#3 Stanford Arrives In Tucson for Match Vs #12 Arizona
Oct. 13, 2005
Tucson, Az - The Pac-10 schedule doesn't get any easier.
In the next two weeks, the third-ranked Stanford women's volleyball team will face three teams on their home courts. Two of them are nationally-ranked squads including Thursday's opponent, the 12th-ranked Arizona Wildcats (12-2 overall, 4-1 Pac-10), at McKale Center. The next night, Stanford travels to Arizona State (6-9 overall, 1-4 Pac-10), and then another conference match on Oct. 21 at 13th-ranked California (12-3 overall, 5-1 Pac-10) in Berkeley. Stanford is 16-2 overall, and 5-1 in the Pac-10, one-half match behind second-ranked Washington (14-0 overall, 5-0 Pac-10).
The Cardinal has played a highly competitive schedule in 2005. Eight of Stanford's opponents have chalked up a 96-21 record and are currently nationally-ranked in the Top 25.
The weekly national women's volleyball statistical rankings are out and third-ranked Stanford is ranked high in several categories ... Stanford's 16.20 assists per game, is third best in the nation ... Missouri leads the country at 16.60 apg ... The Cardinal is averaging 17.14 kills per game, fifth-best in the country ... The national leader is Missouri (17.84 kpg) ... Stanford's hitting percentage of .288 is 12th-best in the country ... Washington leads at .382 ... Individually, sophomore setter Bryn Kehoe is third in the country in assists per game (14.61 apg) ... The national leader is Courtney Thompson of Washington at 15.20 apg ... Foluke Akinradewo, a freshman middle blocker, is 13th in the country in hitting percentage (.419) ... Jennifer Hoffman of Louisville is #1 at .488.
It was a very long day for the Stanford women's volleyball team ... Traveling to Tucson for Thursday night's match against Arizona has not been easy ... There are no direct flights from San Francisco to Tucson, so the team traveled to Los Angeles (a one-hour flight) and then boarded another plane for a 70 minute flight to Tucson ... It sounds easy, but it's not ... Not after a challenging day in class, a quick lunch, then practice, a bus ride to the airport, and then the two flights from the Bay Area to the state of Arizona ... School is now in full swing at Stanford University, and this group of young women take their classes seriously ... Each one is not only outstanding on the volleyball court, but they are also excellent students in the classrroom ... Normally Nji Nnamani is a talkative person, but today she was a bit reserved as she waited to check in her luggage at SFO ... An athletic department staffer ask Nnamani how she was doing, and she simply said 'my Russian Politics class is tough.' ... The staffer offered words of encouragement, and she simply said 'thanks' ... The weariness of a challenging day fades for a moment when Nnamani and Katie Goldhahn are asked about a recent Stanford television show they co-hosted which will be seen on Oct. 23 on College Sports Television (CSTV) ... Both players enjoyed the experience of interviewing other Stanford athletes, and Nnamani, with a bright smile, projects herself as the next 'Oprah Winfrey' while Goldhahn, a Communication major, says 'I'm the next Katie Couric' ... Goldhahn, despite her busy day, also found time to talk extensively with a reporter from the Stockton Record who is writing a feature story on Stanford head coach John Dunning ... Goldhahn is popular with the news media with her sense of humor, quick wit and thoughtful answers ... Once on the plane, team members hit the books ... Freshman Erin Waller is taking a challenging course in chemistry, but is confident that she will get through the class with no problems ... Jennifer Wilson, a psychology major, is intently reading chapters from an advanced course in baby development ... Lizzie Suiter studies from her American Law book ... Every where you look on the plane, everyone is studying ... However, as the plane took off from San Francisco to Los Angeles, the soothing sounds of the jet engine and the approaching sunset brought a calming effect to everyone on the plane ... Suddenly, most everyone was taking a nap ... While waiting in the Los Angeles Airport for the flight to Tucson, studies took a back seat to a search for a place to eat or listen to some tunes on their Ipod's ... Waller is smart ... While a couple players were paying outrageous prices for something to eat, Waller, before the trip, packed a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and some fruit in her purse ... Waller is also in a great mood ... Waller hails from Ballwin, Mo, a small town just outside St. Louis, and she proudly tells an athletic department staffer that the St. Louis Cardinals have defeated the Houston Astros, 5-3, in game one of the National League playoffs ... GOOD NIGHT!!!