January 19, 2008

Cardinal big test for Devils

By Jason P. Skoda, The Arizona Republic

When Stanford lost back-to-back road games at UCLA and Southern California two weeks ago, it initially might have allowed the rest of the Pac-10 to think the Cardinal might be a little more beatable than in years past.

Then again, maybe it was exactly what Stanford, winners of at least a share of the Pac-10 title since 2000, needed.

"The losses in LA have given us a new focus," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "Our team is listening better and has our attention. I think they did an excellent job in creating energy and progress in one week. Obviously, we are going to be tested, but I feel like we are going in the right direction."

That's not exactly great news for Arizona State (11-7, 5-1) heading into Sunday's 2 p.m. game against the No. 7 Cardinal (15-3, 5-2).

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Pedersen making a splash at Stanford

By Al Bravo, East Valley Tribune

“She’s a gamer, she doesn’t show any frustration, she keeps playing hard, a real pleasure to work with,” longtime Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said on Saturday. “We’re really thankful she’s at Stanford.”

“To me it’s a challenge,” Kayla said. “That was my hope coming in here, just making an immediate impact. I didn’t expect anything less.”

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From freshman to starter, Pedersen came ready to produce

By Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle

"She's mature and she's fearless," said Stanford associate head coach Amy Tucker. "She's not afraid of anything, but she's not cocky. You can never tell by looking at her whether things are going her way or not."

Tucker first saw Pedersen play when she was a high school freshman at an AAU Tournament in Arizona. She was sitting in the stands when a man approached her.

"He said, 'My granddaughter wants to play for you,' " Tucker said. "I've heard that lot. I said, 'Who's your granddaughter?' and he said, 'Kayla Pedersen'. I thought, 'Oh, great.' "

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