No. 5 Cardinal Take On No. 13 Washington In Regional Semifinal

Dec. 8, 2003

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CARDINAL HEAD TO LONG BEACH FOR REGIONAL SEMIFINAL: The fifth-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team (25-6, 14-4 Pac-10), travel to Long Beach, Calif. to face No. 13 Washington (22-8, 10-8 Pac-10) in a regional semifinal , held at The Pyramid on Friday, December 12 at 5:30 p.m. No. 4 Pepperdine (27-2) will take on No. 14 Minnesota (24-10) in the other regional semifinal at 7:30 p.m. The winners of the regional semifinals will meet on Saturday, December 13 at 7 p.m. for the right to travel to Dallas, Texas, for the Final Four.

NCAA REGIONAL FINAL TO BE TELEVISED: The NCAA Regional Final in Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday, December 13, will be broadcast on ESPN syndicate stations (live/tape-delayed depending on region). Chris Marlowe and Heather Cox will provide the play-by-play and color commentary respectively. Please check your local listings to see if the match will be broadcast in your area.

WEEK IN REVIEW: Stanford picked up two more wins last week, defeating Sacramento State, 3-0 in NCAA First Round action and sweeping Pacific, 3-0, in the second round to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Ogonna Nnamani led the Cardinal in both matches with 17 and 27 kills respectively. Kristin Richards notched a double-double against both the Hornets and the Tigers while Jennifer Harvey led the team at the net with six and nine blocks respectively.

ABOUT THE HUSKIES: Washington (22-8) is coached by Jim McLaughlin who is in his third season at the helm ... The Huskies are 4-1 in their last five matches and 7-3 in the last 10 ... The team is led by Sanja Tomasevic (5.29 kpg/2/90 dpg) and Brie Hagerty (3.49 kpg/1.12 dpg) ... UW defeated Northwestern (3-0) and Utah (3-0) to advance to the Long Beach Regional ... Stanford and Washington split their two matchups this season - each team winning at home ... Stanford holds a 37-3 lead in the all-time series with the Huskies ... Washington enters the match as the No. 12 seed.

ABOUT THE WAVES: Pepperdine (27-2) is coached by Nina Matthies who is in her 21st season with the Waves ... The team is 5-0 in its last five matches and 10-0 in the last 10 ... Pepperdine is led by Katie Wilkins (5.31 kpg/2.06 dpg) and Katy Daly (3.22 kpg/2.99 dpg) ... The Waves collected wins over Manhattan (3-0) and Kansas (3-1) to advance to the Long Beach Regional ... They are the No. 4 seed in the tournament ... Stanford holds a 5-2 advantage in the all-time series with Pepperdine ... The Cardinal won the last meeting with the Waves in 2002, a 3-0 victory, in Stanford (30-26, 30-27, 30-28).

ABOUT THE GOLDEN GOPHERS: Minnesota (24-10) is coached by Mike Hebert who is in his eighth year with the program ... The Gophers are the No. 13 seed ... Minnesota defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay (3-0) and Northern Iowa (3-1) to advance to the Long Beach regional ... The team is led by Cassie Busse (4.65 kpg/2.46 dpg) and Erin Martin (3.69 kpg/1.12 dpg) ... Stanford is 2-0 lifetime against the Golden Gophers ... The last time the two teams met was in 2002 at the NACWAA/State Farm Classic in Minneapolis, Minn., as the Cardinal defeated the Gophers, 3-1.

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 30 matches to date ... Stanford is 11-1 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, five Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top 25 nationally with four in the top 10 ... Senior setter Anna Robinson took over fifth place on Stanford career assists list with 2,406 to date.

HARVEY RANKS FIFTH IN SINGLE SEASON TOTAL BLOCKS: Senior middle blocker Jennifer Harvey (Denver, CO) has recorded 178 total blocks this season which ranks fifth on The Farm for a single season. She needs just two blocks to move into sole possession of fourth and seven to equal Bev Oden's 185 blocks in 1989. She has posted seven or more blocks in 12 matches this season (Stanford is 11-1 in those matches). On the year, Harvey is averaging 2.50 kills and league-leading 1.55 blocks while hitting .346 overall. She leads the team with 34 block solos, 144 block assists and 33 service aces. Harvey has tallied five or more blocks in four of the last five matches. 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 CLOSING IN ON SINGLE SEASON KILLS RECORD: Two-time AVCA All-American Ogonna Nnamani (Normal, IL) has 607 kills this season, just 14 shy of the Stanford single season record of 621 held by former four-time All-American Logan Tom (2001). The 607 kills ranks her 10th in the Pac-10 for a single season (UCLA's Kristee Porter holds the top spot with 741 kills in 2000). On the year, the 6-1 outside hitter leads the team with 5.47 kpg, 2.31 dpg and a .310 hitting percentage. Nnamani is averaging 7.33 kpg in the postseason this year. She has 13 double-doubles on the year and is averaging a team-leading 6.06 points per game. She has 14 matches with 20 or more kills (Stanford is 10-4 in those contests). Nnamani has tallied 20 or more kills in 11 of her last 16 matches. With 1,607 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 eight of the last 12 matches ... Stanford ranks in the top five in the conference in hitting percentage (3rd), opponent hitting percentage (T4th), assists (4th) 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 1,607... 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 90-13 record on The Farm and is 527-115 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.

HOW SWEET IT IS: The Cardinal are making their 22nd appearance in the Sweet Sixteen (2000 was the only year they did not advance past the second round) ... The last time Stanford lost a regional semifinal match was in 1998 (Texas d. Stanford, 3-1) ... The Cardinal has advanced to the regional final (Elite Eight) in 17 of those 22 appearances and made it to the Final Four in 14.

RICHARDS DOUBLES HER FUN: Freshman outside hitter Kristin Richards (Orem, UT) has recorded a double-double (kills/digs) in her last five matches including 12 kills and 20 digs against Sacramento State and 13 kills and 14 digs versus Pacific. Richards is second on the squad, averaging 3.34 kills and leads the team with 3.03 digs per game. She has 16 double-doubles this season and the Cardinal is 13-3 in those contests. In league play, she is averaged 3.43 kills and 3.01 digs. Richards has notched a double-double in 11 of the last 13 matches and has tallied at least one service ace in seven of the last 12 matches. She was named to the Sprint Hawaii Invitational all-tournament team earlier this season. The 2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year is averaging 4.17 kills and 5.67 digs in postseason play this year.

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 NCAA Regional final held in Long Beach, Calif., will advance to the Final Four in Dallas, Texas, December 18-20.

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