Three teams represent Pac-12 volleyball in Third Round

THIS WEEK
Three Pac-12 teams are still in contention for the NCAA Tournament title, including top-seeded and co-Pac-12 Champion USC, as well as fifth-seeded and league co-Champion WASHINGTON and 14th-seeded UCLA. Regional semifinal action takes place on Friday, Dec. 11 with the Trojans heading to San Diego to face 16th-seeded Creighton. UW battles 12th-seeded Ohio State in Lexington, Ky., while the Bruins face host and third-seeded Texas. The winners move on to the regional finals on Saturday, Dec. 12 at their respective sites.

The Conference has never missed out on the regional semifinal of the NCAA Tournament, with at least one Pac-12 team advancing that far in all 35 years of the event. Only twice in the history of the tournament has no Pac-12 team advanced to the regional final (1998 and 1993).

PAC-12 CROWNS CO-CHAMPIONS
For the fourth time in Pac-12 history, co-champions were crowned in women’s volleyball with USC and WASHINGTON each claiming a share of the regular-season title. The Trojans won the title for the fifth time in the program’s history, while the Huskies claimed the title for the fourth time ever and second time in the last three years.


(Expanded standings)

Teams Pct. Pac-12 Record Overall Record
USC*^ .900 18-2 32-2
Washington*^ .900 18-2 30-2
Stanford^ .800 16-4 23-7
UCLA^ .700 14-6 25-7
Colorado .550 11-9 19-13
Oregon^ .500 10-10 16-14
Arizona^ .450 9-11 19-14
Arizona State^ .400 8-12 19-13
Washington State .250 5-15 16-16
Utah .200 4-16 10-21
Oregon State .200 4-16 6-24
California .150 3-17 9-22

* - Co-Pac-12 Champions
^ - NCAA Tournament Participant


UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Local To Site)

Friday, Dec. 11 - NCAA Third Round TV/Live Stream Time
#1 WASHINGTON vs. #14 Ohio State (1) ESPN3 7:30 p.m. ET
#12 UCLA vs. #3 Texas (2) ESPN3 7 p.m. CT
#2 USC vs. Creighton (3) ESPNU 8 p.m. PT
Saturday, Dec. 12 - NCAA Quarterfinal    
#1 WASHINGTON vs. #11 BYU/#5 Nebraska (1) ESPNU 4 p.m. ET
#12 UCLA vs. #16 Florida/#10 Wisconsin (2) ESPNU 8 p.m. CT
#2 USC vs. #9 Kansas/Loyola Marymount (3) ESPNU 8 p.m. PT

1 - Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, Ky.; 2 - Gregory Gym, Austin, Texas; 3 - Jenny Craig Pavilion, San Diego, Calif.


PAC-12 IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Pac-12 has won 14 of 34 NCAA titles awarded, including 12 of the last 24. UCLA claimed the Conference’s most recent crown in 2011, while Washington was the national champion in 2005, Stanford in 2001 and 2004, and USC was the winner in 2002 and 2003 … Pac-12 teams have compiled an impressive 423-226 (.652) record in NCAA play. Toss out the 22 postseason matches between Conference teams and the league’s NCAA Tournament record against non-conference goes stands at 221-86 (.720) since 2001 and an overall mark of 361-166 (.685) … Over the last 14 years, Pac-12 teams are 97-24 (.802) in the first round, including posting a NCAA-record 10-0 in 2015 after a NCAA record 10 league teams earned bids last year. It is the 16th-consecutive year the Conference has had at least six teams earn NCAA Tournament bids.

With wins from UCLA, USC and Washington last week, the Pac-12’s streak of at least one Conference team in the regional semifinals, missing out on the regional finals only twice in the previous 34 years (1993 and 1998).

ARIZONA
The Wildcats earned a third-straight NCAA Tournament bid and 27th all-time … Placed in the Lexington Regional, UA lost in the first round to Western Kentucky (3-0) after having advanced to the second round in each of the last two seasons … It was the third-straight NCAA bid for the Wildcats and sixth in seven years.

ARIZONA STATE
After making just four NCAA Tournament appearances from 1996-2011, the Sun Devils participated in the postseason for the fourth-consecutive year. It is only the third time in program history ASU made four-straight appearances and first since 1992-95 … ASU was without All-American Macey Gardner, who was injured and out for the year midway through the season … Playing in the Austin Regional, ASU fell to Florida State in Gainesville, Fla., ending the season one win short of a third 20-win campaign in four years.

OREGON
Oregon played in the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in 10 years, owning an all-time postseason record of 14-13. The Ducks advanced to its only national title match appearance in 2012 … The Ducks played in the Austin Regional against sixth-seeded Wisconsin and fell, 3-1, in Madison, Wis.

STANFORD
The Cardinal has won a NCAA-record 109 tournament matches and is one of only two teams in the country to never miss out on the postseason event. Its six all-time NCAA titles are second-most in NCAA history … Stanford was the No. 8 seed overall in the San Diego Regional and was upset by Loyola Marymount in the second round … The Cardinal has never lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, extending their streak to 35-consecutive first-round victories … Finishing the season with 23 victories, the Cardinal has reached the 20-win plateau every year since 2000.

UCLA
Making its 33rd all-time appearance, only four teams have earned more NCAA Tournament bids than the Bruins and have the second-most all-time tournament victories among the Pac-12 teams with 85 … The No. 14 overall seed in the Austin Regional, UCLA has four NCAA titles to its credit, the last coming in 2011 during head coach Mike Sealy’s first season … The Bruins swept Lipscomb in the first round before persevering for a 3-2 win over Michigan at home … UCLA now faces the third-seeded and host Texas in Austin.

USC
The top-seeded and No. 1 overall seed for the third time in the history of the program, USC bounced back from a 16-16 campaign last year to post its fifth 30-win campaign in history and first since 2012, making the NCAA Tournament for the 33rd time … Ranked No. 1 in the country for six weeks of the season while also claiming a share of the Pac-12 title, the Trojans defeated Cleveland State (3-1) and swept San Diego to move on to the regional tournament … USC has won three NCAA titles, including the first-ever NCAA Championship in 1981.

WASHINGTON
Washington is the No. 5 seed overall in the Lexington Regional of the NCAA Tournament, making its 20th all-time appearance … The Huskies face 12th-seeded Ohio State in the regional semifinal, after sweeping Denver in the first round and defeating Michigan State, 3-1, in the second at home … Despite the change in head coaching leadership over the summer, the Huskies nabbed a share of the Pac-12 crown and also the No. 1 overall national ranking in the final weekend of regular-season play … The Huskies won the 2005 NCAA title and advanced to the national semifinal in 2013 for the fourth time in school history.


PAC-12 HONORS
At the conclusion of the Pac-12 regular-season the Conference office announced the winners of the annual postseason awards, as voted on by the Conference’s 12 head coaches.

Pac-12 Player of the Year: Samantha Bricio, USC
Pac-12 Freshman of the Year: Hayley Hodson, STAN
Pac-12 Coach of the Year: Mick Haley, USC
Pac-12 Setter of the Year: Madi Bugg, STAN
Pac-12 Libero of the Year: Taylor Formico, UCLA

The Conference office also announced the 18-player All-Pac-12 team, as well as the seven-player All-Freshman team. For a full list of the award winners, click on the here.

PAC-12 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
STANFORD’s Jordan Burgess was named the Pac-12 Women’s Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. A human biology major with a 3.62 grade point average, she was also named to the Pac-12 All-Academic squad, earning a spot on the first team. A Senior CLASS Award finalist this season, she was a second team CoSIDA Academic All-America in 2014. To read the full release, click here.

AVCA RANKINGS
The Pac-12 grabbed the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the final regular-season AVCA Coaches poll. It was the third-consecutive week Conference teams held the top-two spots, but WASHINGTON took No. 1 for the first time in the final polling, receiving 42 first-place votes, and USC, with 12 first-place votes, were No. 2. Four teams were ranked in the latest poll, with STANFORD earning a No. 6 ranking and UCLA coming in at No. 12. All four teams earned a top-16 seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA STATS 
A contender for national player of the year, USC’s Samantha Bricio continues to have a strong season leading the nation in aces per set (0.71) and points per set (6.20). She also ranks third with a 5.12 kills per set average.
• WASHINGTON’s Lianna Sybeldon is the most efficient hitter in the nation, boasting a .465 hitting percentage. USC’s Alicia Ogoms is 13th at .416.
• Four of the top 19 blocking teams in the nation are in the Pac-12. UW is 11th averaging 2.92 blocks per set, while ARIZONA STATE ranks 12th at 2.91. WASHINGTON STATE and STANFORD are 13th (2.90) and 18th (2.84), respectively.
• The Huskies lead the Pac-12 and rank third in the country with a .316 hitting percentage and also boast the fifth-best opponent hitting percentage in the nation, limiting foes to .146.
• The Pac-12 is home to three of the nation’s top-25 hitters, in terms of kills per set. Behind Bricio is UCLA’s Jordan Anderson with a 4.39 kps, which is 16th. ARIZONA’s Kalei Mau is 23rd (4.33).

For a complete list of NCAA stats team and individual leaders visit this link: http://stats.ncaa.org/rankings/ranking_summary


2015 PAC-12 WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  Offensive Defensive Freshman
Aug. 31 Samantha Bricio, USC Kalei Mau, ARIZ Hayley Hodson, STAN
Sept. 7 Samantha Bricio, USC Brenna DeYoung, UTAH Lindsey Vander Weide, ORE
Sept. 14 Samantha Bricio, USC Lianna Sybeldon, WASH Zana Muno, UCLA
Sept. 21 Gabby Simpson, COLO Melanie Wade, WASH McKenna Woodford, WSU
Sept. 28 Samantha Bricio, USC Alicia Ogoms, USC Lindsey Vander Weide, ORE
Oct. 5 Macey Gardner, ASU Cierra Simpson, COLO Hayley Hodson, STAN
Oct. 12 Lianna Sybeldon, WASH Melanie Wade, WASH Hayley Hodson, STAN
Oct. 19 Gabby Simpson, COLO Taylor Whittingham, USC Naghede Abu, COLO
Oct. 26 Samantha Bricio, USC Merete Lutz, STAN Hayley Hodson, STAN
Nov. 2 Adora Anae, UTAH Cassie Strickland, WASH Halland McKenna, STAN
Nov. 9 Samantha Bricio, USC Cassie Strickland, WASH Zana Muno, UCLA
Nov. 16 Alexis Austin, COLO Cassie Strickland, WASH McKenna Woodford, WSU
Nov. 23 Nikki Attea, ARIZ Lianna Sybeldon, WASH Baylee Johnson, WSU
Nov. 30 Brittany Howard, STAN Amanda Benson, ORE Hayley Hodson, STAN

AROUND THE LEAGUE
ARIZONA senior middle blocker Halli Amaro set a school record for sets played in a career with 454 … Finishing the year at 19-13, ARIZONA STATE has posted 19 or more wins in each of the last four seasons for the first time in program history … CALIFORNIA setter Alyssa Jensen finished the regular season fifth in the league in assists per set at 10.03 … COLORADO posted its best finish in the Pac-12, placing fifth overall. The Buffs knocked off six ranked opponents in 2015 … OREGON made its fifth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and the ninth in the last 10 seasons … OREGON STATE's Mary-Kate Marshall, a 2014 AVCA All-American, finished the regular season second in the Pac-12 and 10th in the country in attacks per set (12.40) … STANFORD's senior class finished their careers at Maples Pavilion with a 61-3 record … UCLA junior Jordan Anderson has reached the 20-kill mark nine times this season. She ranks 15th in the country in kills per set at 4.49 … USC reached the 30-win mark in a season for the fourth time under head coach Mick Haley. He previously led the Trojans to 30-win seasons in 2002, '03, and '12 … UTAH's Adora Anae finished the regular season second in double-doubles in the Pac-12 with 19 … WASHINGTON picked up its 30th win of the season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and it is has now reached the 30-win mark for three-straight seasons  … WASHINGTON STATE averaged 2.90 blocks per set, the 13th-best mark in the country on the year.

• The Pac-12 Networks revealed the Pac-12 All-Century Women’s Volleyball roster. STANFORD's Logan Tom was named Pac-12 Women’s Volleyball Player of the Century honors and UCLA's Andy Banachowski being named the Pac-12 Women’s Volleyball Coach of the Century. To view the full roster, click here.

• Samantha Bricio of USC became the first Trojan ever to break the 2,000-kill mark and just the seventh player in Pac-12 history to do so. After last weekend’s matches, Bricio moved into fifth place in Conference history with 2,047 kills.

• On Friday, Oct. 16, USC head coach Mick Haley earned his 900th career NCAA Division I victory (378 at USC, 522 at Texas).

• Utah head coach Beth Launiere picked up her 500th career win in the Utes’ 3-1 victory against Oregon State on Sun., Nov. 1, at the Huntsman Center. She has been in Salt Lake City for all 25 years of her head coaching career.

• Pac-12 teams defeated nine ranked non-conference teams this season with USC accounting for three of those wins. The Trojans’ three wins were to teams ranked in the top 11 at the time of the meeting, two of which came in the opening weekend. UCLA traveled to then-No. 17 Hawai’i over the weekend and took down the UH in front of a crowd of over 8,600 fans. ARIZONA STATE, COLORADO and STANFORD have also notched wins over top-10 foes.

• Pac-12 teams went 97-31 (.758) in the non-conference regular-season portion of the schedule, including going 27-7 in the opening weekend. In the opening weekend, 17 of the 27 wins came in three-set sweeps. Since 2002, league teams have dominated the first weekend of play, going 332-81 (.804).

• Three Pac-12 teams remain undefeated after the conclusion of the non-conference portion of the schedule and 11 teams have a record of .500 or better due, in part, to the strength of the league’s defense. Four Conference teams are ranked in the top 12 in the nation in opponent hitting percentage, as ARIZONA STATE, WASHINGTON, WASHINGTON STATE and ARIZONA limiting opponents to under .142 hitting. Four league squads are also in the top 15 in the country in blocks per set, with STANFORD ranking second in the country at 3.19. Four Pac-12 teams also rank in the top 15 in kills per set, including the Huskies (7th) and the Wildcats (13th).

• The Pac-12 had another historic season in 2014 which saw an unprecedented 10 teams earn NCAA Tournament bids and went a perfect 10-0 in the first round of the postseason.

 Last year, 14 players were named AVCA All-Americans and eight return for 2015 including senior standouts such as Stanford’s Madi Bugg and Jordan Burgess, USC’s Samantha Bricio, UO’s Martenne Bettendorf, ASU’s Macey Gardner and UW’s Lianna Sybeldon. Sophomores Merete Lutz of Stanford and Mary-Kate Marshall of OSU also return to help lead their respective teams this season.

• One new coach roams the Pac-12 sidelines after WASHINGTON announced the hiring of Keegan Cook, who replaced former UW coach Jim McLaughlin. However, Cook may look familiar to some as he served as an assistant coach under McLaughlin the last two years, helping the Huskies advance to the NCAA semifinal in 2013.

• FAB Freshman ... Pac-12 volleyball continues to recruit marquee student-athletes. Seven Pac-12 teams landed at least one Volleyball Magazine FAB 50 recruit with OREGON pacing the Conference with four. STANFORD signed the nation’s top recruit according to the publication in Hayley Hodson.

• Once again, the Pac-12 had the most comprehensive volleyball television coverage of any league in the country. 95 total matches were broadcast live, with 92 being televised on the Conference's Pac-12 Network. Another three more were selected to be televised on ESPNU. For the full television schedule, visit pac-12.com.


NATIONAL HONORS

Sept. 30 - Samantha Bricio, USC - ESPNW National Player of the Week
Oct. 6 - Macey Gardner, ASU - AVCA National Player of the Week
Nov. 2 - Cassie Strickland, ESPNW National Player of the Week
Nov. 9 - Samantha Bricio, USC - AVCA National Player of the Week
Dec. 2 - Samantha Bricio, USC - ESPNW Volleyball Player of the Year


IN THE PRESEASON

Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll & All-Pac-12 Team | AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll


HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

o The Pac-12 has captured six of the last 14 NCAA crowns (2011 - UCLA, 2005 - Washington, 2004 - Stanford, 2003 - USC, 2002 - USC, 2001 - Stanford) and 14 NCAA titles overall.

o The Pac-12 has had 10 or more All-Americans selections in eight of the last 10 years. Last year, 11 were named to the AVCA All-America squad, the most since 13 were selected in 2009. Ten former Pac-12 players have earned All-America honors four times, while another 18 players in all have earned All-American honors three times.

o Since 1990, Pac-12 players garnered AVCA Player of the Year honors 13 times, including the last four of the last five years - CAL's Carli Lloyd (2010), USC's Alex Jupiter (2011), ORE's Alaina Bergsma (2012) and WASH's Krista Vansant (2013). The NCAA Honda Sports Award honor has been bestowed upon a Pac-12 volleyball player 13 times, including Vansant in 2013.

o The current group of Pac-12 volleyball coaches enters the 2015 season with nearly 5,000 Division I victories to its credit, having compiled 4,822 wins in a combined 219 years of head coaching experience. That averages out to nearly 23 wins a season for each coach per season. In addition, these coaches have guided NCAA Division I teams to 38 NCAA semifinal appearances and eight NCAA titles. In the last 13 years, seven different coaches have been named the ASICS/Volleyball Magazine Coach of the Year and/or the AVCA Coach of the Year - Arizona's David Rubio (2001 ASICS), California's Rich Feller (2007 ASICS, 2010 ASICS and AVCA), Stanford's John Dunning (2001 AVCA), UCLA's Mike Sealy (2011 AVCA), USC's Mick Haley (2003 AVCA), Washington's Jim McLaughlin (2004 ASICS and AVCA), and UCLA's Andy Banachowski (2006 ASICS and AVCA).