Defending National Champs Open 2002 Season

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Aug. 20, 2002

Stanford, Calif. - DEFENDING CHAMPS KICK OFF 2002 SEASON AT NACWAA/STATE FARM CLASSIC: The defending national champion Stanford women's volleyball team (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) travel to Minneapolis, MN for the NACWAA/State Farm Classic, Friday through Saturday, August 23 and 24th. The Cardinal take on #14 Northern Iowa (0-0, 0-0 Missouri Valley) on Friday at 5 p.m. CT while host-Minnesota (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten) will face #8 Pepperdine (0-0,0-0 West Coast) at 7 p.m. CT. The consolation match will be held on Saturday at 5 p.m., followed by the championship match at 7 p.m. All matches will be held in Minnesota's Sports Pavilion (5,600 capacity).

ESPN 2 TO BROADCAST STATE FARM CLASSIC: The 2002 NACWAA/State Farm Classic championship match will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on ESPN 2 on Monday, August 26, 8:30 p.m. ET. Bill Dolman and Heather Cox will provide the play-by-play and color commentary respectively.

STANFORD AND THE NACWAA TOURNAMENT: The Cardinal have participated in the NACWAA/State Farm Classic twice before - in 1995 and again in 1997 ... They are 3-1 in matches played, winning the tourney in '95 , defeating host-Nebraska, 3-1, and finishing second in '97, losing to Penn State, 0-3 ... 2002 marks Stanford's third appearance in the tournament.

ABOUT NORTHERN IOWA: The Panthers are ranked No.14 (Volleyball Magazine) and No. 14 (AVCA Coaches Poll) heading into the match ... They are coached by Bobbi Petersen ... NIU returns five of six starters for the 2002 season, including middle hitter Molly O'Brien and senior outside hitter Kim Kester ... Last year, the Panthers went 31-2 overall, advancing to the NCAA Regional Semifinals ... Stanford and Northern Iowa have only met once before, on Dec. 2, 1995 (NCAA Second Round), with the Cardinal winning 3-0 in Stanford, Calif.

STANFORD PICKED TO WIN CONFERENCE TITLE IN PRESEASON POLL: Stanford, which won its ninth Pac-10 Conference volleyball title last season on the way to a fifth NCAA Championship, was picked to defend the Conference crown by the Pac-10 volleyball coaches. The Cardinal, who received 88 total votes, edged out second place USC by four votes. In addition, Stanford received seven of 10 first-place votes. Arizona finished third with 73 votes, followed by UCLA with 65 tallies. Washington State held the fifth place spot with 55 votes. Rounding out the poll was Oregon State, Arizona State, California, Washington and Oregon, respectively. The coaches have correctly picked the Pac-10 Champion in eight of the previous 13 polls.

STANFORD CONSENSUS PRESEASON NUMBER ONE IN THE POLLS: Defending National Champion Stanford is the consensus No. 1 team in the nation in both preseason polls, opening the 2002 season. Both Volleyball Magazine and the AVCA/USA Today Coaches Poll picked the Cardinal in the top spot. For complete polls, refer to page two of the volleyball release.

LOGAN TOM PULLING DOUBLE DUTY: Senior outside hitter Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, UT) is once again pulling double duty with both Stanford and the U.S. National Team. The 2001 AVCA National Player of the Year is currently preparing for the World Championships with the national team in Colordado Springs, CO. She will meet the Stanford squad in Minnesota for the NACWAA tournament before flying back out to rejoin Team USA. The three-time All-American will then rejoin the Cardinal squad after the World Championships in Germany which could run until the middle of September. She was tabbed NCAA Final Four MVP as well as the Outstanding Player at Stanford's NCAA Regional last season. She was also named to the Pacfic All-Region team and 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year. Tom, a three-time All-Pac-10 selection, became the eighth different Stanford player to garner Pac-10 Player of the Year honors. Her 66 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. She currently ranks third in career service aces (135) and should break into the top five in career kills and digs this year.

'O' MY!: Sophomore All-American Ogonna Nnamani returns to the court after a very successful freshman season which saw her garner numerous conference and national awards. The 6-1 outside hitter from Normal, Ill. was tabbed ASICS/Volleyball Magazine National Freshman of the Year, Pacific Region Freshman of the Year and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2001. Nnamani averaged 3.89 kills per game last season while hitting at a .329 clip. In postseason action, she averaged 3.94 kills and hit .376 on her way to being named to the NCAA Final Four all-tournament team. She also garnered first-team All-Pac-10 and second-team All-America honors in '01.

McGEE MANS THE MIDDLE: Junior middle blocker Sara McGee (Davis, Calif.) is back patrolling the middle for the Cardinal in 2002 after a break-out sophomore season. The NCAA Regional all-tournament team selection was also named to the Pacific All-Region team as well as first-team All-Pac-10 last year. McGee dominated at the net for Stanford in 2001, leading the league in blocks with 1.55 per game and ranked among the top 10 nationally. In conference matches, she 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 hit .363 while averaging 2.14 kills and 1.55 blocks per game. In addition to her accolades for her performance on the court, she was 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 notched a career-high 12 blocks last this season (vs. Santa Clara (10/2) and Arizona (10/7)).

DID YOU KNOW? Stanford has won 21 consecutive home matches dating back to last season ... For her career, Logan Tom is averaging 5.08 kills per game (1,421 kills in 280 games) - this ranks her second all-time in the Pac-10 for highest kills average ... Stanford has amassed an amazing 670-169-4 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 reached the Final Four 13 times in the last 21 seasons, and produced 42 All-American honors in the last 20 years.

MAJOR RULE CHANGE FOR 2002 COLLEGIATE SEASON: The face of collegiate volleyball will see some changes this season as the libero position is introduced. The libero is a designated back-row player, intended to be used as a ball-control specialist. The libero is allowed to replace any player in the back row without counting as a substitution. There is no limit to the number of libero replacements a team is allowed. The pronunciation is 'LEE-bah-ro'.

CARDINAL HEAD COACH JOHN DUNNING: Second-year head coach John Dunning made his first year on The Farm a memorable one. He was tabbed AVCA National Coach of the Year after guiding the Cardinal to its fifth NCAA National Championship in December. Dunning was also named Pacific Region Coach of the Year as well as the 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year. In his first year at the helm, he led the Cardinal to a 33-2 overall record and its ninth Pac-10 Championship. 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. 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.

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. Aaron Levine will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties.

T.V. TIME: The Stanford women's volleyball team is scheduled to appear twice at home on FOX Sports Net during the 2002 season. Stanford's USC match on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. and the Cardinal's Thursday, Nov. 7 match against Arizona at 7 p.m. will be broadcast. All matches will be shown on a delayed basis by FOX Sports Net on Saturday mornings at 9:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. local time (check local listings).

STANFORD WINS FIFTH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2001: The Stanford women's volleyball team claimed its fifth national championship with a decisive 3-0 victory over then-No. 1 Long Beach State. AVCA 2001 National Player of theYear Logan Tom tallied a match-high 25 kills and 12 digs along with five blocks on her way to being named Final Four MVP. Freshman Ogonna Nnamani, junior Ashley Ivy and senior Robyn Lewis were named to the all-tournament team.

IVY ICES THE COMPETITION: If you didn't know about senior rightside hitter Ashley Ivy's (Arlington, TX) wicked jump serve before the 2001 NCAA championship semi and final matches, you do now. Ivy tallied six service aces during the two matches, averaging one service ace per game. Her tough serving and tenacious defense, led the lefty to be named to the Final Four all-tournament team. Ivy also been provided solid defense for the Cardinal in 2001 as well. Ivy averaged .037 service aces and 2.29 digs per game last year. She was fourth on the team in kills (225) and second in digs (245). Her six service aces against Oregon State (11/3/01) ranks fifth all-time for a single match on the Farm.

RUNNING THE OFFENSE: The Stanford volleyball team is in a good position with two solid candidates for the starting setting position in 2002. Junior Anna Robinson, who set in about 20 percent of last season's matches, had a good spring and is ready to challenge for playing time. Last year, she led the Cardinal to two huge wins over UCLA and Arizona - both in five games. Robinson, a 6-2 Florida native, averaged 11.42 assists last year as well as 1.40 digs per game. Freshman Katie Goldhahn (Lodi, CA) comes onto The Farm as perhaps the most experienced incoming setter ever. At 5-11, she has extensive experience with the Junior U.S. National Team and was recently named a 2002 Junior National All-American.

ABOUT MINNESOTA AND PEPPERDINE: Stanford holds a 1-0 advantage in the all-time series with the Golden Gophers ... The two teams met for the first time last season at the Jefferson Cup (Charlottesville, VA) with the Cardinal coming home with a 3-0 victory ... Minnesota returns three starters from last year's club that went 19-13 overall ... They are coached by Mike Hebert ... Pepperdine enters the 2002 season ranked No. 6 by Volleyball Magazine and No. 8 by the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Poll ... Stanford and the Waves have met six times before, with the Cardinal holding a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series ... They are coached by Nina Matthies ... Pepperdine returns five starters from the 2001 team that finished 23-4 overall and advanced to an NCAA Regional Semifinal.

USA Today/AVCA(Preseason - August 12, 2002)

1. Stanford2. Nebraska3. USC4. Hawaii5. Long Beach State6. Arizona7. Florida8. Pepperdine9. Ohio State10. Wisconsin11. UCLA12. Pacific13. Utah14. Northern Iowa15. Michigan State16. Penn State17. Texas A&M18. Colorado State19. Illinois20. UC Santa Barbara21. Colorado22. Kansas State23. BYU24. Santa Clara25. Notre Dame

Volleyball Magazine(Preseason - July 1, 2002)

1. Stanford2. Hawaii3. USC4. Nebraska5. Florida6. Pepperdine7. Long Beach State8. Arizona9. Pacific10. Ohio State11. Utah12. Wisconsin13. UCLA14. Northern Iowa15. UC Santa Barbara16. Michigan17. Penn State18. Illinois19. Notre Dame20. Colorado

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