No. 3 Cardinal Host NCAA Regional On Thursday And Friday

Dec. 10, 2002

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STANFORD MAKING 21ST SWEET SIXTEEN APPEARANCE: The No. 3 ranked Stanford Cardinal women's volleyball team (29-4, 15-3 Pac-10) will host No. 9 Minnesota, No. 12 Arizona and No. 13 Ohio State in the Pacific Region of the 2002 Division I Women's Volleyball Championships this weekend, December 12-13. The Cardinal are making their 22nd consecutive NCAA postseason appearance and are one of only four teams to have competed in every NCAA Championship. Stanford will face Ohio State (21-10) at approximately 7:30 p.m. while Minnesota (32-5) will take on Arizona (19-11) at 5 p.m. in the other first round matchup on Thursday. The winners of the two matches will meet in the second round on Friday, December 13 at 9 p.m. with the winner advancing to New Orleans, La. and the Final Four. Friday's match will be televised live on ESPN Regional Networks at 9 p.m. PT. Brian Webber and Heather Cox will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively. All matches will take place in Maples Pavilion on the campus of Stanford University.

The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. The teams tabbed as the top seeds were Southern California (#1), Stanford (#2), Nebraska (#3) and Northern Iowa (#4). The Cardinal received one of 33 at-large bids to the tournament and are one of four Pac-10 teams still remaining in the Sweet 16 (Stanford, Southern California, Arizona, Washington State).

The regional winners will advance to the semifinals and final hosted by the University of New Orleans and the Sun Belt Conference in New Orleans Arena December 19 and 21.

LAST WEEK: Stanford opened the postseason with a 3-0 win over Sacramento State on Friday night and followed that with a 3-1 victory over Pacific. For the weekend, the Cardinal hit .378 while holding its opponents to a .128 hitting percentage. Senior outside hitter Logan Tom averaged 5.43 kills, 4.00 digs and 1.00 block per game. Fellow senior Ashley Ivy racked up seven service aces, including six against the Hornets. Sophomore Ogonna Nnamani and junior Sara McGee chipped in 4.43 and 4.00 kills per game respectively. Senior Lindsey Yamasaki averaged 3.14 digs and served 19 consecutive points in the second game against Sacramento State.

ABOUT THE BUCKEYES: The Buckeyes are coached by Jim Stone, are 21-10 overall ... Stacey Gordon leads Ohio State with a 5.97 kills (716) and a 3.36 digs (403) per game average ... Suzie Stiling ranks second in kills at 2.88 (345) and is the team leader in blocks per game at 1.06 (16 solos, 111 assists) ... Shelly Draeger is third in kills at 2.72 (326) ... Stephanie Higgins is second on the team in blocks with a .99 per game average (five solos, 113 assists) ... Katie Virtue is the team leader with a 13.69 assists (1,218) per game average ... Jackie Schardt (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) is second with a 6.94 (229) average ... Gordon has a team-high 39 ace serves for a .32 per game average with Stiling second with 29 aces (.24) each ... Ohio State averages 15.98 kills per game and is hitting .241 ... Stanford leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes, 3-0 ... Last meeting was in 1994 in the NCAA Championship semifinal match as the Cardinal defeated Ohio State, 3-0 (15-11, 15-9, 15-7) in Austin, Texas.

ABOUT THE WILDCATS: The Wildcats, coached by David Rubio, have a 19-11 overall record ... Arizona, an at-large selection, was the No. 10 seed in the championship ... They defeated Texas-Arlington 3-0 (30- 22, 30-26, 30-20) in the first round and Texas 3-2 (30-25, 25-30, 18-30, 30-22, 15-9) in the second round ... The Wildcats are playing in its 18th NCAA Championship and has a 21-17 record in tournament matches ... They are led by Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Kim Glass (4.92 kpg/2.46 dpg) and Lisa Rutledge (3.68 kpg/2.69 dpg) ... Bre Ladd leads the team with 1.10 blocks per game ... Arizona is 4-1 in their last five matches and 7-3 in the last 10 ... Stanford leads the all-time series with the Wildcats 41-4 ... The two teams split their conference matchups this year, with Arizona winning, 3-2, in Tucson and Stanford winning, 3-0, in Palo Alto ... The Cardinal and Wildcats have met once before in the postseason - in 1999, in a regional semifinal with Stanford defeating Arizona, 3-1 (6-15, 15-6, 15-7, 15-7).

ABOUT THE GOLDEN GOPHERS: The Golden Gophers, coached by Mike Hebert, have a 32-5 overall record ... Minnesota received an automatic berth into the NCAA Championship by winning the Big Ten Championship ... The Gophers, seeded seventh, defeated New Hampshire 3-1 (30-18, 28-30, 30-17, 30- 21) in the first round and Georgia Tech 3-1 (30-28, 31-29, 26-30, 30-28) in the second round ... Minnesota is making its eighth appearance in the NCAA Championship and has a 12-7 record in tournament matches ... They are led by Cassie Busse (4.16 kpg/2.23 dpg/1.03bpg) and Erin Martin (3.41 kpg/0.83 bpg) ... Libero Paula Gentil leads the squad with 4.60 digs per game ... Stanford leads the all-time series with Minnesota, 2-0 ... The two teams met earlier this season at the NACWAA/State Farm Classic in Minneapolis, MN, where the Cardinal won, 3-1 (30-21, 24-30, 30-27, 30-22).

LOGAN TOM TABBED PLAYER OF THE YEAR AS PAC-10 ANNOUNCES ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM: Senior outside hitter Logan Tom was named 2002 Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year to become only the third player in league history to repeat, joining former Cardinal Kerri Walsh (1998, 1999) and UCLA's Daiva Tomkus (1988, 1989). The honor also marks the 10th time a Stanford player has won the award in the 17 years of Pac-10 volleyball. Junior middle blocker Sara McGee, along with sophomore outside hitter Ogonna Nnamani were honored as first-team All-Pac-10 selelctions. Junior middle blocker Jennifer Harvey was an honorable mention pick while freshman libero/middle blocker Courtney Schultz was tabbed an honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshmen selection.

PAC-10 ANNOUNCES ALL-ACADEMIC TEAMS: Stanford had six players named to the 2002 Pac-10 All-Academic teams including two first-team selections in middle blocker Sara McGee and outside hitter Ogonna Nnamani. Logan Tom, Leahi Hall, Anna Robinson and Jennifer Hucke were honorable mention picks.

DUNNING CLOSING IN ON 500: Stanford head coach John Dunning is closing in on a significant milestone in 2002. For his career, Dunning has accumulated 499 wins (499-108) over 18 years of coaching. He would become only the 21st coach in the history of Division I women's volleyball to reach the milestone. Dunning's winning percentage of .822 currently would rank third among active coaches.

TOM PICKS UP THE PACE IN POSTSEASON: Senior outside hitter and 2001 AVCA National Player of the Year Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, UT) put up team-leading numbers last weekend to help the Cardinal reach the Sweet Sixteen for the 21st time. Tom averaged 5.43 kills, 4.00 digs and 1.00 blocks while hitting at a .365 clip against Sacramento State and Pacific. Her 38 kills for the weekend brings her career kills total to 1,882 which ranks second all-time at Stanford behind only Kristin Klein (1,919) and is fourth in the Pac-10. She became only the fifth Cardinal player to earn all-conference honors for four years and third to repeat as conference Player of the Year. Tom has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week nine times during her career - more than any other volleyball athlete in the history of the conference. The 6-1 All-American has notched double figures in kills in 25 of 26 matches played and has 13 double-doubles on the year. Tom is back in action after helping the U.S. National Team to a silver medal at the FIVB World Championships in Germany in September. The three-time All-American ranked sixth in the world in total scoring and third in serving. Tom, the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year, was named the NACWAA/State Farm Classic MVP earlier this season before she left for Germany. Tom is leading the team, averaging 4.96 kills and 3.19 digs per game. She is second on the team with 28 service aces (0.30) and is fourth in the league (second on The Farm) in career service aces with 162. 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.

THIS AND THAT: The Cardinal has never lost an NCAA first-round match ... Head coach John Dunning has 499 career wins ... Stanford has played 14 matches against teams currently ranked in the top 25 and are 11-3 in those contests ... Only five teams have stayed among the top 10 in the poll this season including Stanford, USC, Hawaii, Florida and Nebraska. Meanwhile, 15 teams have managed to stay among the top 25 in all 12 regular season and preseason polls ... No NCAA Division I team will go undefeated in 2002 ... Stanford handed then-No. 1 USC a five-game loss on Nov. 2 in Los Angeles ending a 19-0 Trojan run ... The very next week, the Cardinal concluded the then-No. 1 Hawaii run at 23 matches on Nov. 10 on the islands.

McGEE MANS THE MIDDLE: Junior middle blocker Sara McGee (Davis, CA) currently leads the Conference and the team with her .435 hitting percentage, and is second (in the Pac-10 and on her team) in blocks, averaging 1.35 per game. Her current hitting percentage would break the Stanford single-season record, held by Wendy Rush (1987) of .400 and is the second highest in Pac-10 history behind Arizona's Marisa DaLee who hit .437 in 2000. The two-time first-team all-conference selection has tallied double figures in kills on 20 occasions in 2002 and has notched six or more blocks 12 times. Her 3.16 kills per game ranks third on the squad overall while her 1.35 blocks is second. She made her presence known as she patrolled the middle in the State Farm Classic as she averaged 3.43 kills and 2.29 blocks en route to being named to the all-tournament team. She was also named to the Stanford Invitational all-tourney team this season as well as Pac-10 Player of the Week (11/25).

IVY CRACKS TOP FIVE IN CARDINAL CAREER SERVICE ACES: Senior opposite hitter Ashley Ivy (Arlington, TX) was on fire last weekend as she served up seven aces in two matches. She now has 122 career service aces which ranks fifth all-time on The Farm. Ivy has a league and team-leading 59 service aces (0.54) this year which ranks third at Stanford for a single season. The Texas native has notched an ace in 15 of the last 24 contests, including six against Sacramento State (12/6). The 6-0 opposite has notched six service aces three this season (vs. Cal Poly, Houston and Sac St.) to tie her career high. The six aces ties for fifth all-time at Stanford for a single match. Ivy is averaging 2.27 kills, 2.61 digs and 0.87 blocks per game this season. She has tallied double figures in kills this season on 11 occasions and has four double-doubles on the year. Her 14 kills vs. USC (10/4) was a season-high.

SHOW ME THE NNAMANI: All-American Ogonna Nnamani (Normal, IL) continues to impress in her sophomore campaign, as she was recently tabbed a first-team Pac-10 All-Conference selection for the second consecutive season. The outside hitter is averaging 4.03 kills, 1.14 digs and 0.66 blocks per game - including 27 block solos (second on the team). She has tallied double-figures in kills in 29 of 33 matches this year. Last weekend, she chipped in 4.43 kills per game while hitting at a .375 clip. This week, she finds herself ranked sixth in the conference in kills per game (4.03 kpg) as well as eighth in points per game (4.52). The 6-1 sophomore has earned all-tournament honors three times in 2002 - the NACWAA/State Farm Classic, the Stanford Invitational and the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational. She has four double-doubles on the year.

STANFORD ATTENDANCE RANKS NINTH NATIONALLY: The Stanford Cardinal women's volleyball once again finds itself among the nation's elite in home attendance for the 2002 season. In 16 home matches this season, the Cardinal are averaging 2, 017 fans. The top 10 schools in volleyball attendance are as follows: 1. Hawaii (7,309), 2. Nebraska (4,395), 3. Wisconsin (3,527), 4. Florida (2,355), 5. Minnesota (2,333), 6. Penn State (2,122), 7. Arizona (2,178), 8. Illinois State (2,069), 9. Stanford (2,017) and 10. Long Beach State (1,963).

DID YOU KNOW? Four of six Cardinal starters are hitting over .300 on the year ... The tandem of Jennifer Harvey and Sara McGee rank 1-2 in the league in blocks per game ... Stanford's 25.5 team blocks against Oregon State was the most by any Pac-10 team this season ... Setter Anna Robinson ranks sixth in the league in assists per game (11.99) ... Stanford is 3-1 in television matches this season ... Stanford has outhit its opponents in 29 of 33 matches ... The Cardinal are hitting a league-leading .311 while holding opponents to a .171 hitting percentage ... Stanford has won 62 of the last 68 matches ... The eight points by Sacramento State in the Cardinal's 30-8 game two win is the lowest point total by a Stanford opponent since rally scoring was introduced last year (previous low was nine by Oregon) ... For her career, Logan Tom is averaging 5.04 kills per game (1,882 kills in 373 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.

HARVEY LEADS LEAGUE IN BLOCKING: Junior middle blocker Jennifer Harvey (Denver, CO) leads the team and league with her 1.44 blocks per game. As a team, Stanford leads the league in blocking (3.56 bpg) and is ranked in the top 10 nationally. Harvey has had six or more blocks in 13 of the last 23 matches, including nine against USC (11/2). Her 25 blocks solos and 135 block assists combine for a team-leading 160 total blocks. In Pac-10 matches, she is averaging a league- and team-best 1.62 blocks per game. She set a career high this season when she had 12 blocks against UCLA (10/5).

WELCOME BACK YAMASAKI: Senior Lindsey Yamasaki (Oregon City, OR) is back for a final season of volleyball after a three year absence. The two-sport athlete (volleyball/basketball), played both sports for only one season on The Farm, and elected to compete in basketball only for her remaining years. After completing her basketball eligibility in 2001-02, Yamasaki was drafted by WNBA's Miami Sol and spent the summer with the team. She elected to return to Stanford and finish her degree as well as play a final season of volleyball. Currently, the 6-2 outside hitter is averaging 2.27 digs per game off the bench. She is third on the team with 24 service aces this season as well. She had a career-high 17 digs at Washington (11/15). Last week she averaged 3.14 digs per game in the first and second roun matches with three service aces. She was a 1999 All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection as well as a Pac-10 All-Freshman pick. A starter as a freshman in '99, Yamasaki averaged 2.54 kills and 2.04 digs per game for Stanford.

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 the Year 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.

BUY VOLLEYBALL TICKETS ONLINE: Purchase season and individual tickets online for Stanford women's volleyball at http://tickets.gostanford.com. For more information, call 1-800-STANFORD.

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, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. and the Cardinal's Thursday, Nov. 7 match against Arizona at 7 p.m. will be broadcast. Stanford will also appear on FOX on Thursday, Oct. 10 at Arizona State. 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). The Cardinal also appeared on ESPN 2 in the championship match of the NACWAA State Farm Classic and locally on Ch. 5 in Honolulu for their matchup with Hawaii.

USA Today/AVCA(December 9, 2002)

1. USC2. Hawaii3. Stanford4. Nebraska5. Florida6. Northern Iowa7. UC Santa Barbara8. Pepperdine9. Minnesota10. Washington State11. North Carolina12. Arizona13. Ohio State14. Long Beach State15. Penn State16. Georgia Tech17. UCLA18. Wisconsin19. Santa Clara20. Missouri21. Eastern Washington22. Kansas State23. Michigan State24. Miami25. Temple

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