Stanford Women's Basketball To Face Nation's Best Among 2009-10 Opponents

July 20, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford women's basketball's campaign for a third national title and third consecutive trip to the NCAA Final Four in 2009-10 begins on the road in Norfolk, Va. against Old Dominion on Nov. 13. The contest is part of a two-game East Coast trip that tips off a slate that will see the Cardinal face 11 postseason teams from a year ago, a group that includes defending national champion Connecticut, heralded national powers Tennesee, Duke and Rutgers, defending conference champions Fresno State (WAC), Gonzaga (WCC), Utah (MWC), and Pac-10 rivals California and Arizona State.

In addition, Stanford will vie for its tenth straight Pac-10 regular season title, opening the 18-game conference slate at Maples Pavilion on Sunday, Jan. 3 against cross-bay rival California.

'This season is set to be the most competitive schedule in my time here at Stanford,' said head coach Tara VanDerveer, who in 2009-10 will begin her 31st season overall as a head coach and 24th at the Stanford helm. 'Facing some of the best programs from around the nation both at home and on the road will once again prepare our team for the postseason.'

The Cardinal made the eighth trip in program history to the Final Four last year, compiling a 33-5 overall record while also claiming both the Pac-10 regular season and tournament titles. Stanford also posted a perfect 14-0 home record last season to extend its home winning streak to 29 games heading into 2009-10.

Seventeen home dates (15 regular season, two exhibition) at Maples Pavilion will be on tap for the 2009-10 campaign, with the Cardinal's regular-season home opener set for Thursday night, Nov. 19 against Pepperdine. Stanford will play exhibition contests against Vanguard University and UC San Diego on Sunday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 8, respectively.

Following the season opener on Nov. 13 at Old Dominion, Stanford will head north to Piscataway, N.J. to face Rutgers Nov. 15.

The home opener four days later against Pepperdine will be followed by a bus ride to UC Davis for a Nov. 22 contest, then the Cardinal will return home to open up a five-game homestand. That stretch opens Thanksgiving weekend with Mountain West Conference champion Utah on Nov. 27, followed by West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga on Nov. 29.

After the Cardinal breaks from competition for two weeks during final exams, it will return to action at home Sunday, Dec. 13 against 2008 NCAA Tournament participant DePaul.

Two days later (Dec. 15) the Duke Blue Devils come to Maples Pavilion, then the five-game homestand will come to a close with a bang, as Pat Summitt brings her Tennessee Lady Volunteers to Maples Pavilion for a Dec. 19 clash.

Stanford will then make its second trip to the East Coast, traveling to Storrs, Conn. for a highly-anticipated clash against head coach Geno Auriemma's defending national champion Connecticut squad on Dec. 23. The Cardinal will finish up its non-conference portion of the season as well as the calendar year with a bus trip to The Valley to battle Western Athletic Conference champion Fresno State on Dec. 30.

After opening the Pac-10 slate against California on Jan. 3, Stanford makes its first road trip to Los Angeles for its only scheduled Friday-Sunday weekend of the conference season, visiting USC and UCLA on Jan. 8 and 10, respectively.

The Cardinal will be home for three of the next four weekends after its trip to L.A., starting with contests at Maples Pavilion against Washington State (Jan. 14) and Washington (Jan. 16). The lone trip of this stretch takes place the following weekend, as Stanford goes to Oregon where it will meet 2009 WNIT participant Oregon State on Jan. 21 and Oregon on Jan. 23.

The next two weekends will be spent at home, first against Arizona State (Jan. 28) and Arizona (Jan. 30), then the Cardinal opens the second half of Pac-10 play by hosting UCLA (Feb. 4) and USC (Feb. 6).

Stanford makes its trip to the Pacific Northwest over Valentine's Day weekend, meeting Washington on Feb. 11 and making the trip to Pullman for a Feb. 13 contest at Washington State.

The final home weekend of the regular season will take place Feb. 18 and 20, as the Cardinal opens things up against Oregon before celebrating Senior Day opposite Oregon State.

Two weekends away from home conclude the regular season for Stanford, as it heads to Tucson for a Feb. 25 clash with Arizona then to Tempe to meet Arizona State on Feb. 27. The regular-season finale is set for March 6 at California.

The 2010 Pac-10 Tournament will be held at USC's Galen Center in Los Angeles for the second straight year, and will run from March 11-14.

The 2010 NCAA Tournament is set to get underway the weekend of March 20-23 at pre-determined sites, with the Final Four to be held at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

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