Dec. 2, 1997
Cardinal Try to Win Third National Championship in Four Years
STANFORD KICKS OFF POSTSEASON PLAY: Stanford University begins its quest for its third national title in the last four years and fourth overall when NCAA Tournament play begins this weekend at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal was awarded the third seed in the 56-team field, and the top seed in the Mountain Region. Stanford opens play on Saturday, December 6 against the winner of the Oklahoma-Houston first round match. In addition, if Stanford wins on Saturday it will host the Mountain Region semifinals and finals on December 12-13. Here's a look at this weekend’s schedule (both matches will be played at Maples Pavilion):
Friday, December 5: Houston vs. Oklahoma, 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 6: Houtson-Oklahoma winner vs. Stanford, 7 p.m.
SENIOR DOMINANCE: The five members of Stanford's senior class - Kristin Folkl (St. Louis, MO/St. Josephs Academy), Barbara Ifejika (Brampton, Ontario, Canada/Mayfield Secondary), Debbie Lambert (Kaneohe, HI/Punahou HS), Paula McNamee (Wheaton, MD/Sidwell Friends HS) and Lisa Sharpley (Los Altos, CA/Los Altos HS) - have a chance to be the first NCAA women's volleyball players to win three titles in four years. The class of '98 has won NCAA titles in 1994 and 1996, and is 120-8 (.938) overall on The Farm. In addition, Folkl, Ifejika, Lambert, McNamee and Sharpley are 61-1 (.984) at Maples Pavilion, 70-2 (.972) in the Pac-10 and 74-7 (.914) against ranked opposition.
RADIO/TV SCHEDULE: Palo Alto's Cable Co-op will air Saturday's match on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, December 7 at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 13 at 8:00 p.m. Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on KZSU 90.1 FM, beginning with "The Don Shaw Show" at 6:50 p.m. In addition, "Serve It Up With Don Shaw" will air on Tuesday from 8:00-8:30 p.m. on KZSU at Old Pros Restaurant in Palo Alto (2865 El Camino Real).
TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for this weekend's subregional are currently on sale at the Stanford Ticket Office. Two-day passes are $12 for reserved seats, $10 for adult general admission and $6 for children, senior and student general admission. Single-day passes, which are only on sale the day of the match, are $9 for reserved, $7 for adult general admission and $5 for children, senior and student general admission.
NCAA NOTES: Stanford is one of only four schools that has earned a berth in all 17 NCAA Tournaments (since 1981), along with only Pacific, Penn State and UC Santa Barbara ... The Cardinal holds the all-time record for most tournament wins with 44. UCLA is second with 43 ... This season, Stanford has played 11 tournament qualifiers and has won 15 of those 17 matches ... The Cardinal is also 6-0 against teams in the Mountain Region.
THE RECORDS: Stanford is 28-2 overall, and has won 23 straight matches dating back to September 10. Stanford has won 20 of those 23 matches in three games, and the other three in four games (Oct. 10 vs. #15 Arizona, Nov. 2 vs. #7 USC and Nov. 23 vs. #14 Hawaii). The Cardinal was also 18-0 in the Pac-10 to wrap up its fourth consecutive conference title.
Stanford concluded the regular season with home wins over California (15-9, 15-2, 15-1) on November 20 and Hawaii on (15-8, 10-15, 15-10, 15-3) on November 23. Houston is 23-9 overall and 14-2 in Conference USA, after concluding the regular season with a 15-11, 15-11, 15-10 home win over Kentucky on November 28. The Cougars also won the Conference USA Tournament, held in Houston, with wins over Memphis (15-4, 15-13, 11-15, 15-4; November 21), Saint Louis (15-4, 15-7, 15-10; November 22) and Cincinnati (16-14, 12-5, 15-10, 15-2; November 23).
Oklahoma enters the tournament 19-12 overall and 13-7 in the Big 12. The Sooners concluded conference play with home wins over Texas Tech (15-11, 15-7, 19-17; November 28) and Baylor (15-9, 15-11, 11-5, 15-7; November 29).
THE COACH: In his 14 years on The Farm, Stanford head coach Don Shaw has amassed the best winning percentage in NCAA Division I history. Shaw, who served as co-head coach with Fred Sturm in 1984-85 before taking sole control in 1986, has a career mark of 377-63 (.857). Shaw has led Stanford to three NCAA titles, six Pac-10 titles and eight Final Four appearances. He has guided the Cardinal to a 120-8 (.938) record in the last three-plus seasons, including a 70-2 (.972) mark in the Pac-10. The 1991 National Coach of the Year and 1992 and 1994 Regional Coach of the Year also coached four players - Barbara Fontana, Kristin Klein, Bev Oden and Nancy Reno - who participated in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Miles Pabst is 417-344-1 (.544) in his 20th season at Oklahoma, while Houston's Bill Walton is 467-195 (.705) in his 17th season overall.
THE SERIES: Stanford is 4-0 all-time against Oklahoma, and 1-0 this season. The Cardinal defeated the Sooners 15-12, 15-10, 15-6 on Friday, September 19 in the Stanford Showcase at Maples Pavilion. The Stanford Showcase also included Mountain Region participants Colorado and UC Santa Barbara. Stanford is 2-0 against Houston after a 12-15, 15-7, 15-5, 15-6 win over the Cougars at the Goff/Michigan State Volleyball Classic on August 30, 1996.
THE RANKINGS: Stanford is ranked No. 1 in the nation by Volleyball Magazine and No. 3 by the USA Today/AVCA. Houston and Oklahoma are not ranked.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW:
Match #29 - #3 Stanford d. California 15-9, 15-2, 15-1 (November 20 @ Maples Pavilion): Kristin Folkl hit .519 with a match-high 15 kills to lead the Cardinal over the Golden Bears in the Pac-10 finale for both teams. Stanford improved to 41-3 all-time against Cal, including 30 straight wins dating back to 1982. The win helped Stanford's senior class finish their Pac-10 careers with a 70-2 mark, including a perfect 36-0 record at home. The Cardinal outhit the Golden Bears .412-.069, and made just four hitting errors in the 75-minute match.
Match #30 - #3 Stanford d. #14 Hawaii 15-8, 10-15, 15-10, 15-3 (November 23 @ Maples Pavilion): Kristin Folkl had a match-high 26 kills to up her career total to 1,755 and move past Bev Oden (1,753) and Kim Oden (1,751) into second place on the all-time school list. The match was the final regular season one for Stanford's five seniors. With the match tied at a game apiece and Hawaii up 8-6 in game three, Stanford scored 24 of the final 29 points to win the rematch of the 1996 NCAA Finals.
FOLKL NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR; SHAW CO-COACH OF THE YEAR: Senior outside hitter Kristin Folkl was named Pac-10 Player of the Year on November 25 after leading Stanford to its fourth straight conference title. Folkl ranks second in the conference in attack percentage (.372) and kills per game (5.59), and also earned Pac-10 and National Player of the Weeek honors on November 3. Cardinal head coach Don Shaw shared conference coach of the year honors with USC's Lisa Love after leading Stanford to its sixth Pac-10 title. Shaw also earned conference coach of the year honors in 1987 and 1991. Folkl was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team along with Barbara Ifejika, Lisa Sharpley and Kerri Walsh (Saratoga, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS), while Jennifer Detmer (Thousand Oaks, CA/Thousand Oaks HS) was named to the All-Freshman Team. On the Pac-10 All-Academic Team, Folkl and Sharpley were named to the First Team, Ifejika the Second Team and Debbie Lambert and Sarah Neal (Pacific Palisades, CA/Brentwood HS) Honorable Mention.
FOLKL ENJOYING CAREER YEAR: Kristin Folkl's great season continues to get even better. Stanford's all-everything two-sport star was named Pac-10 Player the Year on November 25. The Cardinal co-captain has also moved into second on the all-time school kill list with 1,758 behind only Kristin Klein's (1988-91) 1,909. She has 530 kills in 1997, which puts her 33 behind the school single season mark set by Teresa Smith (1986; 563). Folkl also ranks ninth on the all-time Pac-10 list, and needs just six to pass Shelly Smith of Oregon State (1991-94) for eighth. The St. Louis, Missouri native has played three seasons of volleyball and two seasons of basketball on The Farm, and led the Cardinal to the Final Four on all five occasions. Folkl, who has two years of basketball eligibility remaining, is scheduled to join Tara VanDerveer's squad following the conclusion of the volleyball season. Here's a look at Folkl's career statistics:
Year GP K E TA .PCT SA DIGS BS BA
1994 102 478 147 947 .350 36 228 34 52
1995 66 245 90 491 .316 22 165 13 38
1996 111 505 162 1124 .305 34 258 22 83
1997 95 530 111 1124 .373 10 244 20 62
TOT. 374 1758 510 3686 .339 102 895 89 235
WALSH BACK ON TRACK: First Team All-American and 1996 National Freshman of the Year Kerri Walsh has had a tough act to follow in her second year on The Farm. In addition to All-American and Freshman of the Year Honors, Walsh was named the 1996 Final Four Most Valuable Player, First Team All-Pac-10, All-Pacific Regional and AVCA National Player of the Week. Walsh underwent surgery on her right shoulder in April, however, and has been limited to 79 games played and 483 attacks this season. Walsh had her best weekend of the 1997 season on November 14-15, including 13 kills in 19 errorless attempts against WSU that helped her earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. Here's a look at Walsh's career statistics:
Year GP K E TA .PCT SA DIGS BS BA
1996 109 521 137 1042 .369 47 309 14 105
1997 79 222 53 483 .350 7 236 24 88
TOT. 188 743 190 1525 .363 54 545 38 193
OFFENSE THRIVES UNDER SHARPLEY: Senior setter Lisa Sharpley is running the Cardinal offense for the fourth straight year, and the second in the 5-1 set. Sharpley shared setting and hitting duties with two-time National Player of the Year Cary Wendell in 1994 and 1995, but has served as the primary setter the last two seasons. Sharpley has 4,036 career assists and ranks third in school history behind Wendy Rush (5,003; 1984-87) and Carrie Feldman (4,461; 1989-92). Sharpley was also named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the third time in her career on October 6 after recording 71 assists (11.83 pg), 19 digs and four blocks in road wins at USC and UCLA.