June 30, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -
Defining moments and outstanding individual and team performances characterized an unforgettable 2010-11 for Stanford athletics, and resulted in the school's 17th consecutive Learfield Sports Directors' Cup and the first women's Capitol One Cup.
This the final part of a three-part series highlighting Stanford's Great Games, Great Moments, and Great Performances from 2010-11.
Today: Great Performances (in chronological order)
Women's volleyball: (Sept. 24, 2010): Klineman at her best
Four-time All-America Alix Klineman had many outstanding performances during her senior season, and during her collegiate career. One of the most memorable came at Arizona State in a Pac-10 match when Klineman dominated the court with career-bests of 39 kills and 74 attempts, and just two errors to finish with a .500 hitting percentage. She also added a season high 18 digs and two blocks for 40 points in the 25-23, 27-25, 23-25, 25-21 victory. Her 39 kills was the second-highest single-match total in Stanford history, tying Logan Tom's output against UCSB in 2000, and trailing only Bev Oden's 41 against UCLA in 1990.
Men's golf (Oct. 12, 2010): The Big Yun-it
Stanford sophomore Andrew Yun had seven top-five finishes over 11 events during a first-team All-America season, but no performance was greater than his first collegiate victory, at The Prestige at PGA West in La Quinta. Yun, Stanford's top finisher nine times, fired a seven-under par 65 in the final round to earn a six-shot victory. Yun played all three rounds under par to finish at 12-under-204.
Women's cross country (Oct. 30, 2010): Team effort
The women's field for the Pac-10 Championships in Seattle was stacked with No. 2 Oregon, No. 6 Arizona, and defending national champion Washington (No. 20). But it was No. 9 Stanford that won a tight team competition, scoring 62 points to Arizona's 65, and Oregon and Washington's 68 in the closest meet in conference history. Kathy Kroeger finished second and was followed closely by Stephanie Marcy (fifth) and Jessica Tonn (eighth). Stanford, which captured its 15th conference title, was the only school to place three in the top 10.
Field hockey (Nov. 6, 2010): Dru does it
Becky Dru scored two early goals to lead Stanford past California, 2-0, and capture its fourth consecutive NorPac Tournament championship. Dru's goals came during in a seven-minute span of the game's first 20 minutes and the Stanford defense took care of the rest. Dru's numbers over the three-game stretch (five goals, three assists, 13 points) were more than enough to secure tournament MVP honors. And even better, Stanford continued the ownage of its rival, beating the Golden Bears in the NorPac final for the fourth consecutive year.
Sailing (Nov. 7, 2010): Singlehanded accomplishment
Freshman Molly McKinney made an immediate impact on the Stanford program by qualifying for the national singlehanded championships in her first collegiate race. Competing near her hometown of Sarasota, Fla., McKinney followed through with a sixth-place national finish and nearly took fifth in an outstanding debut season.
Women's soccer (Dec. 5, 2010): Freshman phenom
Her performance came in Stanford's only loss of the season, a 1-0 defeat to Notre Dame in the NCAA College Cup final in the chill and wind of Cary, N.C., but freshman Emily Oliver was spectacular in defeat. Oliver made six saves. Of those, five were breathtaking, four came in the second half and were from point-blank range as Stanford pushed forward for an equalizer and left itself exposed in the back. "I didn't know she was a freshman until today," one Notre Dame player said. "She's absolutely tremendous."
Men's basketball (Feb. 3-12, 2011): Sharpshooter
During a four-game stretch, Stanford guard Jeremy Green connected on 12 consecutive three-point baskets, a streak that ranks second-best in NCAA history. The streak garnered national attention for Green, who made a triple in the final seconds of a loss to Arizona on Feb. 3, finished 5-5 against Arizona State (Feb. 5) and Washington State (Feb. 10), and nailed his first attempt against Washington on Feb. 12. The all-time NCAA record is 15, by Northwestern's Todd Leslie during a four-game stretch from Dec. 15-28, 1990.
Squash (Feb. 20, 2011): Best ever
In collegiate squash, there is nothing bigger than the Howe Cup, and the Stanford women made in-roads into the national championship tournament by matching its best-ever sixth-place finish, in Princeton, N.J. An opening-round loss to powerhouse Trinity, the Cardinal rebounded with a 6-3 victory over Cornell in the consolation semifinals. Pamela Chua defeated Jamie Laird, 11-4, 11-9 and 11-6 at the No. 1 position, while Kayla Sherwood earned a hard fought, four-game victory over Laurie Sachvie at the No. 4 to help secure the victory.
Women's basketball (March 12, 2011) : Toni, Toni, Toni
UCLA had control of Pac-10 tournament title game, with a 38-29 lead with 15 minutes remaining and the Cardinal offense struggling to score against a gritty Bruins defense. Enter Toni Kokenis, a reserve freshman guard from Oak Brook, Ill., who had worked her way up the rotation since returning from a concussion that had sidelined her for three games. With the Cardinal in need of a spark, the speedy Kokenis scored 13 second-half points -- 10 in the final 5:16 -- to lead Stanford's rally to a 64-55 victory. Entering with 15:57 remaining and the Cardinal trailing 36-27, Kokenis had two assists, a steal and three points in a span of 4:07 that pulled the Cardinal within two at 40-38. With UCLA clinging to a 48-47 lead and 5:20 left, Kokenis scored the next 10 points, hitting two straight 3-pointers to cap off the run, to put Stanford on top for good. Kokenis went 7-of-9 from the field for a game-high 17 points.
Synchronized swimming (March 19, 2011): Double winner
Olivia Morgan, a junior from Lafayette, Calif., came away with two victories at the U.S. Collegiate Nationals to lead Stanford to a runner-up team finish. Morgan, a 2010 U.S. national team selection, teamed with Maria Koroleva to win the duet competition, and joined Madison Crocker and Morgan Fuller to win the trio.
Wrestling (March 19, 2011): Vision quest
Nick Amuchastegui developed a sense of toughness and discipline that came from being a hard-working family in rural southern Oregon. Perhaps that's why he became just the second Stanford wrestler to reach an NCAA final, behind only Matt Gentry, a 2004 NCAA champion with similar southern Oregon roots. Amuchastegui, a 3.98 student in mechanical engineering, was the No. 7 seed at 174 pounds before winning four matches to get into the title match, where he took on top-seeded Jonathan Reader of Iowa State. Though Reader won, 10-3, Amuchastegui helped Stanford to an 11-place national finish - it's best ever.
Baseball (March 22, 2011): Cycling with Ragira
Brian Ragira, a freshman first baseman, hit for the cyle against Santa Clara to highlight a strong season in which he led the Cardinal in RBIs (43) and was third in batting average (.320) and was named Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year. Ragira went 5-for-5 with three runs and three RBIs against the Broncos at Sunken Diamond. He hit an RBI triple in the second, doubled and scored in the third, and hit a two-run homer in the fourth. Ragira completed the cycle in the sixth with a bloop single to right, becoming just the second Cardinal player since 1992, and first since Oakland A's prospect Michael Taylor in 2005, to do so. He closed out his day with an infield single.
Women's swimming (March 18, 2011): Splashdown
Freshman Maya DiRado earned two top-three finishes at her first NCAA Championships while helping the Cardinal to fourth place. DiRado, a Santa Rosa native, blossomed at a time when Stanford was looking for newcomers to carry the torch from graduated Olympians Elaine Breeden and Julia Smit. DiRado was second in the 200-yard individual medley, third in the 400 IM and fifth in the 200 backstroke at the NCAA's in Austin, Texas. Earlier, she captured the Pac-10 title in the 200 back, finished second in the 400 IM and third in the 200 IM in helping lead the Cardinal to its second consecutive conference championship and was named Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year.
Fencing (March 28, 2011): Making a point
Francesca Bassa placed fifth in the women's epee at the NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio, to become Stanford's top finisher and earn All-America honors. The sophomore from Houston made her mark as one of the top juniors in the nation and gave Stanford a hint of what is to come with her highest NCAA finish yet.
Women's golf (Nov. 7, 2010-April 3, 2011): Streaking
Armed with confidence and a great short game, Stanford sophomore Kristina Wong ripped off five consecutive top-10 finishes over a six-month period. Wong, who had a team-high stroke average of 74.0, began the run with a seventh place in the rain of the Pac-10/SEC Challenge at Stanford Golf Course and continued for the bulk of the season. She finished seventh, second, fourth, fourth, and 10th during her run, finishing as runner-up at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational.
Men's gymnastics (April 16, 2011): Great weekend
A night after the men's gymnastics team won Stanford's historic 100th NCAA team title, senior Alex Buscaglia completed a memorable weekend by winning a national title on the horizontal bar in his final collegiate meet. Buscaglia, the Pan-American champion, had been the NCAA leader nearly the entire season and once again dominated the event, scoring a 15.750 to win by almost a half-point. Buscaglia was not finished, however, earning All-America honors on the parallel bars by placing sixth with a 14.400. Buscaglia also competed on vault, finishing 10th at 15.050. Buscaglia finished his career with six All-America honors.
Women's tennis (May 26-30, 2011): Unforgettable run
Sophomore Stacey Tan had played No. 5 singles for Stanford most of the season, and yet she played herself into the NCAA singles final with an improbable run at home in the NCAA Championships. Tan, ranked No. 43 in the country, lost to top-ranked Jana Juricova of Cal, 6-0, 7-6 (2) at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. Tan was the lowest-ranked player to reach an NCAA singles final since 1998, when No. 51 Ania Bleszynski of Stanford lost to Duke's Vanessa Webb, 6-3, 6-4. Only the 10th unseeded player to appear in an NCAA singles final, Tan fought back in the second set, holding leads of 1-0, 2-1, 4-3 and 5-4. After Juricova went ahead 6-5, Tan registered another break to force a tiebreaker at 6-6. That's when Juricova bolted out to a 5-0 lead, eventually closing the tiebreaker out at 7-2 for the victory. Nevertheless, the result was quite an accomplishment for Tan, who played 17 of her 23 dual matches this year at the No. 5 spot for Stanford.
Women's rowing (May 29, 2011): Revenge
Stanford's II Eight, after being nipped at the line and settling for silver at last year's NCAA Championships, made sure there would not be a repeat in 2011, using a final surge over the last quarter of the race to out-distance Brown and capture gold in Gold River, Calif. The victory completed a dominant season for the Cardinal boat, which earlier captured its second consecutive Pac-10 gold. The Cardinal jumped out to a three-second lead after the opening 500 meters, but had its advantage cut to just under a second by Brown at the 1,000 mark. The boat would add nearly a half-second to its lead heading into the final 500 meters, and there the Cardinal made its big push. Brown could not match the effort and Stanford's II Eight won its first-ever NCAA title.
Women's lightweight rowing (June 4, 2011): Repeat
The Stanford Lightweight I Eight made it back-to-back national titles at the IRA Championships, outlasting No. 1 Princeton by less than a second in an exciting Grand Final in Camden, N.J. For the second straight year, the Cardinal overcame the nation's No. 1 boat, having defeated Wisconsin in 2010. As Stanford and Princeton battled it out, the race came down to the strongest final push. Again, it was Stanford winning by 0.681.