July 28, 2013

A Tribute to Toni

Stanford Athletics announced on Friday that Toni has suffered concussions and will not play her senior season.

This is such a disappointment for Toni, her team and her fans. She has already contributed so much in her three seasons with the team and will be a valuable mentor for the newbie guards, but I regret that I won't see her play again.

Toni didn't take long to make an impression.

I noted in her college debut game that, "She's very fast, physically and mentally, sees the floor extremely well, and gets the ball to her teammates with great precision. She's equally impressive on defense – intense and tenacious."

A month later, against unbeaten Texas, Toni came off the bench to play 32 minutes and tallied eight points and three assists.

Tara said, “The story for me today was Toni. We went right away with Toni and Jeanette as our two guards and I think her speed and her quickness really helped us get into doing the things we wanted to do.”

Remember the Pac-10 Title Game that season when Toni brought the Cardinal back from the brink of defeat?

UCLA had held the lead for most of the game as the Cardinal fell further and further behind. A victory began to seem possible halfway through the second half after Jeanette hit two three-pointers and Toni made a fast break layup after stealing the ball. The score was tied with six minutes left to play.

It all turned around a minute later when, in the space of a minute, Kayla stole the ball and passed it to Toni who raced down court for a jumper ... The Bruins missed their shot and Toni grabbed the rebound, raced down court again and made a layup ... UCLA called a timeout ... The Bruins missed their shot again, Chiney got the rebound, and Toni sank a three that bounced around the rim five times before it fell ...

The bench went wild!

The highlight game of Toni's sophomore season came early as the Cardinal crushed Tennessee, thanks in large part to Toni's fierce determination. She sank her career-high five (of ten) from beyond the arc and scored her career-high 26 points.

She handled the Lady Vols' pressure defense with calm assurance, driving at them, around them and sometimes over them.

I'll miss seeing Toni directing traffic …

Her intense focus on defense ...

Her distinctive style on free throws …

And three-pointers ...

And scoop shots …

Most of all, I'll remember Toni as someone who marches to her own beat …

July 26, 2013

Injury rumors are confirmed

Stanford's women's basketball will be missing two important members next season – Toni and Aly.

It was announced today that Toni has retired from basketball because of concussions, but that she will stay with the team for her senior year.

Aly tore her ACL again during a recent summer workout, so will be out for the season.

Click here for the complete announcement from Stanford Athletics.

July 17, 2013

Tara signs a new contract

What a difference a hyphen makes!

espnW has posted the report of Tara's new contract under this headline:

Stanford's Tara VanDerveer re-signs