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3 STANFORD A DEEP FRONT LINE AND GIFTED GUARDS WILL KEEP THE CARDINAL IN CONTENTION

Nov. 17, 1997
Nov. 17, 1997

Table of Contents
Nov. 17, 1997

Faces In The Crowd
Soccer
College Basketball 97-98

3 STANFORD A DEEP FRONT LINE AND GIFTED GUARDS WILL KEEP THE CARDINAL IN CONTENTION

Coach Tara VanDerveer watches a ton of videotape, but she has
yet to view a tape of the Cardinal's 83-82 overtime loss to Old
Dominion in the national semifinals last March. "Actually, I
haven't watched our [1992] championship win over Western
Kentucky, either," she says, "but I usually do watch the losses.
With this one, I just think, What's the point? Basketball isn't
about coulda, shoulda. It's about did."

This is an article from the Nov. 17, 1997 issue Original Layout

Last year, of course, Stanford didn't, despite having the best
backcourt in the nation and a deep and talented frontcourt. For
the third year in a row the Cardinal made it to the Final Four
only to exit after one game. "I guess that makes us the Buffalo
Bills of women's college basketball," says fifth-year senior
forward Vanessa Nygaard.

That also makes Stanford perhaps the most motivated team in
America. "I think you're going to see a more pissed-off attitude
on this team," says Nygaard. "I know I'm going to be thinking
about the Old Dominion game a lot. But I'm excited about this
year because without last year's seniors, getting back to the
Final Four will be a bigger challenge than usual."

The graduation of national player of the year Kate Starbird and
point guard Jamila Wideman has left the Cardinal depleted. But
the new backcourt of sophomores Christina Batastini and Milena
Flores is promising, though untested. The 5'10" Batastini likes
to run, and the 5'6" Flores, who made the Pac-10 all-freshman
team last year despite getting limited playing time behind
Wideman, may turn out to be one of the nation's best point
guards in transition. "She can pass on a rope and get it to
people upcourt better than anyone else I've coached," says
VanDerveer.

If it can stay healthy, the Cardinal's oft-injured frontcourt
will be daunting by midseason. As practice opened, senior center
Olympia Scott was nursing a sore left foot, and 6'4" senior
power forward Naomi Mulitauaopele was rehabbing a torn cartilage
in her right knee, but their recoveries are expected to be
swift. VanDerveer is keeping an eager eye out for three-time
volleyball All-America Kristin Folkl, who gave up basketball for
almost two years but rejoined the team weeks before the NCAA
tournament because of the rash of frontcourt injuries. The 6'2"
Folkl, a forward, quickly became one of Stanford's most
effective players, shooting 70.7% from the field and leading the
Cardinal in rebounds per game (8.2). She'll be back on the
basketball court after the end of volleyball season. "That'll be
around Christmas," says VanDerveer, smiling. "I know I believe
in Santa."

And Stanford fans believe in their team: Though the price of
reserved tickets to women's basketball at 7,391-seat Maples
Pavilion has risen to $15, the same as for Cardinal men's games,
season-ticket sales have exceeded last year's total of 3,987.
"This is going to be a fun team to watch," says VanDerveer. "We
need to improve our defense and rebounding, and the jury is
still out on our guards, but I am very optimistic. We have a
shot at it, and that's all you can ask for." --KELLI ANDERSON

JOHN W. MCDONOUGH FOLKL WILL BE A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING WHEN SHE REJOINS THE CARDINAL AROUND CHRISTMASTIME [Kristin Folkl in game]

Returning Starters [Three]
Points per Game '96-97 84.3
PPG by All Returning Players 47.5