Women's Volleyball Set To Open 2004 Season

Aug. 30, 2004

CARDINAL HIT THE ROAD FOR NEVADA TOURNAMENT: The sixth-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10), open the 2004 season on the road, September 3-4 at the SBC/Sands Regency Tournament in Reno, Nevada. The Cardinal will take on Utah State at 4:30 p.m on Friday, September 3 then face fellow Northern California team, St. Mary's at 10 a.m on Saturday, September 4. Stanford will match up with host Nevada-Reno at 7 p.m. that night to close out tournament action.YEAR IN REVIEW: The 2003 Stanford women's volleyball team wrapped up the season with a 25-7 overall record, 14-4 in the Pac-10 and a No. 10 ranking in the national poll. The Cardinal appeared in their 22nd consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearance before falling to conference foe Washington in the NCAA Regional Semifinal. Stanford advanced to the round of sixteen with wins in the first and second rounds. Stanford defeated Sacramento State, 3-0 in NCAA First Round action and swept Pacific, 3-0, in the second round. Ogonna Nnamani was tabbed a first-team AVCA All-American while senior middle blocker Jennifer Harvey was a second-team selection. Nnamani was also a first-team pick by Volleyball Magazine. Outside hitter Kristin Richards was tabbed National Freshman of the Year by Volleyball Magazine and was the AVCA Pacific Region's Freshman of the Year as well.ABOUT THE AGGIES: Utah State (0-0) is coached by Burt Fuller who is in his fourthseason at the helm ... His squad returns four starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team that went 18-12 on the season and finished in a tie for fifth-place in the Big West Conference ... The team will rely on junior Zuzana Cernianska, who continues to mature and become more comfortable, finished second on the team with 471 kills and 26 service aces last year, and was also fourth on the club with 229 digs and 45 blocks ... Stanford hold a 1-0 lead in the all-time series with the Aggies ... Their only meeting coming in 1981 with the Cardinal winning, 2-0.ABOUT THE GAELS: St. Mary's (0-0) is coached by Jon Stevenson who begins his fourth season with the Gaels ... The team is coming off the best season in school history in 2003 ... The Gaels are coming off the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance and a school-record 20 wins in 2003 ... Saint Mary's returns five starters from last year's team ... The Gaels return 2003 West Coast Conference Honorable Mention selection Kaui Salzman at outside hitter, and 2002 WCC Honorable Mention selections Lindsey Bogason at opposite and Stacey O'Connor at middle blocker ... Stanford holds a 4-0 advantage in the all-time series with SMC ... The Cardinal won the last meeting with the Waves in 2003, a 3-0 victory, in Stanford (30-22, 30-21, 30-21).ABOUT THE WOLF PACK: Nevada (0-0) is coached by Devin Scruggs who is in her eighth year with the program ... The 2004 squad returns 10 letterwinners from last year's 16-15 squad that posted a 7-6 record in Western Athletic Conference play to finish third in the West Division ... Leading the team in 2004 will be a pair of preseason All-WAC selections in Salaia Salave`a and Tristin Adams ... Stanford is 4-0 lifetime against the Wolf Pack ... The last time the two teams met was in 2001 in the NCAA First Round, as the Cardinal defeated the Wolf Pack, 3-0 (30-20, 30-16, 30-20).UP NEXT: Stanford opens their home schedule with the Stanford Invitational, September 9-11, hosting #8 Penn State, Eastern Washington and San Francisco in Burnham Pavilion.OUR TEMPORARY HOME, SWEET HOME: While Maples Pavilion wraps up its renovations this fall, Burnham Pavilion will be home for the Stanford women's volleyball team in 2004. The facility will seat 1,441 fans and will be much cozier than Maples. For ticket information, please call the Stanford ticket office at 1-800-STANFORD. The Maples Renovation Project is expected to be completed in December of 2004.AROUND THE NET: The Cardinal have not dropped a season-opener since 1998 ... John Dunning is 3-0 in season-openers during his tenure ... Stanford has won its season opener in 19 of the last 20 years ... Ogonna Nnamani notched double-figures in kills in all 28 matches last season and will look to continue the streak in 2004 ... Stanford is one of only four schools to appear in each NCAA Tournament (Stanford, Pacific, UC Santa Barbara, Penn State).OGONNA NNAMANI RETURNS FROM ATHENS OLYMPICS: Three-time AVCA All-American Ogonna Nnamani (Normal, IL) will rejoin her collegiate teammates for the SBC/Sands Regency Tournament in Reno, Nevada next week. The 6-1 outside hitter will be returning from Athens, Greece where she participated in her first Olympic Games with the U.S. National Indoor Team. Nnamani led the team with 5.45 kpg, 2.31 dpg and a .309 hitting percentage last seson. She had 14 double-doubles on the year and averaged a team-leading 6.06 points per game. She set the single-season record on The Farm with 627 kills in 2003. With 1,627 career kills, Nnamani became the 29th player in conference history to reach the 1,500 mark and should break the Stanford career kills mark held by two-time National Player of the Year, Logan Tom, who tallied 1,939 over four seasons.DID YOU KNOW? Ogonna Nnamani leads the Pac-10 Conference among active career kill leaders with 1,627 ... Stanford has amassed an amazing 726-181-4 all-time record since 1976 (.799 winning percentage), and has finished in the top 10 nationally in 22 of the last 23 seasons ... Stanford has reached the Final Four 14 times in the last 23 seasons, and produced 48 All-American honors in the last 22 years ... The Cardinal have had 11 30-plus win seasons since 1976.CARDINAL HEAD COACH JOHN DUNNING: Fourth-year head coach John Dunning has a 90-14 record on The Farm and is 527-116 in 19 years of coaching. He was only the 21st Div. I coach to reach the 500 win milestone. He took 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 13-2 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.THE RETURN OF RICHARDS: Sophomore outside hitter Kristin Richards (Orem, UT) looks to pick up where she left off last year. The 6-0 Utah native was honored as the Volleyball Magazine National Freshman of the Year as well as the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year last week as well as being named a first-team All-Pac-10 selection. She became the eighth Cardinal to earn conference Freshman of the Year honors. Richards was second on the squad, averaging 3.38 kills and a team-leading 3.03 digs per game. She had 15 double-doubles, including her last six matches of the 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 nine 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 19 years.DYNAMIC DUO: Senior Ogonna Nnamani and sophomore Kristin Richards return to the court as one of the top outside hitting tandems in the country ... The two combined for 1,019 kills last season accounting for around nine kills per game.SISTER, SISTER: Senior Ogonna Nnamani and sophomore Njideka Nnamani became only the third set of sisters to play volleyball for the Cardinal in the history of the program in 2003. 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.CARDINAL PICKED TO FINISH FOURTH IN LEAGUE PLAY: The 2004 Stanford women's volleyball team is picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 Conference in a vote of the conference coaches. Defending national champion USC was chosen to win the league. Rounding out the top five are UCLA, Washington, Stanford, and California. Rounding out the poll were Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, Oregon and Washington State (tie), respectively.NEW LOOK IN THE MIDDLE: With the graduation of three senior middle blockers in 2003, the middle will have a new look to it in '04. Joining sophomores Lizzie Suiter (Aspen, CO), Michelle Mellard (Leawood, KS) and Jennifer Wilson (Spokane, WA) will be freshman Franci Girard (Brooklyn NY).TOUGH SERVE: Senior Jennifer Hucke (Fallon, NV) had 31 services aces last season to lead the squad with a 0.29 average ... Her eight service aces against Weber State (9/12/03) ties for third on The Farm for a single match ... She tallied at least one service ace in five of her last seven matches ... Hucke also will see some old familiar faces when the Cardinal takes on Nevada - Tristin Adams and Carly Sorensen were high school teammates while Kellie Burton played club volleyball with Hucke at the Sierra Nevada Volleyball Club.™

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