FACTS: Only five players in Pac-10 volleyball history have earned four AVCA All-America honors in their careers ... Three of them are Stanford players (Kristin Klein, Bev Oden and Kerri Walsh) ... A Cardinal has won Pac-10 Player of the Year in four of the last six years (Kristin Folkl '97, Kerri Walsh '98 and '99, Logan Tom '01) ... Since the Pac-10 began for women's volleyball in 1986, only four schools have ever won the conference title (Stanford, UCLA, USC and Arizona) - the Cardinal have won or shared the title in nine of the 16 years.
JOHN DUNNING HONORED AS PACIFIC REGION COACH OF THE YEAR: First-year head coach John Dunning was named Pacific Region Coach of the Year as well as the 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Dunning took over the reins of the Stanford women's volleyball program on July, 6, 2001. In his first year at the helm, he has guided the Cardinal to a 31-2 overall record, its ninth Pac-10 Championship and a berth in the Final Four in San Diego, Calif. Dunning, who spent 16 seasons at Pacific, compiled an impressive 468-104 (.818) record during his tenure. He led the Tigers to two NCAA Championships, a NCAA runner-up finish, five Big West Conference titles and 16 consecutive NCAA postseason tournament bids. This past season, Dunning earned Big West Coach of the Year honors for a second straight season, as the Tigers won a second consecutive Big West title. His squad posted a 28-4 overall record in 2000 and 15-1 mark in league play. Pacific lost to UCLA in an NCAA Regional Semifinal and had two players earn All-American status (one first-team and one second-team selection). In addition, Dunning had four players garner first-team All-Big West accolades. Dunning earned his bachelor of arts degree in mathematics and economics from San Diego State in 1973. He coached volleyball and taught at Fremont High School from 1973 to 1980, then moved on to Saratoga High School, working in the same capacity from 1980-83. He returned to Fremont High School in 1984.
ODDS AND ENDS: Sara Sandrik's 14 service aces this year bests her previous season high (13 in 1998) ... For her career, Logan Tom is averaging 5.01 kills per game (1,374 kills in 274 games) - this ranks her second all-time in the Pac-10 for highest kills average ... The Cardinal have won 21 consecutive home matches dating back to last season, including 16 this year ... Currently, four Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top 15 (USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll) - three in the top five ... Stanford has played 16 nationally ranked opponents in 33 matches played ... Stanford has amassed an amazing 668-169-4 all-time record since 1976 (.795 winning percentage), and has finished in the top 10 nationally in 20 of the last 21 seasons. ... Stanford has lost five or more matches in a season just once in the last 10 years, and is 234-29 (.889) in the last seven years alone ... Stanford has also reached the Final Four 13 times in the last 21 seasons, and produced 41 All-American honors in the last 19 years.
ON THE RADIO: All of the Stanford women's volleyball matches will be broadcast on KZSU-FM radio (Stanford student radio station) as well as on the internet. Rory Berry and Aaron Levine will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties.
IVY'S ACES THE COMPETITION: Junior rightside hitter Ashley Ivy (Arlington, TX) has quietly racked up 40 service aces this season as one of three jump servers on the Cardinal team. The lefty has also been providing solid defense for the Cardinal as well. Ivy is averaging .037 service aces and 2.29 digs per game this season. She is fourth on the team in kills (225) and second in digs (245). The 40 aces is a season-high for Ivy, who had previous season-high 14 aces in 2000. Her six service aces against OSU ranks fifth all-time for a single match on the Farm. Ivy notched five service aces over the weekend in Stanford's 3-1 win over Utah. In addition, Ivy has 96 blocks on the year (0.90 bpg). The 6-0 rightside hitter was named to the Jefferson Cup All-Tournament team earlier this year.