Stanford's Tom named volleyball player of year
By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer
NEW ORLEANS An All-American banquet that began with a parade of players following a junior jazz band into the ballroom and punctuated by Lily Kahumoku's "Aloha, y'all," ended with Olympian Logan Tom being named the 2002 national Player of the Year yesterday by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Tom, whose father Mel is a Maryknoll graduate, lifted Stanford past Hawai'i Thursday and into today's NCAA Championship final against Southern California. The 6-foot-1 senior is the third to repeat as Player of the Year since the award began in 1985.
Rainbow Wahine Teee Williams was the 1987 Player of the Year and shared the 1989 award with Tara Cross of Long Beach State. Cross, who played with Williams at the 1992 and '96 Olympics, was honored alone in 1988. LBSU setter Misty May was Player of the Year in 1997 and '98.
Tom lifted Team USA to a fourth-place finish at the 2000 Olympics. She came back to Stanford for her junior year and took the Cardinal to the 2001 national championship.
She is Stanford's career kills leader and averaging five kills a game, but her most valuable asset is that she can take a match over from anywhere on the court, and usually covers most of it. Opponents marvel at how Tom is rarely where she is supposed to be, but always where she needs to be.
"I have trouble with that 'staying in system' thing," Tom said.
Hawai'i junior Kim Willoughby's numbers were all better than Tom's this season, but even she could not match the Tom mystique.
"Kim is an amazing player," teammate Lauren Duggins said. "And you don't see a lot of everything she does in practice every day. She is just amazing. But Logan is too and even I'd have to say I was in awe of her yesterday (Thursday). She was playing at an international level. Kim is in the same league. She is going to get it next year for sure, but she just doesn't have that international experience yet."