No. 5 Stanford Opens NCAA Action Against Sacramento State On Thursday

Dec. 2, 2003

CARDINAL MAKE 23RD CONSECUTIVE NCAA POSTSEASON APPEARANCE: The fifth-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team (23-6, 14-4 Pac-10), will host Sacramento State, University of San Francisco and Pacific in the NCAA First and Second Rounds at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif., December 4-5. The Cardinal will face Sacramento State (23-11) in a first round matchup at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday while San Francisco (23-7) will take on Pacific (17-13) at 5 p.m. in the other first round match. The winners of Thursday's contests will meet on Friday at 7 p.m. in the second round of action. The winner of Friday's match will advance to the Long Beach Regional in Long Beach, California, held December 13-14.

WEEK IN REVIEW: Stanford closed out the regular season with two non-conference wins over ranked opponents. The Cardinal defeated No. 13 Santa Clara, 3-1, on Tuesday, as Ogonna Nnamani led the team with 22 kills while Sara Dukes notched seven blocks on the night. Kristin Richards tallied a match-high 14 digs as well. On Saturday, Stanford beat No. 20 Notre Dame, 3-0, in Maples. Nnamani led the match with 23 kills followed by Richards' 16 kills and match-high 14 digs. Dukes added nine kills and three blocks to the effort.

ABOUT THE HORNETS: Sacramento State (23-11) is coached by Debby Colberg who has helmed the program for 28 seasons ... This season marks Sacramento State's sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last seven years ... The Hornets are 4-1 in their last five matches and 8-2 in the last 10 ... The team is led by Sandra Bandimere (3.89 kpg/2.24 dpg) and Kazmiera Imrie (3.10 kpg/1.02 dpg) ... The squad won the Big Sky Tournament this year with a 3-2 win over Eastern Washington in the finals ... Stanford and Sacramento State met last year in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as well, with the Cardinal winning 3-0 (30-22, 30-8, 30-17) ... Stanford holds a 4-0 lead in the all-time series with the Hornets.

ABOUT THE TIGERS: Pacific (17-13) is coached by Jayne Gibson-McHugh who is in her fourth year as head coach ... UOP ended the regular season with two wins over UAB (3-0) and Oregon State (3-0) and are 2-3 in their last five matches ... They are led by Jennifer Joines (5.55 kpg/1.18 bpg) and Ashley Groothuis (2.89 kpg/2.28 dpg) ... Pacific is also making its 23rd consecutive appearance in the NCAA Touranment ... Stanford and UOP met earlier this season in a non-conference matchup in Maples Pavilion that the Cardinal won, 3-1 (30-17, 25-30, 30-23, 30-19) ... Stanford has won the last four matchups with Pacific ... The last UOP win came in 2000 with a 3-0 victory in Stockton.

ABOUT THE DONS: San Francisco (23-7) is coached by first-year head coach Jeff Nelson ... USF will make its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2003 after finishing with just six wins last season ... The 17-game improvement was the best in West Coast Conference history as San Francisco has won four of its last five matches ... The team is led by Brittanie Budinger (4.78 kpg/3.48 dpg) and Teresa Russell (3.85 kpg/1.18 bpg) ... Stanford is 16-0 lifetime against San Francisco ... The last time the two teams met was in 1998 as the Cardinal notched a 3-0 win over USF in Maples Pavilion.

PAC-10 NAMES ALL-ACADEMIC TEAMS: Senior middle blocker Sara McGee (Davis, CA) and senior Anna Robinson (Tampa, FL) were first-team selections on the Pac-10 All-Academic team. Ogonna Nnamani (Normal, Ill.) was a second-team pick while senior Sara Dukes (Danville, Calif.), junior Leahi Hall (Haiku, Hi.) along with sophomores Katie Goldhahn (Lodi, Calif.) and Courtney Schultz (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) were honorable mention selections.

AROUND THE NET: Stanford is one of only four schools to appear in each NCAA Tournament (Stanford, Pacific, UC Santa Barbara, Penn State) ... The Cardinal has won its opening tournament match in every NCAA Tournament ... Richards notched a double-double (kills-digs) in 12 of 18 conference matches this season ... Nnamani has tallied double-figures in kills in all 28 matches to date ... Stanford is 10-1 in matches where Harvey has seven or more blocks ... Harvey leads the team with 33 aces on the year ... The Cardinal is 8-2 in matches where four or more players reach double figures in kills ... This week, six Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top 25 nationally with four in the top 10 ... Keep an eye on Anna Robinson - she needs just one assists to move into a tie for fifth on Stanford's career assists list.

HARVEY HONORED AS FIRST-TEAM ALL-PAC-10 PICK: Senior middle blocker Jennifer Harvey (Denver, CO) was named a first-team All-Pac-10 selection for her outstanding play this season. She has posted seven or more blocks in 11 matches this season (Stanford is 10-1 in those matches). On the year, Harvey is averaging 2.50 kills and league-leading 1.50 blocks while hitting .350 overall. She leads the team with 32 block solos, 131 block assists and 33 service aces. Harvey has tallied one or more service aces in 12 of her last 16 matches. With 163 total blocks this season, she is closing in on the top five for most blocks in a single season (She already holds the number five spot with 177 in 2002). The 6-5 senior led the league in blocks last season, averaging 1.43 per game. Harvey has 459 career blocks - just 16 blocks shy of the top five in career blocks on The Farm.

NNAMANI GARNERS CONFERENCE HONORS FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE SEASON: Two-time AVCA All-American Ogonna Nnamani (Normal, IL) was tabbed a first-team All-Pac-10 selection for the third consecutive year last week. On the year, the 6-1 outside hitter leads the team with 5.36 kpg, 2.32 dpg and a .308 hitting percentage. She has 13 double-doubles on the year and is averaging a team-leading 5.93 points per game. She has 13 matches with 20 or more kills (Stanford is 9-4 in those contests). Nnamani has tallied 20 or more kills in 10 of her last 14 matches. Her 563 kills this season ties her for third in a single season on The Farm with Teresa Smith (1986). Kristin Folkl is second with 605 kills in 1997. With 1,563 career kills, Nnamani becomes the 29th player in conference history to reach the 1,500 mark. She competed with the U.S. National Training Team at the 2003 Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic this summer. The 6-1 outside hitter helped the U.S. to a bronze medal at the games.

SISTER, SISTER: Junior Ogonna Nnamani and freshman Njideka Nnamani become only the third set of sisters to play volleyball for the Cardinal in the history of the program. 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. They are the only set of sisters currently playing in the Pac-10 Conference on the same team as well (the Abernathy sisters, Gabrielle and Jennifer are playing for California and Arizona respectively).

DID YOU KNOW? Junior Jennifer Hucke has recorded a least one service ace in seven of the last 11 matches ... Stanford ranks in the top five in the conference in hitting percentage (3rd), opponent hitting percentage (5th) and blocks (2nd) ... Stanford has won its season opener in 19 of the last 20 years ... The Cardinal went 12-6 this season against regionally-ranked teams and 11-6 against nationally-ranked teams ... Ogonna Nnamani leads the conference among active career kill leaders with 1,563 ... The Cardinal have been to the Final Four in three of the past four seasons, winning the title in 2001 and finishing second in 1999 and 2002 (In the past nine years, Stanford has made seven trips to the Final Four, winning four titles) ... Stanford has amassed an amazing 701-174-4 all-time record since 1976 (.799 winning percentage), and has finished in the top 10 nationally in 21 of the last 22 seasons ... Stanford has reached the Final Four 14 times in the last 22 seasons, and produced 46 All-American honors in the last 21 years ... The Cardinal have had 11 30-plus win seasons since 1976 ... Six Pac-10 teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament this year (USC, Stanford, California, UCLA, Washington, Arizona).

CARDINAL HEAD COACH John Dunning: Third-year head coach John Dunning has a 88-13 record on The Farm and is 525-115 in 18 years of coaching. He is only the 21st Div. I coach to reach the 500 win milestone. He has taken 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 11-1 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 TABBED PAC-10 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Freshman outside hitter Kristin Richards (Orem, UT) was honored as the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year last week as well as being named a first-team All-Pac-10 selection. She becomes the eighth Cardinal to earn conference Freshman of the Year honors. Richards is second on the squad, averaging 3.29 kills and 2.88 digs per game. She has 14 double-doubles this season and the Cardinal is 11-3 in those contests. In league play, she is averaged 3.43 kills and 3.01 digs. Richards has notched a double-double in nine of the last 11 matches and has tallied at least one service ace in six of the last 10 matches. She was named to the Sprint Hawaii Invitational all-tournament team earlier this season.

FAST FACTS: 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 five of the last eight years (Kristin Folkl '97, Kerri Walsh '98 and '99, Logan Tom '01 and '02) ... Since the Pac-10 began for women's volleyball in 1986, only four schools have ever won the conference title (Stanford, UCLA, USC and Arizona) - the Cardinal have won or shared the title in nine of the 18 years.

UP NEXT: The winner of the first and second round matches here at Maples will advance to the NCAA Regional held in Long Beach, Calif., December 12-13 (hosted by Long Beach State).

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.

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