Work, Rest Prevail As Third-Ranked Stanford Prepares For Season-Opener against #5 Penn State

Aug. 25, 2005

Omaha, Ne - You never know who you might run into when you are traveling on the road.

Wednesday night (8/24) after a long day of travel from San Jose to Omaha, Ne (the site of the 2005 AVCA/NACWAA Showcase), the third-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team checked into its hotel, and then settled down for a team meal at a nearby crowded, but trendy Italian restaurant.

Soon into their meals, the Stanford men's soccer team (without warning) showed up at the team's table. The soccer team, in Omaha for two exhibition games against Drake and Creighton, serenaded the Cardinal women's team (2004 national champions) to the rock classic (You are the Champions) which generated a hearty applause from the restaurant's diners.

Then the Cardinal men's soccer team continued their vocal tribute with a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' to Cardinal junior outside hitter Jennifer Wilson, who was celebrating her 20th birthday.

Thursday morning, it was all business as head coach John Dunning conducted an intense two-hour practice in preparation for Friday's season-opening match against Penn State. Match time is slated for 6:00 p.m. (ct) while top-ranked Nebraska challenges fourth-ranked Hawaii at 8:30 p.m.

Nearly 9,000 tickets have been sold for the two-day event at the Qwest Center. The arena, located in downtown Omaha, will host an NCAA Regional in December and the 2006 NCAA Volleyball Championships.

The two winners on Friday will meet in Saturday's championship match at 7:30 p.m. The consolation match will begin at 5:00 p.m.

All four matches will be televised on College Sports Television (CSTV).

'Great teams, great crowds in a great arena usually means you will see outstanding team and individual performances,' Dunning told reporters after practice. 'We are a young team, but we have good talent, and I look at this tournament as a great opportunity to get better.'

Cardinal Catalogue: After a tough morning practice, the team enjoyed Thursday afternoon with a trip to the Omaha Zoo, and some shopping at a nearby mall ... A tournament banquet is slated for Thursday night.

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