December 1, 2008
I think this trip was great for our team chemistry. As a freshman, it is so nice whenever we get a chance to get to know our teammates better, whether on the court or off and so it was great to be able to travel over a break where we had a little more time to do that. We got to spend some time together soaking in the scenery and enjoying things like the beach and the pool, but most importantly we came together and won three great basketball games. Playing three games in a row can be pretty difficult, but everyone stepped up and helped the team in little ways to make our wins against Purdue, Iowa State, and the University of Hawaii real collective efforts.
Overall, it was an awesome experience to have, and I can’t wait to carry over our success to our next road trip so we can continue our winning streak against the Blue Devils, the Gamecocks, and of course, the Lady Volunteers. We are going to be working very hard over the next two weeks and I know we’ll be ready!!
I hope everyone has a great holiday season and GO CARD!
November 19, 2008
I went on a tour of the station and got to see the different laboratories and classrooms, which all had beautiful views of the ocean from every window! I couldn't ask for a better place to study than the library at the station with its floor to ceiling windows looking out to the ocean! In one of the labs there were huge tanks of water. Some had baby hammerhead sharks in them and others had various types of fish whose populations have declined in the ocean.
My favorite part of the trip was getting to explore the tide pools. One of my professors, Mark Denny (whose daughter played basketball at Stanford), took my class down to the tide pools during low tide and pointed out different organisms and the different types of research he and others do at Hopkins.
I saw lots of sea anemones, which are pretty cool if you ask me, and there were also tons of shells and many types of seaweed. I also saw a couple of sea otters, which was awesome.
I had fun, learned a lot, and managed not to get drenched by the waves. Others weren't so lucky!
November 10, 2008
Basketball has been a blast. I have had a great time getting to know my teammates and playing with such dedicated individuals. I am extremely excited for what this team can do this season. The first two games have been exhilarating. It was nerve-racking but it was a lot of fun to finally play in a college game. I am really looking forward to what the rest of the season will bring.
Another plus Stanford offers is the weather. Back in my hometown in Illinois it has already started to snow!
November 5, 2008
This year, as a senior and unfortunately, injured, I’m in a little different state. My body is sore but in completely different ways. The physical therapy I do for about four hours a week makes the tiniest of muscles I never knew I had ache. Instead of my hamstrings, quads or calves killing me, the tiny muscle that flexes my second toe is sore.
Fortunately my brain isn’t quite as tired from preseason. After three years, the plays are pretty much engrained forever. I’m hoping that remains the case when I’m back on the court. Something tells me Tara will not cut me any slack if I mess up a play, even if I haven’t been running them.
From an emotional standpoint, I’m extremely excited about this season and anxious to get back out there. I can’t wait to see this team reach its potential. We have great depth and continue to have a lot of the intangibles that made us so successful last year such as toughness and team chemistry.
It’s weird watching everything from the sidelines in that I see things I never realized when I’m out there. I find myself learning from the coaching staff, not in the obvious ways, but watching things such as the sequence of drills, and breakdowns for guards and posts. I see more of the background work and concepts that when I’m out there are just drills. The bigger picture is a lot more apparent when you take a step away.
I’m trying to make the most of my experience on the sideline by learning from Tara about how she coaches. I think I would enjoy coaching as a hobby down the line so I’ve been trying to absorb as much as I can.
From Coach Morgan’s perspective, the team is coming together really nicely. I’m so proud of how well the freshmen especially performed in the exhibition against Chico State. It’s amazing how well they’ve adjusted. I just remember my first week of practice my freshman year I was concentrating so hard on remembering where I was supposed to be in each of the plays I could barely let myself just relax and play. Grace was one for one from three, Sarah dominated on her hook shot, Lindy was bombing, and Nneka killed it on the glass. I’m so proud of them.
I honestly think this team will have a lot to show the country, and while we lost an amazing player in Candice, we have several people more than ready to step up. I can’t wait to be out there playing with them, but in the meantime I’ll be cheering them on in any way I can.
October 20, 2008
For those of you who don’t know, I’m one of the two Sarah B’s on this team. But please, call me anything but that—it brings back too many memories of kindergarten with all the other Sarahs trying to steal my first name. So, to be exact, I’m Sarah Boruta, and if you’ve seen me around, I’ve probably been armed with a camera and tripod, trying to shoot you. This is because I will be doing the film work for the team this season, with the official title of “Video Intern”.
Now, I’m from Michigan, and what, you might ask, would make a born and raised Midwesterner want to move 2,500 miles across the country to work at Stanford? To be honest, it wasn’t a hard decision. I could sum it up and say that Stanford has everything a person could ever want, but I still have some space to fill, so I may as well list some of my reasons.
- Championship Basketball: Get ready to watch us cut down the nets!
- Tara and Her Staff: 700+ wins. 1996 Olympic gold medal. Need I say more?
- Warm Weather: In other words, a new wardrobe and an excuse to go clothes shopping
- California Cuisine: In-N-Out cheeseburgers with toasted buns and a lot of ketchup are just my style…
- Entertainment: The Bay Area is a land of opportunity; there’s always something fun to do!
…And until next time… Go Card!
March 23, 2008
Because I work on the post end with Amy I have had the opportunity to play defense against Jayne, Kayla, Morgan, and Ashley. Now I am 35 years young and not as energetic as I use to be. All of the posts are obviously stronger than me to say the least.
I found this out the first time Tara yelled, “B, get the pad!” Those are the most dreaded words I hear each day. “B, get that pad!” I hate the pad. It is an instrument of the devil. When the girls hear Tara yell for “the pad” they lick their chops. You would think I would love “the pad” but I hate it. One day Jayne lifted me off the floor with “the pad.”
This has been a wonderful season. I would like to think that “the pad” has had a lot to do with it but nothing short of a national championship will change my mind about it. I hate that @*%# pad!!!
This blog serves as my official boycott of the pad. Thank you for your support!
March 19, 2008
We came off an outstanding performance in the Pac-10 tournament (obviously bringing home the gold), and we are rolling towards the post-season. Everyone has been playing really well, and it’s been a blast getting to cheer the team on in our run towards the final four! I have great expectations for our team as we head into the NCAA tournament. It has been a great learning experience to watch everything unfold from the sidelines. Especially now that NCAAs are approaching quickly, I’m able to observe all the things that you seem to miss when you are absorbed in the atmosphere of March Madness. I’m so excited for our team, because I know we have the potential to cut down those nets!
Now that the brackets are final, we’re gearing up for our first game this Saturday! The team is confident about the position we’re in, and everyone seems determined to accomplish what we’ve been striving for since the off-season.
But we would never look beyond one game at a time in this journey. So, it’s about taking care of business this Saturday before even thinking about what comes next.
Even more importantly, it’s about improving our play and concentrating on turning our weaknesses into strengths. And the most important of all is enjoying the opportunity we have to be playing together as a team and as a family.
Although it’s difficult to be sitting the sidelines during this exciting time of the season, I know that I can still contribute to our success by being the best cheer leader for our team! There might be some fans that would want to challenge me on that, but I doubt anyone could take that title away.
We thank everyone for their continual support for our team and program!
Come out and enjoy a great tournament, and GO CARD!!!
March 14, 2008
So I decided to instead go into detail about what a wonderful senior year I’m having! (I don’t want to start any controversy and have it turn into catastrophic warfare.)
I got the most touching letter from Susan King Borchardt a few days ago, and it made me start thinking about the last four years of my life at Stanford. She said that no matter how old I got, I would always be “her freshman”. It seems like yesterday Susan and I were racing each other around the track or playing in the sweet 16 against Connecticut. The crazy part is, when I was a freshman I never thought about what it would feel like to be a senior. It’s something that you aren’t able to fathom until the moment arrives, and for me this feeling has made me cherish every single moment of every day with my teammates and coaches.
This year has been so special, and from the very beginning of the year I saw something in my teammates that I hadn’t seen in my four years at Stanford: Youth. I, at the time a 20 year old, was the second oldest player on the team! The youthful energy of my teammates just took over the team in a really good way, and when you carry that type of fearless mentality around, you meet no challenge that you cannot face. And I believe that is what has made our team so successful this year. I just want to take time to reflect on a few moments in games that have really made this year stand out…
- This was a very special win and experience for the team. Although it was early in the season, we knew we had a lot to prove to the rest of the world and we did. And Kayla made herself a household name in the process! This definitely was what jump-started our season and let us know that this team had something in them.
- No one really talks about this game, but seriously this might have been the most exciting win of the season! We were down like six points with under a minute left and came back in two overtimes and won. This game completely belonged to Mel. She gets a steal, converts on a pull up to get us within two, and then after they make one of two free throws she has the ball to run a three-point play for me. When I wasn’t open she took matters in her own hands and shot the three and it went in!!! We go into overtime. It also happened to be her first made three-pointer of her career, which makes me so incredibly proud. Unfortunately she has been out since the Virgin Islands with an ACL tear, but its clear that Mel has made a lasting impact on the season with her heroic antics in Utah.
- Another game that doesn’t get discussed, but was soooooo fun! First, it was really cool for me and Jayne to play against Dawn Staley, who coached us this summer and is someone I look up to in so many ways. The game didn’t feel like it was too out of control, and we always kind of felt like we were fine. We were down, but it didn’t feel like that much. Until I look up at the scoreboard after they score and it shows we’re down 19!!! We go into halftime with a 17-point deficit. The amazing thing? Nobody panicked. Nobody was upset; the locker room at halftime was filled with encouragement. We could have easily given up, felt overwhelmed at the probability of coming back, but we stuck together and we had so much trust that we were going to make it through together. The result? A 17-0 run to begin the second half, we ended up winning the game by nine. That was the day I realized that this is not some ordinary team. To me, that win in the Virgin Islands planted the seeds for this year, which has been nothing short of amazing.
Maybe I am getting older, but what I love most about this team is that they keep me young.
Thank you to my teammates, my wonderful coaches, and most importantly the fans!!!!!!!
March 13, 2008
Today we are on our regular schedule which means the coaches meet at 1pm to watch video, plan practice, go over upcoming recruiting trips and prepare for the NCAA Tournament. Our team will have a light practice today which will include going over our goal sheet (something we do after every game), watching our game Hi Lites from the Cal Championship game and talking about the beginning of the "third" and most important season!
We divide our season into 3 parts. Our preseason, conference season and post season. Our team has had both a fabulous preseason and conference season and now is the most exciting and fun part -- the NCAA Tournament. At this time of year my job is to focus on doing everything to give our team the best chance of being successful in the NCAA. The keys to our team making a long tournament run are 1) being healthy, 2) being well rested, 3) continuing to improve, 4) playing confidently, 5) preparing for all but playing one game at a time!!!
We are going to the NCAA, and our team is VERY excited about that opportunity. We will all be watching ESPN (ESPN will be here on campus showing our team's reaction!) and we can't wait to see who we will be playing.
We know three things. We are playing at Stanford, WE ARE READY and YOU will be LOUD!!!
Thank you all for your terrific support of our team and program. ENJOY
February 23, 2008
I thought I would share something interesting some of my teammates and I are doing this quarter. Ash, Jill, Kayla and I are all participating in a sleep study for athletes. The goal is to see if increased sleep leads to increased athletic performance as well as overall alertness.
One of the requirements is that we get ten hours of sleep a night, which definitely gets tricky with our busy schedules! We also keep track of our daily alertness and take PVT reaction time tests twice a day. The times are supposed to decrease as we get more sleep. (Ash and I definitely have room for improvement!)
Another part of the study is that we are required to wear watches, called Actiwatch, which serve as motion sensors to track our sleep. They are quite stylish, all of our teammates are jealous. (Not really, they are actually quite unstylish, but we manage.)
All of us have weekly meetings with Cheri, the leader of the study, at the Sleep Center. She has us fill out questionnaires about how we are feeling and collects our sleep journals. Ash and I bike over together every Tuesday. I definitely enjoy our lovely bonding time as well as the scenery.
So far, I have noticed a difference in my alertness throughout the day with ten hours of sleep. I feel like I have more energy, especially at practice. I highly recommend sleeping as much as you can.
According to Dr. Dement, the Sleep and Dreams professor, "Drowsiness is red alert," which means people are in danger when they don't get enough sleep. So, get all the beauty sleep you need!
P.S. I should also mention that the sleep study counts as a class. I've decided that sleeping is definitely the best way to get units!!
P.P.S. Save a tree! RECYCLE!!!!!
February 16, 2008
Ok so now onto my topic: Oregon. I feel that Oregon is a very underrated state by everyone on the team (Jill excluded) and that people do not enjoy the full benefits of such a wonderful state. However, I do not claim to be associated with anywhere beyond, and including, Oregon City. AAU teams from all over the nation congregate in this little town and take this small part of a huge state as a representation of what the rest of the state must be like. Even my roommate believed that her mother, who is from this fantastic state, grew up in covered wagons, like in the computer game “The Oregon Trail.”
Let me set the record straight: where Jill and I are from, things are a little different. Especially Portland, where I usually find myself when I am looking for something to do. It is a big city and I am constantly discovering new restaurants and boutiques. However, it is not too big that you get overwhelmed. I always tell people that it is big enough where you can get lost, but if you take a second, you can usually figure out where you are. Plus, it is extremely clean, as far as cities go.
My usual cruising spot is NW 23rd St., where many of my favorite restaurants are. A place that I am particularly proud of knowing its location is Voodoo Doughnuts. This little hole-in-the-wall shop is now open 24 hours a day, but when I was in high school, it was open during the obscure hours of 10pm to 10am. The doughnuts here are very peculiar, for they have combinations you would not expect: a glazed doughnut with Captain Crunch or Fruit Loops on top and one that I have yet to try, and doubt I will, a maple bar with a strip of bacon. On any random Friday or Saturday night, when I have nothing to do, I may hit up Voodoo Doughnuts with my friends, which turns into a 20-minute car ride blasting old school Britney Spears songs.
As I sit here in my room writing this blog, Jillian is sprawled out on my couch, and for some reason I am reminded of high school basketball when Jillian was the best thing since sliced bread (and she still is!) and I was extremely intimidated by her. But that’s how every person on every other team should feel when they look at her. When she gets back on the court, expect greatness.
February 4, 2008
Some of you may be thinking, “Why in the world is she writing about her pet desert tortoise?” Well, I think first off he is really cool, and second, there are many things about desert tortoises that people don’t know, which I found out when Coach Kate was asking me a million questions about desert tortoises one day. In fact, she was the one that gave me this brilliant idea to write about Rocky because she was so intrigued.
So to continue with my blog ... one thing many people don’t know about desert tortoises is that they go into hibernation and sleep for almost 6 months. That is a very long time; I would love to be able to sleep that long!
At the end of the winter, Rocky usually wakes up and starts to move around again. Before hibernation though, my mom tries to feed him as much as possible so he stays healthy all winter. Around late October we put him in a box in the garage with newspaper so he’s nice and comfortable and my mom even puts a stuffed animal with him in there too. Haha! She also checks on him every now and then to make sure he is OK. So basically we only have a desert tortoise as a pet for half a year. It’s really weird.
Another thing people don’t really know is what desert tortoises eat. Rocky loves lots of different types of lettuce, carrots, fruit, squashes, and the occasional hibiscus flower, which desert tortoises love. My mom really gets into it and buys him a wide variety of food. It’s like a buffet! He eats better than I do.
Something really funny about Rocky is that he actually knows when people are around and if you call his name he will come to you, slowly but surely. He’s quicker than you think though, don’t let the rumors about turtles and tortoises fool you.
During the day when he’s not in hibernation, he stays on our front porch, which is a pretty big area for him and he can roam around. We are thinking about putting a camera out there to see what he actually does when we are not around. I think he throws parties with his tortoise friends but that’s just me.
He’s probably the coolest pet ever and sometimes he and my cat interact which is pretty funny. I like to think of Rocky as my little dinosaur.
On a basketball note, I just want to say how exciting this season has been so far and how truly blessed I am to be in such a great program with such amazing people.
Jeanette Pohlen #23
February 1, 2008
There is a hot button topic that has become an issue of concern this year in women’s college basketball. Referees everywhere are cracking down on PDH’s this year. That’s right folks, I’m talking about public displays of headband.
Entire teams must wear the same color headband, and a color that matches the uniform. There cannot be too many logos or endorsements on the headband, and size is sometimes a touchy subject. Infuriated, players with lucky headbands tried to beat the system and wear them anyway but no player has succeeded. Stanford captains, Candice Wiggins and Jillian Harmon, are often sent back to their teammates to bear the bad news.
While they may not get all the game calls right, referees are serious about headband infractions. A few times, wild haired players like Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and Cissy Pierce play an entire game working tirelessly on defense to keep their player away from the basket and their hair away from their face.
So why the sudden fuss over head apparel you wonder? Some studies show this isn’t an overnight trend. Headwear and hairstyles are very conscious and strategic choices made by the Stanford players.
Sophomore JJ Hones always wears her hair in a neat bun in belief that a neat player plays a neat game. Center, Jayne Appel, better known for her versatile stash of drop steps and power slides, also keeps an arsenal of variations on buns, pony tails, braids, and twists. Personally, I have experimented with both braids and twists, and currently I wear a high ponytail with a broad white tie-on headband, sporty yet casual cute at the same time. Injured point guard, Melanie Murphy, another New Yorker with style, wore her headband thick and low over her ponytail. Even Jillian Harmon’s famous “woke up this morning with this bun” hairstyle is more planned than she lets on; reports claim she wears this style to both games and dress-up events.
Objective and sensible people agree, “Refs, leave the players alone!" If the players want to wear their hair and headbands a certain way, then so be it. Basketball was better when the players focused on themselves and the refs focused on their calls.
January 25, 2008
What a lovely trip to get out of the way! I wanted nothing more than to get to Arizona, win two games, and get out!
The team really pulled it together this weekend and showed a lot of fight in the second game. Jeannette making those two free throws to seal the deal vs. ASU really showed how our team expects contributions from the whole team to win a game. It took effort from everyone to pull together and get the wins that we needed. Of course, there were many other highlights of this road trip besides the two wins.
The seniors of last year told me stories about Tara that they said they would never forget. This weekend, Tara made a memory in my mind that I cannot imagine ever slipping away.
As we got to Arizona for our practice the day after our win most of the girls were still putting on their ankle braces when Cissy and I began to watch Kate and Tara play one on one. We decided to make it more interesting and join in on the game.
Now, I have never really seen the coaches truly play basketball, so this was a new sight for me. And what a sight it was. Tara and I were on one team versus Cissy and Kate. A little one-sided on the speed factor, if you ask me. We had been going full court and Tara got a couple of lay-ups but mostly was lobbing the ball inside. The final time down the court when Tara and I were down by a couple of baskets she said, "Next basket wins," as she lobbed it in the air. I made a lay-up and the game was over. Kate and Cissy still claim that they won the game. I guess it really is true that the head coach has the final say.
Being a teammate of Tara's is something that I will never forget. The best part about the game is that Bobbie video taped the whole thing. Expect it on you-tube soon.
I would say that this trip really defined our team as one that fights when we get down. We have lots to work on this week with the big game coming up on Saturday. Can't get my hopes up that Tara will be playing with us this week again as it will be back to business so we can get done what needs to be done.
January 8, 2008
When I decided to come to Stanford, I knew I was making a big sacrifice because I would barely be able to see my family for nine months out of the year. With my family living 3,000 miles away from campus, it isn’t very realistic for them to fly out every weekend for games, especially since I have been hurt. So I was extremely excited to get the opportunity to back home to Yarmouth, Maine for Christmas.
After our huge win against Tennessee, I rushed to the airport to catch my flight home and thirteen long hours later, I was back in Maine, just barely making it back before an impending snowstorm hit New England. While the constant sunshine and temperatures above sixty degrees are two things that I love about attending Stanford, it doesn’t feel completely like Christmas without snow. So while I was home, I spent as much time as I could enjoying the twenty degree temperatures and three feet of snow that covered my entire yard.
Once I got back from a short Christmas break, it was back to practice to get ready for Pac-10 play. And after a long month of rehab and working myself back into shape after back surgery, I was finally cleared to participate in practice. After five long months of not being able to play, it felt awesome to be back on the court with my teammates instead of being stuck on the sidelines. It is a great feeling knowing that I can make it through a whole practice without any pain!
I want to thank everyone who comes out and supports our team! Come out and watch us make our way through out Pac-10 schedule. It means a lot to all of us!
January 1, 2008
The trip itself was glorious in that it finally allowed me to catch up on some MUCH needed sleep. After two weeks of cramming and practice, I am more than a little sleep deprived.
Although, fortunately I think finals went pretty well. During dead and finals week, I spent a majority of the time trying to catch up on a project I was making for ME203-Engineering Manufacturing and Design. I had to create my own product from scratch, and I chose to make a basketball shooting aide. The basic concept was a guard that was raised about 3” above the rim that made you shoot with higher arc. The manufacturing was an interesting process. I had to bend steel using a torch and pliers into an 18” diameter ring (for those of you that don’t know- that is the size of the rim). It also included milling pieces from aluminum, heat forming poly-carb, welding, and drilling and tapping. If you don’t understand any of what this entails-before this class neither did I.
It’s amazing how much you can learn in 9 weeks! I am extremely glad to be done with that class. Although it was a fun experience, it was extremely stressful. After all, I can make up problem sets, missed lectures and readings on the road, but it is impossible to make up shop time. But I guess that is what I get for undertaking an engineering major.
But I’m hoping it will all pay off in the end. I want to be sure to get the best education I can-after all that’s why we go to Stanford.
Anyway, to conclude I’ll just say COME OUT AND WATCH US BEAT TENNESSEE!! We’ve been working our tails off, and you should definitely come see our efforts at work.