2007 NCAA Replay: Neb., Stanford, PSU, TX, USC, FL, Cal, UCLA, and WA

Photo by Paul R. Kucher IV


Back in November, we looked at the recruiting classes from 2004 to 2009 that were signed by Florida, Nebraska, Penn State, Stanford, Texas, and USC.  To look at that post, Click Here.

We chose those programs because they all are among the premier programs in the country, year-in and year-out, and chose that time frame because it allowed us to look at at least four classes for each of the 2007, 2008, and 2009 seasons — which, not coincidentally, are the seasons in which Penn State won its three consecutive NCAA Championship seasons.

We limited the pool of recruits to players who were ranked in the top 20 of their respective classes by prepvolleyball.com (as reported by the schools themselves or other publicly available sources).

Our highly subjective, influenced by extreme observational bias, conclusion?  The not-so-earth shattering notion that success in NCAA Division 1 Women’s Volleyball isn’t all about recruiting.  All six schools attracted many high-profile recruits during that six year period, and several schools recruited just as well as, or better than (based on the perceptions at the time, not hindsight), Penn State, the eventual champion in the 2007-2009 time-frame.

In today’s post, we zoom in on only one year — 2007, focusing on how those six teams performed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament and the high-profile recruits they had on their rosters.

We start by looking at the AVCA Coaches Poll preseason rankings for our teams, compare that to a summary recruiting table showing the top-ranked recruits who were on the 2007 rosters of our teams, and discuss how each of the schools viewed their prospects for the 2007 season.  We include complete, sortable 2007 rosters for each team, with links to each player’s bio.

Finally, we take a look at how each of our six teams did in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, as well as the performance of three other teams –California, UCLA and Washington — we had the poor judgment not to include in our six-team cohort.

2007 Preseason Polls and Top-20 Recruits Summary

Given the recruiting success — and success in 2006 — of the six teams in our cohort, it shouldn’t be surprising that all six were ranked among the top eight teams in the 2007 Preseason AVCA Poll, as shown in the table below.  Two teams we didn’t analyze — UCLA and Washington — also made the AVCA preseason Top 8.  Both those teams made the NCAA Semi-Finals in 2006.

[Editors Note: No slight intended to Bruin and Husky fans — we had to draw the line somewhere, and did so in what undoubtedly was a wholely unsatisfactory manner.]

    2007 Preseason CSTV/AVCA Division I Top 8 Coaches Poll

    School2007 Preseason Rank2006 NCAA Tournament

    (Finals: Qwest Center, Omaha, Nebraska)
    2006 Record2006 Final AVCA Poll
    Nebraska1First - Defeated Stanford (3-1)33-11 (60 votes)
    Stanford2Second - Lost to Nebraska (3-1)30-42
    Penn State3Seattle Regional Finals - Lost to Washington (3-1)32-35
    Texas4Austin Regional Finals - Lost to Stanford (3-1)24-77
    UCLA5Semi-Finals - Lost to Nebraska (3-1)33-43
    USC6Honolulu Regional Semi-Finals - Lost to Hawai'i (3-2)27-58
    Florida7Gainesville Regional Semi-Finals - Lost to Minnesota (3-1)30-310
    Washington8Semi-Finals - Lost to Stanford (3-0)29-54
    We’ve also created the following table, showing the total Top-5, Top 6-10, Top 11-20 recruits, and Total Top-20 recruits on the  rosters of each of our six schools for the 2007 Season.  Based on these totals (and emphasizing once again, viewing them from the perceptions at the time, not hindsight), you could make a case for any of our six schools as a candidate for 2007 National Champion. If you continue reading the next section — 2007 Preseason Outlook — you’ll find that each of the six schools did precisely that (some more emphatically than others).

    Top-20 Recruits - 2007 Rosters

    TeamTop-5 RecruitsTop 6-10 RecruitsTop 11-20 RecruitsTotal Top 20 Recruits
    Penn State2316

2007 Preseason Outlook: How the Teams Saw Themselves (with Sortable Rosters and Recruiting Information)

  • Nebraska – 2007 AVCA Preseason #1

The Nebraska volleyball team finds itself in a familiar position, as the Huskers were selected as the nation’s top-ranked team in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll released Tuesday afternoon.  The Huskers, who finished 33-1 en route to the school’s third NCAA title in 2006, return five AVCA All-Americans among their nine returning letterwinners, highlighted by AVCA National Players of the Year Sarah Pavan and Christina Houghtelling. 2007 preseason press release, GoHuskers.com.

Nebraska had good reason for optimism heading into the 2007 season.  Although the Huskers lost 2006 starting OH 6-2 Dani Mancuso , and 2006 starting L 5-11 Dani Busboom to graduation, they returned all-everything Sarah Pavan (2006 AVCA National Player of the Year, three-time 1st-team AVCA All-American, and two-time Big 12 Player of the Year).

But the Cornhuskers weren’t basing their optimism solely on Pavan.  The 2007 Nebraska team also could count on three other returning AVCA All-Americans — 6-2 Jr. OH Jordan Larson (1st Team AVCA AA), 5-10 So. S Rachel Holloway (3rd Team AVCA AA), and 6-3 Sr. MB Tracy Stalls (2nd Team AVCA AA).

An even bigger plus was the much-anticipated return of 6-2 Sr. OH Christina Houghtelling, who had been the 2005 AVCA National Player of the Year but who had missed the 2006 season following shoulder surgery.

Still, Nebraska understood there would be challenges in 2007.  Among Nebraska’s many accomplishments in 2006 was to become the first women’s volleyball team in Nebraska’s history to win a regional title on the road.

Their victories in the Semi-Final and Final, however, had  come in the the relatively friendly confines of the Qwest Center, in Omaha Nebraska (where, the  2007 Nebraska Media Guide informed us, the Cornhuskers had overcome the “burden of being the favorite in front of the largest [crowd] in college volleyball history.”)

Editor’s Note: In 2008, that 2006 attendance record was broken at the 2008 NCAA National Semifinal match between Penn State and Nebraska, which was watched by a crowed of 17, 430.

Although that burden would be avoided in 2007 — the 2007 NCAA Finals were scheduled for the ARCO Arena in Sacramento California — if Nebraska made the 2007 Finals, the change of venue would likely pose different challenges for Nebraska.

Two of the 2007 Cornhuskers were Top-5 recruits, and another 3 were Top 11-20.

    2007 Nebraska Roster: Top-20 Recruits

    Pavan, Sarah; 6-5 RS; #1 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2004; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; considered the top recruit in the 2004 classLarson, Jordan; 6-2 OH; #2 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2005; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; 2004 U.S. Junior National Team (Gold Medal) MVP, Best Receiver, All-Tournament - 2004 NORCECA Continental Junior ChampionshipsCooper, Kori; 6-2 MB; #12 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2006; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; Co-captain, U.S. Youth National Team (4th-place, 2005 Under-18 World Championships, Macau, China and 1st-place, 2004 NORCECA Girls’ Youth Championships) Licht, Lindsey; 6-5 RS; #11 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2007; Mizuno/Volleyball Magazine AA; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50Mueller, Tara; 6-0 OH;#12 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2007; 2nd-team Mizuno/Volleyball Magazine AA; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; 2006 U.S. Junior National Team (injured)


  • Stanford – 2007 AVCA Preseason #2

We all feel that the upcoming season is a great opportunity.  We have an experienced, talented and motivated team. If we work hard every day, compete for positions and develop into a team, we will have a memorable season.  Stanford Head Coach John Dunning, quoted in April 14, 2007 press release by gostanford.com.

Stanford, which lost in the 2006 NCAA Final match to Nebraska, was another school with legitimate title aspirations for 2007.  The Cardinal returned six starters from the 2006 squad, including 6-0 Jr. OH Cynthia Barboza (2006 AVCA 1st-Team AA), 5-11 Sr. S Bryn Kehoe (2006 2nd-Team AVCA AA) and Foluke Akinradewo (2006 1st-Team AVCA AA).  Barboza and  Akinradewo were in the starting lineup for the 2007 US National Team at the Pan Am Games in Brazil in the summer of 2007. The three other returning starters were 6-2 Sr. MB Franci Girard , 6-1 Jr. OH Erin Waller, and 6-0 Jr. L/DS Jessica Fishburn.

Adding even more firepower was Stanford’s four-person freshman class, which was considered by many to be the best in the nation.  The headliner was Gatorade National Player of the Year 6-4 OH Alix Klineman, with 6-4 MB/OH Stephanie Browne ranked #16, 6-1 OH/S Cassidy Lichtman ranked #20, and 5-7 L/DS Gabi Ailes having been the Nebraska State Player of the Year.

Four of the 2007 Stanford players were Top-5 recruits, 1 was Top 6-10, and another 2 were Top 11-20.

    2007 Stanford Roster: Top-20 Recruits

    Kehoe, Bryn; 5-10 S; #10 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2004; 2003 NPOY; finalist, Prepvolleyball's 2002 NPOY; 2004 Junior National Team (1st at NORCECA) Barboza, Cynthia; 6-0 OH; #1 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2005; Gatorade NPOY - 2004 and 2005; Volleyball Magazine High School POY 2005; youngest member of U.S. Women's National Training Team, 2003 Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic (Bronze Medal) Akinradewo, Foluke; 6-3 MB; #4 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2005; Gatorade Florida POY; 2004 USA Junior National Team at NORCECA (Gold Medal) Okogbaa, Janet; 6-3 MB/OH; #2 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2006; 2004 Junior Olympic National Championship MVP; PrepVolleyball's 2003 NFOY; Gatorade Florida POY; 2004 and 2005 U.S. Junior National teams
    Klineman, Alix; 6-4 OH; #1 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2007; PrepVolleyball.com's 2006 Senior POY; 2006 Gatorade NPOY; 2006 U.S. Women's Junior National Team - Gold Medal at the NORCECA Continental Women's Junior Championship (led team with 4.88 pts/gm and 3.88 k/gm); Best Scorer, 2005 U-18 World Championships, Macau, China Browne, Stephanie; 6-5 MB; #16 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2007; USA Youth and Junior National Team, 2004 to 2006 (led Gold Medal winning 2004 USA Team in blocking at NORCECA in Puerto Rico)Lichtman, Cassidy; 6-1 S/OH; #20 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2007; PrepVolleyball.com National Junior of the Year finalist; Volleyball Magazine AA


  • Penn State – 2007 AVCA Preseason #3

The preseason coaches poll is based on potential not performance.  We have to work hard and see if the results on the court will match up to the goals of the team.  Penn State Head Coach Russ Rose, quoted in GoPSUsports August 14, 2007 press release.

Penn State returned seven starters, including 6-4 Jr. OH Nicole Fawcett (2006 1st-Team AVCA AA, 2005 AVCA National Freshman of the Year, and 2005 2nd-Team AVCA AA), 6-3 So. OH Megan Hodge (2006 AVCA National Freshman of the Year, 2006 1st-Team AVCA AA, and the first player ever to be named both Big Ten Freshman and Big Ten Player of the Year), 6-2 Jr. MH Christa Harmotto (2006 2nd-Team AVCA AA) and 6-3 Sr. MH Melissa Walbridge (2005 2nd-Team AVCA AA).  The three other returning starters for the Nittany Lions were 6-2 Sr. OH/Opp. Kate Price (2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year), 5-8 Jr. L Roberta Holehouse, and 6-0  Alisha Glass (Big Ten All-Freshmen Team).

The Nittany Lions lost three players to graduation — 6-5 Opp. Cassy Salyer, and defensive specialists Kris Brown and Ashley Fidler — but welcomed three outstanding freshmen: 6-5 Opp. Blair Brown (a redshirt freshman), 5-9 DS/L Alyssa D’Errico, and 6-3 MH Arielle Wilson.

Two of the 2007  Penn State players were Top-5 recruits, 3 were Top 6-10, and 1 was Top 11-20.

    2007 Penn State Roster: Top-20 Recruits

    Fawcett, Nicole ; 6-3 OH; #3 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2005; USA Junior National Team - 2003, 2004 (2004 squad won the NORCECA gold medal in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada); 2004 Ohio Gatorade POY; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 Harmotto, Christa ; 6-2 MH; #14 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2005; Gatorade Pennsylvania POY; 2004 USA Women's Junior National Team (Gold Medal - NORCECA Championship in Winnipeg, Canada); Mizuno 1st-Team AAHodge, Megan; 6-3 OH; #1 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2006; 2006 Gatorade NPOY; Gatorade North Carolina OY (2005 & 2006); Volleyball Magazine NPOY; 1st-team Mizuno Volleyball AA; 2006 National High School Senior Athlete of the Year, National High School Coaches Association; 2006 USA Junior National Team and the 2004 and 2005 USA Youth National teams; Most Valuable Player and "Best Attacker" at the 2004 NORCECA Championships in Cataño, Puerto Rico
    Glass, Alisha ; 6-0 S; #6 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2006; Gatorade Michigan POY; 2004 USA Youth National Team (won Gold Medal in Puerto Rico at the NORCECA Games, Glass named "Best Server"); holds National and State High School records for season aces (296), career aces (937) and career kills (3,584) Brown, Blair; 6-5 Opp.; #7 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2006; Gatorade Virginia POY (2004 and 2005); 2004 USA Youth National Team (won NORCECA Championships in Puerto Rico); holds Virginia State record for career kills (1,463) and solo blocks (307); (Redshirt in 2006)Wilson, Arielle ; 6-3 MH; #7 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2007; Mizuno's Best Middle Blocker, 2006


  • Texas – 2007 AVCA Preseason #4

Among the key returnees for #4-ranked Texas were 6-2 RS Sr. MB Brandy Magee (2005 3rd-Team AVCA AA), 6-3 So. RS/S Ashley Engle (2006 2nd-Team AVCA AA, 2006 Big 12 Freshman of the Year ), 6-5 Jr. MB Lauren Paolini, 5-10 Sr. S Michelle Moriarty (2006 3rd-Team AVCA AA), and 6-4 So. OH Destinee Hooker (2006 Honorable Mention AVCA  AA).  Also returning for the Longhorns  were 5-9 Sr. L Alyson Jennings ( 2005 Longhorn Team MVP) and 5-9 So. DS Heather Kisner.

Texas also welcomed yet another stellar recruiting class — this one named #2 in the nation, led by 6-2 OH Juliann Faucette and 6-5 utility player Jennifer Doris, plus 6-2 utility player Elizabeth Graham, 5-9 DS Chelsey Klein, and 5-9 DS Alexandra LewisFaucette was named Big 12 Preseason Rookie of the Year (an award we think falls into the “Why?” category).

Three of the 2007  Texas players were Top-5 recruits and 3 were Top 6-10 recruits.

    2007 Texas Roster: Top-20 Recruits

    Christian, Jen; 6-3 OH; #8 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2004; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; Gatorade Arizona POY; Paoloni, Lauren; 6-5 MB;
    #7 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2005; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; Mizuno HS AA; Gatorade Michigan POY
    Engle, Ashley; 6-4 S/RS; #3 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2006; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; 2005 U.S. Youth National Team (4th at FIVA Youth U-18 World Championships in Macau, China, July 2006, totaled 15 points in the bronze-medal match)
    Hooker, Destinee; 6-4 OH; #8 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2006; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; 2005 Track and Field News High Jump AA Faucette, Juliann; 6-2 OH; #2 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2007; 2006 USA Women's Junior National Team (Gold Medal, NORCECA Continental Women's Junior Championships in Monterrey, Mexico -- 2nd-highest scorer on the team that summer); Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; All-California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), 2005 and 2006 Doris, Jennifer; 6-5, MB; #3 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2007; 2006 USA Women's Junior National Team (Gold Medal, NORCECA Continental Women's Junior Championships in Monterrey, Mexico); Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; All-Texas First Team, 2005 and 2006


  • UCLA – 2007 AVCA Preseason #5

UCLA — not one of our six cohorts (but proof, if proof were needed, that there are many excellent NCAA Division 1 Women’s Volleyball programs) —  returned 11 letterwinners and four starters from its 33-4 2006 squad, which had lost to Nebraska (3-1) in the 2006 NCAA Semi-Finals (its first Final Four since 1994).

The key returnee for UCLA was Jr. S Nellie Spicer (2006 1st-Team AVCA AA), with 5-11 Sr. MB Rachell Johnson and 6-1 Sr. MB Meghan Schoen providing additional experience.  Experience at the outside position was provided by 6-0 Jr. OH Ali Daley ( 2005 Big West Conference Freshman of the Year) and 6-1 Jr. OH Kaitlin Sather (2005 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team).

  • USC – 2007 AVCA Preseason #6

I think we should be the hunt for the national championship.  I will be very disappointed if we don’t continue to get better as the season progresses. We will not be Final Four-caliber at the start of the season but by November, we should be very good. It’s important for the freshmen to learn how to develop practice intensity and how to prepare. We need to learn how to finish better, but if we are able to handle the challenges, we should have an opportunity to play for a national title.  Head Coach Mick Haley, quoted in USC’s 2007 Season Outlook.

USC returned 10 letterwinners and seven starters from its 27-5 2006 team.  It lost four players to graduation, with the key loss being 5-5 L Debora Seilhamer (2006 Asics/Volleyball Magazine Defensive POY and 2006 3rd-Team AVCA AA), who set the USC and Pac-10 Conference career marks for digs.

A key returner for the Trojans was 6-4 Sr. Opp./OH Asia Kaczor (2006 2nd-Team AVCA AA), who broke USC’s single-season school kill record with 563 kills  in 2006.  Other important returnees were 6-2 Sr. OH (and team co-captain) Diane Copenhagen (2006 All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention), 6-1 RS So. OH Jessica Gysin (who played in her first full season in 2006 after missing the 2004 and 2005 seasons due to injuries), and 2006 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year 5-11 So. S Taylor Carico.

Two highly-touted freshman for USC were 6-2 OH Kimmee Roleder, who had played on the U.S. Junior National Team in 2007 and traveled to Thailand for the Junior World Championship, and 6-3 MB Zoe Garrett, who also played with the 2007 U.S. Junior National Team, and finished second in blocks among all players at the Junior World Championship in Thailand.  Commenting on his freshman class,  Mick Haley said:

These freshmen have the ability to drive the other team off the net with their serving and that’s special for a group of young players. With the talent amidst a large roster, USC is aware of its potential and chances for a long postseason run.

Two of the 2007  USC players were Top-5 recruits, 2 were Top 6-10 recruits, and 2 were Top 11-20 recruits.

    2007 USC Roster: Top-20 Recruits

    Gysin, Jessica; 6-1 OH; #5 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2004; Student Sports National Junior of the Year;Volleyball Magazine's 2001 NPOY and Student Sports National Sophomore of the Year; Gatorade California POY; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50

    Bishop, Katelyn; 6-2 MB; #11 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2004; three-year member, USA Volleyball Girls Youth National Team (NORCECA Gold Medal in 2002; 4th-place in World Championships in Poland in 2003); Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; Gatorade Indiana Gatorade POY Copenhagen, Diane; 6-2 MB; #15 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2004; three-year member, USA Volleyball Girls Youth National Team (NORCECA Gold Medal in 2002; 4th-place in World Championships in Poland in 2003); Volleyball Magazine Fab 50
    Carico, Taylor; 5-11 S; #5 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2006; 2005 Andi Collins Award (Top Senior Setter, PrepVolleyball.com); three years on the United States Youth National TeamRoleder, Kimmee; 6-2 OH; #6 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2007; 2007 U.S. Junior National Team (4th in Thailand, Roleder was listed as the 5th best spiker for the tournament, hitting .389 and finishing 7th in scoring with 76 points)

    Garrett, Zoe; 6-2 MB; #8 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2007; 2007 Junior National Team (4th in Junior World Championship in Thailand, where she was 2nd overall in blocking); 2006 U.S. Junior National Team (Gold Medal, NORCECA Championship in Mexico); Volleyball Magazine Fab 50


  • Florida – 2007 AVCA Preseason #7

Florida returned 10 letterwinners and all seven starters from its 2006 team, including 5-11 Sr. S Angie McGinnis (2006 1st-Team AVCA AA, 2006 SEC Player of the Year), 5-9 So. L Elyse Cusack (2006 SEC Defensive Player of the Year), and 6-0 RS Sr. Opp. Amber McCray ( 2006 2nd-Team AVCA AA), who played for most of the 2006 season with a partial tear to her left rotator cuff.

Three of the 2007  Florida players were Top-5 recruits and 1 was a Top 11-20 recruit.

    2007 Florida Roster: Top-20 Recruits

    Marcie Hampton; 6-2 OH; #4 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2004; USA Junior National Team in 2001, 2002 and 2004; Captain - Gold Medal USA Youth National team in 2002; Best Attacker - NORCECA tournament; Florida Gatorade POY - 2002; Top three finalist for Gatorade NPOY - 2002; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 Angie McGinnis; 5-11 S; #2 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2004; Michigan Gatorade POY (2002 and 2003); Best Setter - 2004 NORCECA Championships (U.S. won Gold Medal); Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 Kelsey Bowers; 6-2 MB; #5 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2005; 2005 Volleyball Magazine 1st Team All-American; 2004 Class 4A Florida POYCallie Rivers; 5-11 OH; #13 ranking, PrepVolleyball.com 2007; Volleyball Magazine Fab 50; 2006 Gatorade Florida POY; 2006 Mizuno/Volleyball Magazine 2nd-team AA


  • Washington – 2007 AVCA Preseason #8

Washington (another excellent program that we didn’t include among our six cohorts) returned five players with starting experience from its 2006 NCAA semifinalist team, including 6-2 Sr. OH Christal Morrison (2006 1st-Team AVCA AA, 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year), 6-1 Jr. MB Jessica Swarbrick (2006 3rd-Team AVCA AA), and 6-1 Sr. MB Alesha Deesing (2006 All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention).

Other returning starters included 5-9 Sr. OH Stevie Mussie (the 2006 NCAA Seattle Regional MVP), and 5-7 So. L Tamari Miyashiro (2006 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team).

2007 Tournament Results (With a Few Facts You Might Not Remember)

Penn State, which had been ranked #1 in the AVCA coaches poll since October, but which was seeded #3 in the NCAA Tournament, defeated Stanford, which had been ranked #4 in the AVCA poll, but which was seeded #1,  in front of the second largest crowd in NCAA history to watch a women’s volleyball championship match.

Three NCAA Tournament team records were set in the 2007 Tournament (Source: Wikipedia):

  • Hitting %  (Tournament): Penn State — .424% (.514 vs. Siena, .602 vs. Albany, .384 vs. Michigan, .530 vs. BYU, .347 vs. California, .291 vs. Stanford).
  • Services Aces (Tournament): Penn State — 43 (tied with 1998 Long Beach State) (7 vs. Siena, 9 vs. Albany, 8 vs. Michigan, 11 vs. BYU, 6 vs. California, 2 vs. Stanford).
  • Kills (Tournament): Stanford – 421 (55 vs. Santa Clara, 61 vs. Sacramento State, 59 vs. Cal Poly, 91 vs. UCLA, 83 vs. Southern California, 72 vs. Penn State).

2007 NCAA Tournament and AVCA Final Poll

School2007 NCAA Tournament

(Finals: ARCO Center, Sacramento, CA)
2007 Final AVCA Poll2007 Tournament Seed2007 AVCA Preseason Rank
Penn StateFirst - Defeated Stanford (3-2)1 (34-2)33
StanfordSecond - Lost to Penn State (3-2)2 (32-3)12
USCSemi-Finals - Lost to Stanford (3-2)3 (29-5)56
CaliforniaSemi-Finals - Lost to Penn State (3-0)4 (26-8)1012
NebraskaMadison Regional Finals - Lost to California (3-0)5 (30-2)21
TexasGainesville Regional Finals - Lost to USC (3-0)6 (27-4)44
UCLAStanford Regional Finals - Lost to Stanford (3-1)7 (23-11)85
FloridaGainesville Regional Semi-Finals - Lost to Texas (3-1)8 (29-3)137
WashingtonUniversity Park Regional - 2nd Round - Lost to unseeded BYU (3-2)10 (27-4)68

Stanford Regional

There were no major upsets in the Stanford bracket, as #1 seed Stanford advanced to the Final Four with a 3-1 victory over UCLA.

Stanford Regional All-Tournament Team:

Gainesville Regional

The biggest “upset” in the Gainesville bracket (if you view a #5 seed sweeping a #4 seed as an “upset”), was #5 seed USC’s sweep of #4 seed Texas.  Adding to the impact was that the loss ended Texas’ 24 match win streak.

Gainesville Regional All-Tournament Team:

University Park Regional

The University Park bracket witnessed a major upset when unseeded and unranked BYU defeated #6 seeded (and 2006 NCAA semifinalist) Washington (3-2) in the 2nd Round on Washington’s home court.  Prior to the loss, Washington had a 13-0 record at home in NCAA Tournament play.

A second major upset was unseeded Middle Tennessee’s 2nd Round defeat of #11 seed Hawai’i – the first time in school history Hawai’i lost in the second round. In a third upset in the bracket, unseeded Michigan downed #14 seed Colorado State.

#3 seed Penn State swept each of its opponents.  Big Ten Freshman of the Year Arielle Wilson was named the regional Most Outstanding Player.

University Park Regional All-Tournament Team:

Madison Regional

The biggest upset in the 2007 NCAA tournament occurred in the Madison Regional Final, where #10 seed California swept Nebraska, the #2 seed and the defending NCAA Champion.  Nebraska had narrowly averted defeat in the Regional Semi-Finals, coming back from a two game deficit to defeat unseeded Michigan State.  With its victory, Cal moved on to the Final Four for the first time in school history.

Madison Regional All-Tournament Team:

And one more time — a look-back at recruiting:

    Top-20 Recruits - 2007 Rosters

    TeamTop-5 RecruitsTop 6-10 RecruitsTop 11-20 RecruitsTotal Top 20 Recruits
    Penn State2316