Women's Basketball Announces 2006-07 Schedule
Sept. 20, 2006
STANFORD, Calif.- An early SEC road trip, a first-ever appearance in the Preseason WNIT and 14 opponents that participated in postseason play last year highlight Stanford's 2006-07 women's basketball schedule, as announced today by head coach Tara VanDerveer.
Stanford will play at least 15 home games at Maples Pavilion, in addition to a pair of exhibitions that include a Nov. 2 match-up against Chico State, led by first-year head coach and former Cardinal standout Molly Goodenbour.
The 15 home games should be welcomed news for the Cardinal (26-8, 15-3 Pac-10 in 2005-06), which has won 68 of its last 72 games at home while posting an impressive 12-1 record in the arena last year. National publications have also taken notice, with Lindy's and Athlon Sports ranking Stanford third and fourth, respectively, in their preseason polls.
'This year's schedule is without a doubt, one of the toughest we have ever played,' said VanDerveer, who begins her 21st season. 'I believe that playing such a challenging non-league schedule will prepare us well for a difficult Pac-10 season and NCAA Tournament.'
As usual, the schedule is littered with traditional powerhouses and programs on the rise. Not to mention the challenging Pac-10, which placed six teams in last year's NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. 14 of the 19 listed opponents on this year's schedule advanced to either the NCAA Tournament or WNIT last season, and that number could increase early on.
Stanford's first-ever appearance in the 16-team Preseason WNIT begins with a first round contest against Loyola Marymount in the season opener on Nov. 9 at Maples Pavilion. Should the Cardinal advance, potential opponents BYU and Baylor await on its side of the bracket before possible matchups against Purdue, St. John's or NC State. Host sites in the Preseason WNIT are determined on a game-by-game basis, however Stanford would likely remain home for at least two rounds.
After taking on 2006 NCAA Tournament entrant Missouri on Nov. 21, Stanford packs its bags for Thanksgiving break to face SEC powers Tennessee and Georgia on Nov. 24 and 26, respectively. The Lady Vols finished 31-5 last year and reached the NCAA Elite Eight while the Lady Bulldogs reached the NCAA Sweet 16 and went 23-9.
A return to The Farm for a three-game homestand follows, with Santa Clara (Nov. 29), Texas Tech (Dec. 3) and Utah (Dec. 16) visiting Maples Pavilion. The Utes are coming off a record-setting 27-7 campaign that ended in a loss to eventual national champion Maryland in the NCAA Elite Eight.
The Cardinal closes out the month of December with four Pac-10 contests, the first of which occurs Dec. 20 at USC. The next two games (at UCLA on Dec. 22 and vs. Arizona State on Dec. 28) carry added significance, as the Bruins and Sun Devils were the only two conference schools to defeat the Cardinal last year.
Stanford then steps out of Pac-10 competition for three additional non-conference games, the first of which might be the toughest at Fresno State on Jan. 2. The Bulldogs enjoyed their best season in school history last year, finishing 24-8 and winning two games in the WNIT. A home contest against South Carolina (Jan. 8) and a road tilt at UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 1) are the other non-conference clashes. Both teams qualified for the WNIT.
The first of two games against rival California is scheduled for Jan. 6, as Stanford hopes to extend its 13-game winning streak in the series. The Golden Bears visit Maples Pavilion on Feb. 3.
Stanford closes out the month of January with four of six games on the road. A homestand against Oregon and Oregon State that kicks off Jan. 18 is sandwiched between road games against the Washington and Arizona schools.
February represents a contrast, with the Cardinal playing five of its final seven regular-season games at home. Stanford hosts UCLA (Feb. 22) and USC (Feb. 24- Senior Day) before the Pac-10 Tournament begins Mar. 2 in San Jose.
In addition, Maples Pavilion will serve as a host site for the first and second rounds of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. TV games will be announced at a later date.
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