This year in Pac-12 women's volleyball
Third-seeded WASHINGTON advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2006 marking the fourth-consecutive year that a Pac-12 team advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. The Huskies fell to eventual NCAA Champion Penn State, but advanced to the national semis after sweeping Kansas and pulling off a dramatic comeback victory over sixth-seeded USC in the regional round.
A league-record nine Pac-12 volleyball teams earned NCAA Tournament bids, the most of any conference in the nation ... WASHINGTON was the top-seeded team in the Pac-12, earning a No. 3 seeding. Also seeded were No. 6 USC and No. 7 STANFORD ... ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA and OREGON all made consecutive tournament appearances, while ARIZONA, COLORADO and UTAH returned to the NCAAs for the first time since 2011, 2006 and 2008, respectively ... Pac-12 teams went an astounding 8-1 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament this year, winning in dominating fashion. League teams won 26 of 31 sets played in the first round. Collectively, the Conference posted a 15-9 record in the tournament and is 399-212 all-time in tournament play... USC and STANFORD made it as far as the regional finals before the Trojans fell to Pac-12 foe Washington and the Cardinal suffered a tough 3-2 loss to Penn State ... At least one Pac-12 team has advanced to the regional finals in every year of the NCAA Tournament.
The Pac-12 boasts a record 14 NCAA titles in women’s volleyball. UW’s appearance in the national semifinals marked the 30th time in the history of the NCAA Tournament at least one league squad had advanced that far. The last team to win a NCAA title was UCLA in 2011.
League coaches voted UW’s Krista Vansant the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year of honors went to USC’s Ebony Nwanebu. Stanford’s Madi Bugg was tabbed the Pac-12 Setter of the Year, while USC’s Natalie Hagglund was voted the Pac-12 Libero of the Year for the third-straight year. UW’s Jim McLaughlin was voted the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. Vansant was named the AVCA National Player of the Year, the fourth-consecutive year the honor has been given to a Pac-12 player. Additionally, 11 league players were named AVCA All-Americans, the 12th-straight year the Pac-12 has had eight or more honored and the most since 13 were selected in 2009.
UW’s Vansant and Stanford’s Carly Wopat were two of four finalists for the Honda Sports Award.