No. 1 Stanford leads six ranked Pac-12 volleyball teams

Stanford Athletics

• STANFORD is the new No. 1 team in the country this week, as voted on by the AVCA, receiving 53 first-place votes. Its first test as the No. 1 team in the nation will be against perennial power and fifth-ranked Penn State on Friday, Sept. 1 at the Texas A&M Tournament.

• The Cardinal and Nittany Lion programs are two of the most storied in history. Both have won seven NCAA titles, tying for the most in NCAA history. The two programs are also the only ones in NCAA volleyball history to never miss a NCAA Tournament.

• Making its debut in the AVCA poll this season is USC at No. 18, thanks in part to an upset of then-No. 16 Michigan in the opening weekend. The Trojans travel to a marquee tournament in Omaha, Neb., to face No. 7 Creighton and No. 13 Kentucky on Saturday at the Bluejay Invitational. USC opens the weekend at the tournament on Friday against Northern Iowa, which is receiving votes in the polling.

• In total, the Pac-12 has six teams ranked in the top 25 of the AVCA Coaches poll this week. In addition to the top-ranked Cardinal and No. 18 Trojans, WASHINGTON is ranked No. 8; UCLA moved up two spots to No. 11; OREGON is No. 14, up four spots from last week; and UTAH moved one position to No. 22. Arizona and Washington State are receiving votes.

• Pac-12 teams have routinely posted successful starts to the season and the start to the 2017 campaign is no different. League teams went 28-5 (.875) to open the campaign. Team have posted a 360-86 cumulative record for the opening weekend since 2002, for an impressive 80.7 winning percentage. Significant wins included the Ducks defeating then-No. 5 Nebraska, followed by a near-victory over then-No. 1 Texas; The Bruins defeated then-No. 20 Hawai’i, causing the Wahine to fall out of the top 25 this week.

• Washington was picked to win the Pac-12 regular-season crown, as decided on by a vote of the league’s coaches. The Huskies edged out the Cardinal for the top spot in the poll. UW received eight first-place votes and 118 points, while Stanford had three first-place votes and 113 points. The Ducks were picked third (93 points) and Utah placed fourth (88 points), also receiving the final remaining first-place vote. The Huskies have won back-to-back regular-season crowns and three of the last four.

• Seven AVCA All-Americans return from last year, including Pac-12 Player of the Year Courtney Schwan and AVCA National Freshman of the Year Kathryn Plummer. UW has three 2016 All-Americans on its current roster, while Stanford has two. Senior Adora Anae is also back for the Utes this year, as is Ducks junior Lindsey Vander Weide.

• Eight of the 14 players named to the 2016 All-Pac-12 team return for 2017, including UW’s Schwan, who was tabbed the 2016 Pac-12 Player of the Year. Stanford’s Plummer was voted the 2016 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and looks to build upon an impressive rookie campaign.

• The Pac-12 welcomes four new coaches to the Conference this season. Sanja Tomasevic takes over the helm at ARIZONA STATE; Matt Ulmer roams the sidelines as head coach in Eugene; Matt McShane was promoted to head coach at CALIFORNIA; while Kevin Hambly takes over a Stanford program that is defending its national crown. Half the Pac-12 teams have put new coaches in place over the last two years, three due to retirement of long-time head coaches. Seven in total have coaches that have been at the helm for three years or less in the Pac-12.

• Pac-12 volleyball continues to attract marquee student-athletes. Eight Pac-12 teams landed at least one Volleyball Magazine FAB 50 recruit with UCLA pacing the league with four.


UPCOMING SCHEDULE 

Monday, Aug. 28    
WASHINGTON STATE vs Howard    7 p.m. PT
Thursday Aug. 31    
UT-Rio Grande Valley vs. OREGON (1) Live Stream  7 p.m. PT
UTAH vs. South Dakota (2)   8:45 p.m. PT
Incarnate Word vs WASHINGTON STATE (3) Live Stream 1:45 p.m. PT
Baylor vs WASHINGTON STATE (3) Live Stream  8 p.m. PT
Friday, Sept. 1
 
 
Eastern Kentucky vs ARIZONA (4)
 
12:30 p.m. PT
Grand Canyon vs ARIZONA (4)
 
7 p.m. PT
ARIZONA STATE vs Gonzaga (5)
 
7 p.m. PT
Dartmouth vs CALIFORNIA (6)
 
7 p.m. PT
Loyola Marymount vs OREGON (1)
Live Stream 
8 p.m. PT
OREGON STATE vs Alabama State (7)
 
6 p.m.PT
STANFORD vs Penn State (8) 
 
6:30  p.m.PT
UCLA vs New Mexico State (9) 
Live Stream 
8 p.m. PT 
USC vs Northern Iowa (10)
 
4:30 p.m. PT
UTAH vs Western Carolina (2)
 
8:45 p.m. PT
Santa Clara vs WASHINGTON (11)
 
7 p.m. PT
Quinnipiac vs WASHINGTON STATE (3)
Live Steam 
12 p.m. PT
College of Charleston vs WASHINGTON STATE (3)
 
12 p.m. PT
Saturday, Sept. 2
 
 
Radford vs ARIZONA (4)
 
1 p.m. PT
ARIZONA STATE vs Portland State (5) 
 
1 p.m. PT
Eastern Washington vs CALIFORNIA (6)
 
10 a.m. PT
Texas Tech vs CALIFORNIA (6)
 
7:30 p.m.  PT
Wake Forest vs COLORADO (12)
Live Stream 
1 p.m. PT
Rice vs COLORADO (12)
Live Stream 
7 p.m. PT
Northern Illinois vs OREGON (1)
Live Stream 
12 p.m. PT 
OREGON STATE vs Fresno State (7)
 
12 p.m. PT
OREGON STATE vs Portland (7)
 
6 p.m. PT
USC vs Creighton (10)
Fox Sports Go
12:30 p.m. PT
USC vs Kentucky (10)
 
6 p.m. PT
Seattle vs WASHINGTON (11)
 
12 p.m. PT
Cal Poly vs WASHINGTON (11)
Live Stream 
7 p.m. PT
Sunday, Sept. 3 
 
 
Abilene Christian vs COLORADO (12)
Live Stream  
11 a.m. PT 
STANFORD vs Texas A&M (8)
 
11 a.m. PT 
UCLA vs UNLV (9)
 
11 a.m. PT 
UTAH vs Hawai'i (2)
 
8 p.m. PT

1 - Oregon Classic, Eugene, Ore.; 2- Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine, Honolulu, Hawai'i.; 3- Cougar Challenge Tournament, Pullman, Wash.; 4 - Cactus Classic, Tucson, Ariz.; 5 - Gonzaga Invitational, Spokane, Wash.; 6 - Cal Classic, Berkeley, Calif.; 7 - North Harbour Marriott Invitational, Portland, Ore,; 8 - Texas A&M Tournament, College Station, Texas.; 9 - NM State Springhill Suites Invitational, Las Cruces, N.M.; 10 - Bluejay Invitational, Omaha, Neb.; 11 - Washington Invitational, Seattle, Wash.; 12 - Omni Invitational, Boulder, Colo.  


2017 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive: Khalia Lanier, SO, USC 
Defensive: Zana Muno, JR, UCLA
Freshman: Mac May, FR, UCLA

ALSO NOMINATED:
Offensive: Kendra Dahlke, ARIZ; Oluoma Okaro, ASU; Alexa Smith, COLO; Lindsey Vander Weide, ORE; Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU; Kathryn Plummer, STAN; Mac May, UCLA; Adora Anae, UTAH; Carly DeHoog, WASH; Ella Lajos, WSU.
Defensive: Devyn Cross, ARIZ; Halle Harker, ASU; Naghede Abu, COLO; Brooke Van Sickle, ORE; Kayla Ellis, OSU; Audriana Fitzmorris, STAN; Brittany Abercrombie, USC; Tawnee Luafalemana, UTAH; Jocelyn Urias, WSU.
Freshman: Paige Whipple, ARIZ; Shelbie Dobmeier, ASU; Mima Mirkovic, CAL; Brynna Deluzio, COLO; Haylie Bennett, OSU; Meghan McClure, STAN; Brooke Botkin, USC; Dani Barton, UTAH; Lauren Sanders, WASH.

  Offensive Defensive Freshman
Aug. 28 Khalia Lanier, USC  Zana Muno, UCLA Mac May, UCLA
Now on Pac-12 Network
8:00 PM PT

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