Aug. 20, 2004
Athens, Greece - Four former Stanford women's water polo players contributed to a key 8-4 Team USA victory over Russia in its final Preliminary Group B Game that propelled the Americans into the second semifinal against a still undetermined opponent on Tuesday, August 24. The Americans had entered Friday's action needing a victory or a tie against the previously unbeaten Russians to advance to the medal round and wound up finishing as the top team in Group B to earn a quarterfinal bye. The USA equaled the 2-1 record posted by Russia in Group B action but won the head-to-head match between the teams.
Goalkeeper Jackie Frank (2000-03) had one of the best performances of her international career in Friday's win, posting 14 saves and limiting the Russians to only four goals. Brenda Villa (2000-03 at Stanford) aided the cause with a pair of goals and is now the Americans' top scorer at the Olympics with six goals in the first three contests. Margie Dingeldein (1999-2002 at Stanford) added one goal, while Ellen Estes (1999-2002 at Stanford) also played in the contest but did not score.
More Olympic water polo coverage...
Other Stanford affiliates competing Friday at the Olympics included Julie Foudy (women's soccer), Tara Kirk (women's swimming), Jessica Mendoza (women's softball), Ogonna Nnamani (women's volleyball), Grant Robison (men's track and field), Jenny Thompson (women's swimming) and Logan Tom (women's volleyball).
Foudy (1989-92 at Stanford) turned in another 90-minute performance and launched a pair of shots for the United States as she and her teammates downed Japan, 2-1, in the quarterfinals to improve to 4-0 at the 2004 Games. In a semifinal game scheduled for Monday, August 23, the Americans will take on 2003 World Cup champion Germany, which came from behind to post a 2-1 victory over Nigeria in another Olympic quarterfinal Friday morning. The semifinal Olympic bout will be a rematch of the 2003 World Cup semifinals, which the Germans won 3-0.
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Kirk (2000-04 at Stanford) swam the fastest breaststroke leg of the day in the first heat of the women's 4x100 medley relay on Friday. Her blistering time of 1:07.08 helped the American team post the second-best qualifying mark (4:02.82) for the finals of the event to be held on the last day of Olympic swimming competition Saturday. Australia will go into Saturday's finals as the top qualifier after posting a 4:01.17 in the second heat Friday. Kirk, who is expected to give way to Amanda Beard as the U.S. breaststroker in the finals of the event, will still receive her first Olympic medal if the Americans finish in the top three on Saturday.
More Olympic swimming coverage...
Mendoza (1999-2002 at Stanford) and the American softball squad completed their unbeaten run in Preliminary action with a 3-0 victory over Chinese Taipei. After playing for seven consecutive days and posting a perfect 7-0 record, the Americans will have a day off before squaring off with host Greece in a semifinal on Sunday, August 21. Team USA, which defeated Greece by a score of 7-0 in Preliminary action on Thursday, outscored its seven preliminary-round opponents by a combined count of 41-0 to extend its winning streak to 77 games since July 2003. The "mercy rule" has been invoked in four of the team's wins, while American pitchers posted one-hitters in five of the seven contests. Hitting second in the lineup for the first time at the Games, Mendoza was 0-for-2 in three plate appearances on Friday but had a key sacrifice fly to score the second American run in the bottom of the sixth.
More Olympic softball coverage...
The United States' women's volleyball team is near the brink of elimination after suffering its second consecutive five-game loss to fall to 1-3 in Pool B action. On Friday, it was 2000 silver medalist Russia that dealt the blow with a 20-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-18, 15-11 win over the Americans despite a match-high 24 points (19 kills, 5 blocks) from Tom (1999-2002 at Stanford). Nnamani (Stanford senior in 2004-05) added three points, all on kills. To reach the medal round, the top-ranked Americans must defeat three-time defending gold medalist Cuba (3-1 at the 2004 Olympics) in their final Pool B contest on Sunday, August 22.
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Thompson (1991-95 at Stanford) earned a spot in Saturday's 50 free finals by tying for seventh overall in the semifinals of the event on Friday with a time of 25.17. Thompson had earned a spot in the semifinals by taking 11th during the heats earlier in the day with a 25.50 mark. Inge De Bruijn of the Netherlands will be top-seeded in Saturday's finals after clocking in at 24.56 in Friday's semis. She is also expected to swim the butterfly in the finals of the 4x100 meter medley relay on Saturday and will have an opportunity to break two Olympic swimming records on the final day of competition as she heads into her two events currently tied for both total Olympic swimming medals (11) and gold Olympic swimming medals (8).
More Olympic swimming coverage...
Robinson (2000-04) at Stanford) was 35th in Round 1 of the 1500 meters on Friday with a time of 3:53.66 and did not qualify for the semifinals slated for Sunday, August 22.
More Olympic track and field coverage...
Current Stanford head coaches Richard Quick (women's swimming) and John Rittman (women's softball) continued their assignments as Olympic assistants for Team USA, while former Stanford men's tennis player Patrick McEnroe (1985-88 at Stanford) also continued his tenure as the head coach for the USA's men's tennis team.
Stanford Olympians Scheduled To Compete On Saturday, August 21
Olympian - Sport ... Event (Television Station, Broadcast Time)
Tony Azevedo - Men's Water Polo ... Group A Preliminary Game versus Russia (NBC, 3 pm, PT, Tape-Delayed Broadcast)
Lance Beaubien - Men's Water Polo ... Group A Preliminary Game versus Russia (NBC, 3 pm, PT, Tape-Delayed Broadcast)
Gabe Gardner - Men's Volleyball ... Group B Preliminary Game versus Australia (NBC, 3 pm, PT, Tape-Delayed Broadcast)
Jenny Thompson - Women's Swimming ... 50 Meter Free Finals/4x100 Meter Medley Relay Finals (NBC, 8 pm, PT, Tape-Delayed Broadcast)
Kerri Walsh - Women's Beach Volleyball ... Round of 16 versus China (NBC, 8 pm, PT, Tape-Delayed Broadcast)
Wolf Wigo - Men's Water Polo ... Group A Preliminary Game versus Russia NBC, 3 pm, PT, Tape-Delayed Broadcast)