Keeping with a throwback theme, the Pacific Athletic Foundation is announcing a Volleyball Legacy edition of Tiger Talk on Tuesday, May 12th. The Tiger Talk will focus on Pacific Volleyball and their 1985 and 1986 NCAA Championships teams. Featured guests include former head coach, John Dunning, and members of the teams, Therese Boyle ’86, Mary Tribbett ’88, and Elaina Oden ’90.
The talk will be hosted by Zack Bayrouty and be live on Zoom starting at 4:00. To join the conversation, click here.
1985 Women’s Volleyball
The first NCAA National Champion in any sport at Pacific, the 1985 Pacific women’s volleyball team traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan, in December to claim a piece of history.
The Tigers finished the regular season 32-3, with two losses to Cal Poly and one to Stanford. Pacific knocked off Cal Poly in three 1985 champions volleyball sets in the regional final to advance to the Final Four. The team rallied to defeat tournament favorite UCLA in the semifinals and faced Stanford in the final. Pacific lost the first set of the championship match, 17-15, but rallied to take the next two sets. The Tigers then fell behind, 11-2, in the fourth game, before Dunning sent in three substitutes who sparked Pacific with nine kills to tie the score at 11. The starters returned and polished off Stanford for Pacific’s first national title. Therese Boyle and freshman Elaina Oden received All-America recognition. Oden was also named the Pacific Coast Athletic Association Most Valuable Player with her then-school record of 547 kills. Oden and sophomore Teri McGrath would later qualify to play with the U.S. National Team. Dunning was named National Coach of the Year.
1986 Women’s Volleyball
With the NCAA Tournament slated to be hosted in Stockton for the first time since 1982, Pacific had the opportunity to be the second team to win the national championship in front of its home crowd.
The Tigers were again placed in the toughest regional of the four, with San Diego State and Hawaii. Both of these teams had top-five national rankings, but both had lost to the Tigers three times during the season. The revenge factor would definitely have to be overcome. Pacific did not just overcome these top teams, the Tigers obliterated them. Only Hawaii could even take one set from the mighty Tigers.
Pacific then hit full speed in the Final Four celebration at the Alex G. Spanos Center. The standing room only crowd had already considered the national championship a foregone conclusion. When Pacific put away Nebraska, 15-4, in the third set to complete a six-game sweep of the Final Four, the celebration was on! The Tigers claimed a second straight National Championship and finished the season with a remarkable record of 39-3.