Posts Tagged ‘Stanford Athletics’

VanDerveer, Azzi recognized

November 17th, 2011

Cardinal Women’s Basketball coach TARA VANDERVEER was honored Wednesday, Nov. 16,  with a 2011 Athena award, given by the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce.  The award honors the achievements of outstanding professional and business women who not only achieve success in their own careers, but who open doors for women. The awards luncheon, held at the Garden Court Hotel in downtown Palo Alto, started at 11:15 a.m., a bit earlier than usual, because VanDerveer  had to get to practice.

“I’ve been called a lot of things, but I have to say, I’ve never been called a goddess,” VanDerveer said, adding that Athena had been her favorite character in Greek mythology since elementary school.

Jennifer Azzi hugs Tara VanDerveer as members of the 1990 National Championship team reunite during a win over win over USC on Feb. 7, 2010 at Maples Pavilion. Photo Credit: Marc Abrams

VanDerveer said her style of coaching through positive reinforcement reflects the wisdom passed down by her mother, who once told her that  “tearing others down doesn’t make you any better.”

Palo Alto Mayor Sid Espinosa, who presented VanDerveer with a proclamation from the city, thanked her for the inspiration that “changes lives. You do so much for the community in a sincere and honest way.”

JENNIFER AZZI, who played women’s basketball for Stanford from 1987-1990, seems to be following in Coach VanDerveer’s footsteps.  Azzi was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, seven years after VanDerveer was inducted.

On Tuesday, Nov. 15,  just a few months after VanDerveer was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s class of 2011, Azzi, head women’s basketball coach at University of San Francisco,  has been nominated for the 2012 Naismith Hall of Fame class. It is still a long way from nominee to finalist, but our fingers are crossed.


— Elaine Ray

Bowlsby and Ogwumike sisters to attend ESPY awards

July 13th, 2011

From left, Chiney and Nnemkadi Ogwumike


Athletic Director BOB BOWLSBY and women’s  basketball stars NNEMKADI and CHINEY OGWUMIKE will accept the inaugural Capital One Cup trophy on behalf of Stanford women’s athletics as part of the ESPY Awards, which will be televised live on ESPN Wednesday evening, July 13. The award will be presented by performer JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, who has recorded a humorous video promoting the event that has gone viral.

The Capital One Cup trophy was created in 2010 to honor NCAA Division I athletics programs for their performances across 13 men’s and 13 women’s sports. The Capital One Cup is different from the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, which recognizes the top overall collegiate Division I sports program. The Cardinal has won that award 17 consecutive years.

The new Capital One Cup trophy includes a $200,000 donation to fund student-athlete graduate-level scholarships. Stanford women beat out runner-up Texas A&M by nine points. Cal placed third. The men’s trophy was won by the University of Florida, with the Cardinal men placing fifth. Points are earned throughout the year based on final standings of NCAA Division I Championships and final official coaches’ polls.

To win the Capital One Cup, Stanford women placed in the top 10 in nine championships, including soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming and diving, lacrosse, tennis, softball, outdoor track and field and rowing—the most top 10 finishes of any program.

The Cardinal’s victory earned praise from BRANDI CHASTAIN, a former World Cup soccer player from Santa Clara University who sits on the Capital One Cup Advisory Board.

“The Stanford women and everyone who follows the athletics program should be proud of this accomplishment,” said Chastain. “Winning the Capital One Cup requires commitment, dedication and hard work at all levels of a Division I college athletics program, and the Cardinal rose above all other schools to claim the trophy. With nine top 10 finishes they are extremely deserving of this award.”

The ESPY Awards are presented annually by ESPN to recognize amateur and professional individual and team athletic performances throughout the year.

Stanford snags another Directors’ Cup

July 1st, 2011

Stanford Athletics has claimed its 17th consecutive Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, an award that is presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Learfield Sports and USA Today to the top intercollegiate athletic program in the nation.

After claiming national championships this year in the sports of men’s gymnastics, women’s water polo and women’s lightweight crew-varsity eight, Stanford has won at least one NCAA team title for 35 consecutive years. The national title won by men’s gymnastics was particularly significant, as it marked Stanford’s 100th NCAA team championship. Three other Stanford teams — women’s soccer, women’s tennis and women’s rowing — placed second in NCAA championship competition.

Eighteen of Stanford’s 35 intercollegiate programs finished their respective seasons ranked in the top 10 nationally, while eight teams were ranked first in the nation at some point during the year. In addition, four Stanford student-athletes — CHRISTEN PRESS (women’s soccer), ANNIKA DRIES (women’s water polo), ASHLEY HANSEN (softball) and ALIX KLINEMAN (women’s volleyball) — earned national player of the year honors in their respective sports. HILARY BARTE and MALLORY BURDETTE were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association Doubles Team of the Year, while OWEN MARECIC was named the inaugural recipient of the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in college football.

Three Stanford coaches — TARA VANDERVEER (women’s basketball), THOM GLIEMI (men’s gymnastics) and AL ACOSTA (women’s lightweight rowing) — were named national coaches of the year, while seven Cardinal coaches earned conference/region coach of the year honors.

Stanford’s student-athletes also continue to display an unwavering commitment to academic excellence; this year 20 Stanford student-athletes earned Academic All-America status as recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between NACDA and USA Today in 1993-94 to honor universities that strive for success in all of their sports programs. The awards program was expanded in 1995-96 to include NCAA Divisions II and III and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Each institution is awarded points based on its finish in 20 sports, 10 each for men and women.

Read the full announcement on the Athletics website.

Ashley Hansen named USA Softball’s Collegiate Player of the Year

June 2nd, 2011

Junior shortstop ASHLEY HANSEN has been selected as USA Softball’s Collegiate Player of the Year, the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) announced Tuesday. Hansen is the first Cardinal player to earn this prestigious honor and just the second non-pitcher in the 10-year history of the award.

Hansen put up career offensive numbers in her third season at Stanford. The Chandler, Ariz. Native, also is the  2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year).

“My team has been there for me through thick and thin this year, really the past three years. I know that it’s not just me out there. I have eight other girls in the lineup who are capable of getting the job done and that takes a lot of pressure off of me,” said Hansen.

“From the first day that she set foot on campus, we knew she was not only a special player, but a special person. If you are around her you see right away how likeable she is and how she just does things the right way. You don’t become the player she is without a lot of hard work and dedication while learning from those around you,” said head softball coach JOHN RITTMAN. “This is huge for Stanford and our program to have someone recognized as National Player of the Year. I am so proud of Ashley and all her accomplishments. She is such a team player and very deserving of this honor.”

Read the full story on the Athletics website.

Calling all kids: Super Spikers volleyball clinic dates set

April 28th, 2011

Stanford women’s volleyball welcomes all kids K-8th grade to participate in the 2011 Super Spikers Volleyball Clinic Aug. 14 and 21.

Each clinic runs from 2 to 5 p.m. at a cost of $20 per clinic. The clinics will focus on ball control, spiking, passing, setting, serving, digging and blocking. The Aug. 14 clinic, which will be preceded by a Stanford women’s volleyball practice at 11 a.m., will be held at Burnham Pavilion. For an additional $10, kids who attend the Aug. 14 clinic can stick around and enjoy a BBQ with the team at 5 p.m.

The Aug. 21 clinic will be at Maples Pavilion. All participants will receive a free Super Spikers T-shirt.

Team Cardinal is the official kids fan club of the 2011 Stanford women’s volleyball team. For a $25 membership fee, kids get a 2011 Team Cardinal T-shirt and receive free admission to most Stanford regular season sports, including soccer, women’s volleyball, women’s basketball and baseball, as well as select football and men’s basketball games. Some games may not be eligible for free admission. Check the Team Cardinal events page for full listing of eligible events.

Super Spikers are eligible for a $10 discount if they register online for Team Cardinal. For additional information, contact Jason Mansfield at (408) 410-0329 or

For more Team Cardinal information, contact Erin Blecha at (650) 725-2876.

Women’s basketball wins 11th straight Pac-10 title; 60th consecutive win at Maples

March 1st, 2011

dish_women_PlayersJEANETTE POHLEN scored 20 points and KAYLA PEDERSEN had 13 points and 10 rebounds as Stanford clinched its 11th straight Pac-10 championship with a 99-60 victory over Oregon on Saturday.

“It’s not easy to stay healthy, to compete. If it was easy, more people would do it,” Coach TARA VANDERVEER said of her program’s incredible run.

The Cardinal dominated in every phase to set a new home record with its 60th consecutive win at Maples Pavilion. The team hasn’t lost at home in more than four seasons.

Stanford also got a boost with the return of NNEMKADI OGWUMIKE, reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, who had 4 points and 4 rebounds in only 12 minutes after missing the last two games with a sprained right ankle.

“It’s debatable who’s the best team in the country,” Oregon coach Paul Westhead said. “[Stanford] would certainly get my vote.”

Read the full story on the Stanford Athletics website.