Three Top-20 Volleyball Matches Highlight League Play

• Four Pac-12 teams came out of the first weekend of Conference play unbeaten. League play continues, beginning with No. 2 STANFORD hosting ARIZONA STATE on Wednesday for Pac-12 Networks’ Spike Night. The Cardinal, No. 20 USC, No. 15 UTAH and No. 6 WASHINGTON look to try to stay undefeated in league play.

In the Rankings … Six Pac-12 teams are ranked this week with Stanford moving up to No. 2, while the Huskies moved up to No. 6. OREGON is No. 12, UCLA is No. 13 and the Utes are No. 15. The Trojans come in at No. 20, while COLORADO and WASHINGTON STATE are receiving votes.

Top-20 Matchups … Three matches this week pit top-20-ranked teams, including the Ducks traveling to Utah on Friday, where the Utes have done a good job of protecting their home floor with the Ducks last winning in Salt Lake City in 2013. The Bruins host the Huskies, who have won the last seven meetings, that evening, as well. The week closes out with a tilt between the Trojans and UW at Galen Center on Sunday. All three matches will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.

#SavStrong … CALIFORNIA’s match against ARIZONA on Sunday will also serve as #SavStrong Day at Haas Pavilion. The event honors Cal's Savannah Rennie, who is undergoing chemotherapy to treat Non-Hodgkin Post-Transplant Lymphoma. The Bears will wear their gold jerseys against the Wildcats and fans are encouraged to wear gold as well to the match, where information will also be provided on organ donation as well as how to support lymphoma research.

Rivalry Showdowns … The home team went 3-3 in the rivalry matches last week, marking the start of the Pac-12 slate.

Pac-12 Players of the Week … Weekly honors went to USC’s Brittany Abercrombie (Offensive) and Victoria Garrick (Defensive), who became the first Trojan to post a double-double (18 digs, 10 assists) since 2012. UCLA’s Mac May is the Freshman of the Week for the second time.

In the National Stats … Three Pac-12 squads continue to be among the top eight blocking teams in the nation and four are in the top 25, overall. The Huskies are No. 2 in the category (3.32), followed by WSU at No. 3 (3.23) and the Cardinal rank eighth (3.05). Individually, Washington’s Lauren Sanders leads the Conference with 1.44 blocks per set, which is fourth-best in the country; Stanford’s Audriana Fitzmorris ranks seventh with a 1.58 blocks average.

• Half of Pac-12 teams are among the top-25 in hitting efficiency in the nation, Oregon leading the way at No. 9 with a hitting percentage of .302.

• Oregon leads four Pac-12 teams ranked in the country in kills per set, ranking fifth with 14.77 kps.

• The Cougs’ blocking prowess has made it difficult on opponents as WSU has limited them to just 0.139 hitting, the best defensively in the Pac-12 and eighth in the nation.

• Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer is the fourth-highest points producer in the country, averaging a league-high 5.55 points per set. Her 4.82 kills per set are also eight in the nation.

• The top-two assist producers in the Pac-12, to-date, are underclassmen. ARIZONA STATE’s Shelbie Dobmeier leads the Conference with an average of 11.62 and Stanford’s Jenna Gray is second with an average of 11.58. Colorado freshman Brynna Deluzio ranks fourth in the category with an average of 11.18. 

• OSU’s Mary-Kate Marshall and Utah’s Adora Anae are among the nation’s active leaders in total kills. Marshall enters the week ranked fifth among the NCAA’s active leaders with 1,604, while Anae is seventh with 1,561. That also puts them in the top 50 all-time in Pac-12 history in the category.

• 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 season. 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.

• 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.


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded standings)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Washington 2-0 12-1
Utah 2-0 11-2
Stanford 2-0 9-2
USC 2-0 10-3
Washington State 1-1 12-2
Oregon  1-1 8-2
UCLA 1-1 8-3
Arizona 1-1 7-4
Colorado 0-2 10-3
Arizona State 0-2 10-4
Oregon State 0-2 10-4
California 0-2 9-4

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Sept. 27    
Arizona State at #2 Stanford  P12N 7 p.m. PT
Friday, Sept. 29    
#12 Oregon at #15 Utah  P12N 5 p.m. PT
Oregon State at Colorado  P12N p.m. PT
#6 Washington at #13 UCLA  P12N p.m. PT
Arizona at #2 Stanford  P12N p.m. PT
Arizona State at California    p.m. PT
Saturday, Sept. 30    
Washington State at #20 USC   p.m. PT
#12 Oregon at Colorado    6 p.m. PT
Oregon State at #15 Utah P12M 7 p.m. PT
Sunday, Oct. 1    
Arizona at California  P12N 11 a.m. PT
#6 Washington at #20 USC P12N 1 p.m. PT
Washington State at #13 UCLA   1 p.m. PT

2017 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive: Brittany Abercrombie, USC
Defensive: Victoria Garrick, USC
FreshmanMac May, UCLA 

ALSO NOMINATED:
Offensive: Kendra Dahlke, ARIZ; Oluoma Okaro, ASU; Alexa Smith, COLO; Lindsey Vander Weide, ORE; Maddie Goings, OSU; Kathryn Plummer, STAN; Madeleine Gates, UCLA; Adora Anae, UTAH; Carly DeHoog, WASH; Jocelyn Urias, WSU.
Defensive: Halle Harker, ASU; Gabby Carta-Samuels, COLO; Ronika Stone, ORE; Kayla Ellis, OSU; Tami Alade, STAN; Madeleine Gates, UCLA; Tia Scambray, WASH; Alexis Dirige, WSU.
Freshman: Elizabeth Shelton, ARIZ; Griere Hughes, ASU; Brynna Deluzio, COLO; Maddie Goings, OSU; Meghan McClure, STAN; Daley Krage, USC; Lauren Sanders, WASH. 

  Offensive Defensive Freshman
Aug. 28 Khalia Lanier, USC  Zana Muno, UCLA Mac May, UCLA
Sept. 4 Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU Tawnee Luafalemana, UTAH Dani Barton, UTAH
Sept. 11 Taylor Agost, ORE Berkeley Oblad, UTAH Mima Mirkovic, CAL
Sept. 28 Alexa Smith, COLO Halle Harker, ASU Brynna Deluzio, COLO
Sept. 25 Brittany Abercrombie, USC Victoria Garrick, USC  Mac May, UCLA 
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