Dec. 28, 1997
No. 17 Stanford 87, No. 18 Colorado 73
By ANNE M. PETERSON
(AP) - Thanks to her teammates and a crowd of enthusiastic
fans, Kristin Folkl was at ease when she returned to basketball after helping
Stanford to the NCAA volleyball championship.
Folkl, a dual-sport athlete for Stanford, had 16 points and eight rebounds
in her debut this season as the 17th-ranked Cardinal downed No. 18 Colorado
"I had a really easy time out there, my teammates were showing the way to
go," she said. "I felt comfortable because I felt like they wanted me out
Stanford (3-4), which went into the season ranked No. 4, has struggled with
losses to Connecticut and Tennessee. They clearly got a boost Sunday from
Folkl's return, which was accompanied by rousing applause from the fans at
"Kristin is a very special talent with an instinct for basketball," coach
Tara VanDerveer said. "She does everything we need her to do, especially
catching and passing the ball well. We've had so many turnovers with our post
game this year, she's come in and given us a boost."
Even Olympia Scott, who had a career-high 33 points, took the time to
"The first day, she comes right in and runs the plays," Scott said. "She
fits right in perfectly, as if she's never been away."
Stanford has won four NCAA volleyball titles since 1992, and Folkl has been
on three of those teams.
Colorado (6-2), which had won three straight, was led by La Shena Graham's
career-high 29 points. Jenny Circle, the only other Colorado player in double
figures, had 17 points.
Folkl entered the game about five minutes into the first half, with the
Cardinal trailing 11-7. Stanford responded with a 17-5 run to take 24-16 lead
with 7:19 left as Folkl scored nine points during the stretch.
Down 34-32 at halftime, Colorado opened the second half with an 8-2 run to
take a 40-36 lead. Circle scored six of those points.
Colorado was leading 42-40 with 15:29 left when Scott scored the first of
Stanford's seven straight points, putting the Cardinal ahead 47-42.
Stanford, spurred by the enthusiastic home crowd, did not surrender the lead
again, twice pushing the margin to as many as 17 points.
"For 25 minutes we played pretty well, then the bottom fell out for eight
minutes and that was it for us," Colorado coach Ceal Barry said.
Vanessa Nygaard added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Stanford. But it was
clearly Folkl's show.
Even Barry noticed the change in the team.
"A big piece of their puzzle is now back on the bench. I know Tara pretty
well, and I know she's been drumming her fingers waiting for Kristin to come
back," Barry said.
Folkl, who hadn't planned on playing basketball last season, joined the team
in February after several players were injured and averaged 10.7 points and 8.2
rebounds in 10 games.