No. 6 Cardinal Punch Ticket To NCAA Championship With 3-0 Win Over Wisconsin

Dec. 11, 2004

Green Bay, Wis. - Senior outside hitter Ogonna Nnamani tallied a match-best 27 kills while hitting .490 to lead the sixth-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep of No. 22 Wisconsin to advance to the NCAA Championship next week. Game scores were 30-18, 31-29, 30-26. The Cardinal improve to 28-6 overall while the Badgers end their season at 22-10.

Ogonna Nnamani broke the Pac-10 single season kills record today, held by UCLA's Kristee Porter (741 in 2000) and now has 761 in 2004. Teammate Kristin Richards broke the Stanford single season digs record, held by Barbra Fontana (459 in 1986), and now has 469.

Stanford is the first team to advance to the NCAA Championship this year and awaits to see its opponents from the other three regionals.

Stanford opened up a 9-4 lead in game one after back-to-back kills by Jennifer Hucke and Ogonna Nnamani forced a Badger timeout. Wisconsin fought back to close the gap to 8-9 with three consecutive points. The Cardinal led 15-11 at the halfway point on a kill by Franci Girard. Stanford scored the next three points to go up 18-11 after two Cardinal block solos and a Wisconsin attack that went long. Stanford continued to roll and led 24-13 on back-to-back Nnamani kills. The Cardinal reached game point at 29-17 and won 30-18 on a kill by Girard.

Stanford led 8-2 early in game two after a solo block by Kristin Richards. Wisconsin closed the gap to 9-10 on a 6-1 run and tied up the game at 11-all on a block solo. The Badgers took their first lead at 12-11 after a Cardinal attack went into the net. The two teams traded points back and forth until Stanford took a slim 20-17 advantage. Wisconsin tied it up again at 24-all on back-to-back kills. But the Badgers would take a timeout trailing 24-26 after a block by Lizzie Suiter and Jennifer Hucke. Wisconsin fought back to tie the game up at 26-all on back-to-back blocks. Stanford scored the next two points to lead 28-26 as the Badgers called their final timeout. The two teams tied again at 28-all as the Cardinal called their final timeout. The Badgers reached game point at 29-28 but Stanford tied it up at 29-all on a kill by Girard. A Wisconsin attack in the net gave the Cardinal their first game point at 30-29 and won game two 31-29 on a kill by Kristin Richards to go up two games to none.

Stanford held a slim 11-9 lead early in game three and were up 15-14 at the media timeout on a kill by Jennifer Hucke. The two squads traded points back and forth until the Badgers opened up a slim two-point advantage at 18-16 after back-to-back Stanford hitting errors. The Cardinal tied it up at 19-all and went up 20-19 on another Nnamani kill. Wisconsin took their first timeout trailing 20-22 as Lizzie Suiter took care of an overpass. The Badgers tied it up again at 24-all as the Cardinal called their first timeout of the game. Wisconsin took their final timeout trailing 25-27 after a block by Franci Girard and Bryn Kehoe. Another Girard/Kehoe block gave Stanford match point at 29-25. Kristin Richards closed out the match with a kill at 30-26.

Jennifer Hucke chipped in 10 kills and 11 digs as well as three blocks. Bryn Kehoe tallied 45 assists and six blocks on the afternoon as well. Kristin Richards and Courtney Schultz led the team with 13 digs each.

Wisconsin was led by Aubrey Meierotto and Sheila Shaw who had 13 kills each. Libero Jocelyn Wack led the match with 16 digs.

Ogonna Nnamani was tabbed the region's Most Outstanding Player while teammate Kristin Richards was an all-tournament selection.

The winner of today's match advances to the NCAA Championship in Long Beach, Calif., December 16 and 18th and takes on the winner of the Washington-UCLA match in the semifinals.

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