No. 6 Cardinal Face No. 5 Washington In NCAA Championship Semifinal
Dec. 13, 2004
CARDINAL PREPARE FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINAL: The sixth-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team (28-6, 15-3 Pac-10) looks to extend an 13-match winning streak when they travel to Long Beach, Calif., to face fifth-ranked Washington (28-2, 16-2 Pac-10) at 5:30 p.m in the first semifinal match of the NCAA Championship on Thursday, December 16. No. 4 Minnesota (32-4, 17-3 Big Ten) will take on No. 8 USC (23-5, 14-4 Pac-10) at 7:30 p.m. in the other semifinal match. The winners of Thursday's matches will meet on Saturday, December 18 at 1 p.m. for the national championship match.
Stanford, seeded 11th overall, is one of just four schools to appear in all 24 NCAA postseason competitions, joining Pacific, UC Santa Barbara and Penn State. The Cardinal are 74-19 (.791) all-time in NCAA postseason play and have reached in Final Four in three of the last four years (2001, 2002, 2004).
ESPN2 TO BROADCAST SEMIFINALS AND FINAL: ESPN2 will broadcast both semifinal matches on a tape-delayed basis ... The Stanford/Washington match will be shown at 8 p.m. PT... The championship match will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. on ESPN2.
WEEK IN REVIEW: The Cardinal advanced to the NCAA Championship with sweeps over No. 11 Texas (3-0) and No. 22 Wisconsin (3-0) at the Green Bay Regional ... Ogonna Nnamani tallied 28 kills against the Longhorns and 27 versus the Badgers ... Nnamani was tabbedf Most Outstanding Player of the regional while teammate Kristin Richards was named to the all-tournament team.
PAC-10 WELL REPRESENTED IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP: The Pac-10 has three of the four teams in the Final Four this year - Stanford, USC and Washington ... The conference has sent three teams to the NCAA Championship on one other ocassion ... In 1985, Stanford, UCLA and USC (along with Pacific) were the final four teams playing for the championshihp ... A Pac-10 team has won the last three national championships (2001-Stanford; 2002-USC; 2003-USC).
Ogonna Nnamani TABBED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Stanford outside hitter Ogonna Nnamani has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Volleyball Player of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced. Nnamani, a four-time All-Pac-10 selection, becomes the ninth Stanford player to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year. Those nine players have combined to win the Pac-10 Player of the Year honor a total of 11 times. She is also the 10th player in Pac-10 history to be named All-Conference four times. Nnamani, a native of Normal, Ill., led the Pac-10 Conference in kills (5.88 kpg) and points (6.55 ppg), while posting the league's sixth best attack percentage (.343) this season.
ABOUT THE HUSKIES: Washington (28-2, 16-2 Pac-10) is coached by Jim McLaughlin who is in his fourth year at the helm ... They are led by Christal MOrrison (4.21 kpg/2.66 dpg) and Sanja Tomasevic (4.69 kpg/3.58 dpg) ... Setter Courtney Thompson is averaging 14.66 assists per game while Candace Lee leads the team defensively with 5.85 dpg ... Stanford leads the all-time series with the Huskies, 38-5 ... The two teams split their conference matches this season with UW winning in Seattle (3-0) and SU winning in Stanford (3-2) ... Washington reached the championship with wins over Idaho, 3-0, Kansas, 3-2, Saint Mary's, 3-0, and UCLA, 3-2.
ABOUT THE GOPHERS: Minnesota (32-4, 17-3 Big Ten) is coached by Mike Hebert ... They are led by Erin Martin (5.03 kpg/0.72 bpg) and Trisha Bratford (3.50 kpg/0.56 dpg) ... Setter Lindsey Taatjes is averaging 8.47 assists per game while Paula Gentil leads the team defensively with 6.69 dpg ... Stanford leads the all-time series with Minnesota, 2-0 ... The last time the two teams met was in 2002 when the Cardinal defeated the Gophers, 3-1, in Minneapolis ... Minnesota reached the championship with wins over Long Island, 3-0, Yale, 3-0, Georgia Tech, 3-2, and Ohio State, 3-2.
ABOUT THE TROJANS: USC (23-5, 14-4 Pac-10) is coached by Mick Haley who is in his fourth season with the Trojans ... They are led by Keao Burdine (4.18 kpg/3.14 dpg) and Bibiana Candela (3.05 kpg/1.03 bpg) ... Setter Allison Dillon is averaging 7.41 assists per game while Deborah Seilhamer leads the team defensively with 5.32 dpg ... Stanford leads the all-time series with USC, 45-17 ... The two teams split their conference matches this season with the Trojans winning, 3-1, in Los Angeles, and SU winning, 3-0, in Stanford ... USC reached the championships with wins over College of Charleston, 3-0, Kansas State, 3-0, San Diego, 3-1, and Nebraska, 3-2.
NCAA NOTEBOOK: The Cardinal have visited all four time zones in the last four weeks of the season (ASU/Arizona weekend - mountain; First/Second Round - eastern; Regional - central; championship - pacific) ... Stanford has faced 13 teams in the 2004 tournament bracket and are 13-6 in those matches ... Looking at the latest AVCA Coaches Poll, the Cardinal have played 16 matches vs. ranked opponents and are 11-6 in those matches ... The last time Stanford hit the road for the first and second rounds was in 2000 (at UC Santa Barbara) ... The last time the Cardinal went outside the state of California for the first and second rounds was in 1986 when they traveled to Oregon.
AROUND THE NET: The last time the Cardinal won 13 matches in a row was in 2001 when they strung together a 19-match winning streak that culminated in a national championship ... Kristin Richards leads the league with 21 double-doubles this season ... Stanford leads the conference in blocks per game as a team (3.33) and ranks in the top 10 nationally ... Head coach John Dunning notched his 100th victory as the Cardinal head coach against California on October 1 ... Stanford has won its season opener in 20 of the last 21 years ... Ogonna Nnamani has notched double-figures in kills in 63 consecutive matches dating back to last season ... Her 6.04 kpg ranks in the top 10 nationally... Stanford is one of only four schools to appear in each NCAA Tournament (Stanford, Pacific, UC Santa Barbara, Penn State) ... O. Nnamani's 37 kills and 39.0 points vs. Washington (11/18) is the most by a Pac-10 player this season for a single match.
Ogonna Nnamani TAKES OVER TOP SPOTS IN PAC-10 SINGLE SEASON KILLS: Three-time AVCA All-American Ogonna Nnamani (Normal, IL) averaged 6.00 kills, 3.25 digs And 1.12 blocks in the first and second round matches ... Her 761 kills in 2004 is a single season on The Farm and in the conference ... The 6-1 outside hitter broke the career kills record at Stanford this season and became the first Cardinal to notch 2,000 kills for a career - she currently has 2,388 ... Nnamani broke the Stanford career kills mark held by two-time National Player of the Year, Logan Tom, who tallied 1,939 over four seasons in 2004 ... She's ranked first in the conference in career kills surpassing UCLA's Kristee Porter who had 2,255 during her career ... Nnamani has posted a double-double in 13 of 34 matches this season and leads the team in kills (6.04) and points (6.75) per game ... Her 5,394 career attack attempts ranks first in the conference as does her 850.0 total points in 2004 ... Nnamani spent her summer as a member of the U.S. National indoor volleyball team that competed in Athens, Greece ... Nnamani has been named to three all-tournament teams this season, garnering MVP honors at the Wildcat Classic ... She has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week four times during the 2004 season.
DID YOU KNOW? The Cardinal have only dropped two games in the last eight matches (26 games) ... Ogonna Nnamani leads the Pac-10 Conference among active career kill leaders with 2,388 and ranks seventh in NCAA history ... O. Nnamani's 37 kills vs. Washington ranks third on The Farm for a single match ... Stanford has amassed an amazing 754-187-4 all-time record since 1976 (.798 winning percentage), and has finished in the top 10 nationally in 22 of the last 23 seasons ... Stanford has reached the Final Four 15 times in the last 24 seasons, and produced 48 All-American honors in the last 22 years ... The Cardinal have had 11 30-plus win seasons since 1976 ... Ogonna Nnamani is one of only six players to tally six or more Pac-10 Player of the Week honors during her career ... Nnamani's 89 attempts vs. Florida (12/4) is tied for 10th in the Pac-10 for a single match.
CARDINAL HEAD COACH John Dunning: Fourth-year head coach John Dunning has a 118-20 record on The Farm and is 555-122 in 20 years of coaching. He was only the 21st Div. I coach to reach the 500 win milestone. He took the Cardinal to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA National Championship match, including the title in 2001. He was tabbed AVCA National Coach of the Year in 2001 as well as Pac-10 Coach of the Year. He is 13-2 in postseason play as the Cardinal head coach. 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.
RICHARDS BREAKS STANFORD SINGLE SEASON DIGS RECORD: Sophomore outside hitter Kristin Richards (Orem, UT) garnered first-team all-conference honors last week ... She currently leads the Cardinal with 21 double-doubles in 2004 including one last week ... For the week, Richards averaged 3.83 kills and 5.00 digs ... She tallied 14 kills and 17 digs against the Longhorns ... The 6-1 OH has been tabbed to two all-tournament teams in 2004 ... Richards is currently leading the team in digs per game (3.75) and second in kills per game (3.71) ... Her 469 digs in 2004 ranks first at Stanford for a single season - surpassing Barbra Fontana, 1986, who had 459 ... The 2003 Volleyball Magazine National Freshman of the Year is third on the squad with 30 block solos ... Her 27 service aces (0.22) is second on the team ... In her first two seasons, Richards has over 800 kills (856) and 800 digs (820) for her career.
KEHOE RANKS THIRD IN SINGLE SEASON ASSISTS: Freshman setter Bryn Kehoe (North Bend, OH) is putting up solid numbers for the Cardinal in 2004 ... For her efforts, she was selected to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team ... She is averaging 12.26 assists on the season... Kehoe leads the squad with 36 service aces (0.29 sapg) and is second in digs per game (2.74) ... She recorded a career/season-high seven blocks versus both Cal and Washington and notched a career/season-high 23 digs versus Penn State at the Stanford Invite ... Kehoe has posted 16 double-doubles on the year ... She has recorded at least one service ace in 15 of the last 27 matches ... With 1,532assists this season, Kehoe moves into third place at Stanford for a single season passing Anna Robinson, 1,463 in 2002.
HUCKE NAMED ALL-PAC-10 HONORABLE MENTION: Senior opposite Jennifer Hucke (Fallon, NV) is having her best season on The Farm ... For her efforts, she was named an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection ... Last week, she averaged 2.50 kills and 3.00 digs at regionals ... The Nevada native has been named to two all-tournament teams this season ... On the season, she is averaging 2.67 kills (third on the team) and 2.15 digs per game, as well as 0.86 blocks (she's hitting at a .300 clip as well) ... She has seven double-doubles on the year including one against Wisconsin last week (10 kills and 11 digs).
BLOCKING SUITS HER: Sophomore middle blocker Lizzie Suiter (Aspen, CO) has been a force at the net for the Cardinal in 2004, leading the team with 191 blocks (1.52 bpg) .... She has has not committed a hitting error in 16 of her 34 matches this season ... Suiter moved into third in single season blocks on The Farm passing Bev Oden, 185 in 1989 and needs five to tie for second ... Her 191 total blocks ranks eighth in the Pac-10 for a single season ... She tied her career-high with 10 blocks against UCLA and notched a career-best nine kills versus Washington ... Ranks second in the Pac-10 in blocks per game and in the top 25 nationally.
FAST FACTS: O. Nnamani is averaging 4.86 kpg for her career - which ranks third all-time in the Pac-10 ... The Cardinal had six sell-outs in Burnham Pavilion this season (1,411) ... Only six players in Pac-10 volleyball history have earned four AVCA All- America honors in their careers ... Four of them are Stanford players (Kristin Klein, Bev Oden, Kerri Walsh and Logan Tom) ... A Cardinal has won Pac-10 Player of the Year in six of the last 10 years (Kristin Folkl `97, Kerri Walsh `98 and `99, Logan Tom `01 and `02, Ogonna Nnamani '04) ... Since the Pac-10 began for women's volleyball in 1986, five schools have won the conference title (Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Arizona) - the Cardinal have won or shared the title in nine of the 20 years.
PAC-10 LEADERS: Here's where Stanford players rank in the Pac-10 ... Ogonna Nnamani: 1st, kills per game (6.04); 5th in hitting percentage (.344) and 1st, points per game (6.75); Kristin Richards: 8th, kills per game (3.71), 7th in digs per game (3.71) and 7th in points per game (4.32); Bryn Kehoe: 5th in assists per game (12.26) and T8th in service aces per game (0.29); Lizzie Suiter: 2nd in blocks per game (1.52) and ninth in hitting percentage (.308).
GIRARD EARNS PAC-10 ALL-FRESHMAN HONORS: Freshman middle blocker Franci Girard (Brooklyn, NY) earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honors ... The 6-2 middle has started in 124 of 126 games for the Cardinal in '04, averaging 1.80 kills and 0.94 blocks per game ... Her 116 total blocks ranks second on the squad ... Girard tallied a career-high 10 blocks against UCLA (10/9) and a career-high 13 kills versus California (10/1) ... Girard tallied 11 kills vs. Florida, chipping in three blocks as well.
SISTER, SISTER: Senior Ogonna Nnamani and sophomore Njideka Nnamani became only the third set of sisters to play volleyball for the Cardinal in the history of the program in 2003. They join Kim (1982-85) and Bev (1989-92) Oden as well as Kari (1980-83) and Wendy (1984-87) Rush. The Nnamani's are the first set of Stanford sisters to play together at the same time on The Farm.
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. Brad Burton will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties.
KEEP AN EYE ON...: Stanford has 170 block solos in 2004 which ranks sixth in the Pac-10 for a single season (with two more they will move into fifth) ... The Cardinal are 7-1 on neutral courts this season ... Stanford 419 total blocks this season ranks ninth in the conference record books ... The Cardinal lead the league in hitting percentage at .291.TM