Pac-10 Coaches Tab Stanford For 10th Straight Regular Season Title
Oct. 22, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - After winning nine consecutive Pac-10 regular season titles, the Stanford women's basketball team was voted the clear favorite to take home its 10th straight crown, according to a vote by the conference head coaches.
Stanford received nine first-place votes and a total of 81 points in the poll, 14 ahead of the next team on the list, California, which accumulated 67 points. Arizona State rounded out the top three with the remaining first-place vote and 64 points.
Stanford is coming off of a 2008-09 season in which it reached the Final Four for the second straight year, posting an overall record of 33-5 and topping the Pac-10 with a 17-1 conference mark.
The Cardinal returns 13 players from last year's team, including four starters, led by 2009 State Farm Coaches' All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year Jayne Appel. Entering her senior season, the 6-4 center from Pleasant Hill, Calif. heads a talented group of returners that includes All-Pac-10 Second Team selection guard Jeanette Pohlen and third-team pick forward Kayla Pedersen.
Also returning are Pac-10 All-Defensive Team honorable mention guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and All-Freshman Team pick forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike. Redshirt junior JJ Hones makes her return to the court after having her 2008-09 season cut short due to a torn left ACL suffered last fall.
Head coach Tara VanDerveer opens her 24th campaign at the Stanford, owning a record of 605-142 as the Cardinal leader. Entering 2009-10 VanDerveer has guided Stanford into position as an early favorite for the 2010 national title, to be contested at the Final Four in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
After the top three in the coaches poll, UCLA came next in fourth with 63 points, and USC finished in the top half with 48 points. The remaining half of the poll consisted of Washington State (33 points), Oregon State (29), Oregon (23), Arizona (22) and Washington (20).
Stanford will hit the court for a pair of exhibition games at Maples Pavilion on Sunday, Nov. 1 against Vanguard at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 8 against UC San Diego at 2 p.m. The Cardinal will open the 2009-10 regular season on the road at Old Dominion Friday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. PT.
Pac-10 play will open at Maples Pavilion for the Cardinal on Saturday, Jan. 2 as it hosts East Bay rival California in a 12 p.m. contest.