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Match point for the 2004 NCAA women's volleyball title. Photo by David Gonzales.
Directors' Cup Rewind: 2004-05
Courtesy: David Kiefer  
Release: 06/01/2014

Heading toward the determination of the winner of the 2013-14 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, will provide a progression of each of Stanford’s 19 consecutive victories. Here is the 11th, in 2004-05:

Directors' Cup No. 11 (2004-05)  |  2004-05 Season In Photos

ERIN BURDETTE MADE a habit of closing out tennis matches. It didn’t matter how big it was, Burdette made it feel small. After all, Burdette clinched NCAA women's tennis team titles in three of her four seasons at Stanford.

For the second-year in a row, Burdette, a native of Jackson, Ga., helped the Cardinal win the title at the University of Georgia - just 85 miles away from her hometown. The three-time All-American struggled earlier in the week, dropping her matches in the team quarters and the semifinals, but in the team final, she capped Stanford’s 4-0 triumph over Texas for Stanford’s 14th championship.

Burdette, a team captain, did more than that. She finished her career by joining with Alice Barnes to capture the NCAA doubles victory title over teammates Amber Liu and Anne Yelsey. Both teams were unseeded.

For the third time in the 24-year history of the NCAA Division I tennis championship, teams from the same school played each other for the title. Barnes and Burdette beat teammates Amber Liu and Anne Yelsey. Either way, Stanford was ensured of its fifth doubles crown.

The doubles marked her first appearance in an NCAA singles or doubles title match. But you wouldn’t know it because of her poise under pressure. She went out in style.

Stanford won the 2004-05 Directors' Cup for a record 11th consecutive year, rallying from third place after the fall season. The Cardinal recorded 1,238.75 points, surpassing runner-up Texas by 164.75. Stanford won national championships in women's volleyball and women's tennis and was the runner-up in men's water polo and men's swimming. The Cardinal placed eight additional teams in the top 10.
Stanford teams placing in the top 10 were women's cross country (5th), women's basketball (5th), women's swimming (5th), women's outdoor track and field (5th), men's cross country (6th), men's gymnastics (7th), men's indoor track and field (7th) and softball (9th). The Cardinal recorded points in the maximum of 10 women's and 10 men's sports. Stanford averaged 62 points per sport.

Ryan Hall picked up running in a most unusual way. His father went out for a 15-mile run and Hall, a young boy in basketball sneakers, claimed he could run the whole way. The father accepted the challenge and watched in amazement as his son flopped through the entire distance.

Hall, used to running alone while a star at Big Bear (Calif.) High School, angered his teammates at Stanford by being too competitive in practice. Finally, teammate Ian Dobson took Hall aside and explained what being on a team is all about. Hall got the message, changed his outlook and began to shine.

In the 2005 NCAA outdoor 5,000-meter championship, Hall and Dobson were running 1-2 heading into the homestretch. Hall was content to let Dobson win, but when Dobson started to kick, Hall took it personally and ditched his plan. He drove hard down the stretch to beat Dobson for the title.

Both runners would develop into Olympians. Hall is a two-time Olympic marathoner and the only American to break 2 hours, 4 minutes in the Boston Marathon. Dobson ran in the 2008 Olympics in the 5,000.

The Stanford women’s volleyball team entered the NCAA tournament as the 11th seed and came out as the national champion. In the 11th NCAA final in program history, Stanford swept Minnesota to capture their sixth national title.

Stanford was paced by Ogonna Nnamani, the national  player of the year, and her 29 kills led both teams in the title game.  Nnamani finished with a Stanford career record 2,450 kills and went to play on two Olympic teams, winning a silver medal in 2008.

Tony Azevedo nearly led Stanford to an NCAA men's water polo championship in his senior season. However, Stanford lost to UCLA, 10-9, in double overtime before 3,044 at Avery Aquatic Center.

Azevedo finished with a Stanford career record 332 goals and was a four-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year. The Brazilian-born Azevedo is a four-time U.S. Olympian and a team captain for the national team.

* * *

More highlights from 2004-05:
•    Stanford earned NCAA track and field victories from Michael Robertson in the discus and Grant Robison in the 1,500.
•    Gary Marshall won the NCAA swimming title in the 100-yard breaststroke, helping lead the Cardinal to second as a team.
•    Caroline Bruce won both breaststroke races at the NCAA finals, from 100 and 200 yards..
•    The Stanford synchronized swimming won its third U.S. Collegiate crown. Katie Norris won the solo and figures events, and Samantha Bongiovanni-Duclos, Sara Lowe, and Courtenay Stewart, won trio, and Lowe and Stewart won the duet. Lowe is no Stanford’s head coach.

The Final Count:
1)    Stanford, 1,238.75
2)    Texas, 1,074
3)    UCLA, 1,067
4)    Michigan, 1,064.25
5)    Duke, 1,021.25

Stanford’s Top Scoring Teams:
1 (tie), Women’s volleyball, women’s tennis, each 100 points; 3, men’s swimming and diving, 90; 4 (tie), women’s track and field, women’s cross country, women’s swimming and diving, each 75.

Directors' Cup No. 1: 1994-95

Directors' Cup No. 2: 1995-96

Directors' Cup No. 3: 1996-97

Directors' Cup No. 4: 1997-98

Directors' Cup No. 5: 1998-99

Directors' Cup No. 6: 1999-2000

Directors' Cup No. 7: 2000-01

Directors' Cup No. 8: 2001-02

Directors' Cup No. 9: 2002-03

Directors' Cup No. 10: 2003-04



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