This Week in Pac-12 Volleyball

• Only one team is still undefeated in Pac-12 play as No. 3 STANFORD enters the week sitting in first place all alone. Six teams are ranked this week in the AVCA Coaches poll, and Pac-12 Networks’ Wednesday night Spike Night features a top-15 matchup between No. 14 WASHINGTON and No. 15 OREGON in Seattle.

• Last week’s matches included three upsets, ARIZONA handing then-No. 15 USC its first league loss of the season, 30. WASHINGTON STATE recorded its first win over a ranked opponent this season, defeating then-No. 25 COLORADO in four sets, while then-No. 17 UTAH needed a five-set thriller to hold off then-No. 9 Washington for the Utes’ first-ever win in Seattle. 

In the Rankings … Six teams are in the top 25 this week with the Cardinal being the only team in the top 10 at No. 3. UCLA is No. 12 this week and Utah jumped four spots to No. 13. The Huskies drop to No. 14, followed by OREGON at No. 15 and USC is No. 19.

NCAA RPI … All 12 Pac-12 teams appear in the top 100 of the rating, including seven in the top 25. Stanford leads the way with a No. 7 RPI. For the full RPI, visit ncaa.com.

Top-25 Matchups … The Cardinal put its unblemished league record and top-three ranking on the line when it makes a road swing at No. 19 USC and No. 12 UCLA this week. When the Ducks travel to Stanford on Wednesday, they will be looking for their first win over the Cardinal since 2011.

Pac-12 Players of the Week … After leading her team to its first-ever victory in Seattle, Utah’s Adora Anae was voted the Pac-12 Player of the Week. Her teammate Berkeley Oblad was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Week. Washington’s Lauren Sanders is the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.

In the National Stats … Three Pac-12 squads are among the top-seven blocking teams in the nation. The Huskies are second in the category (3.40), followed by WSU at No. 4 (3.14) and the Cardinal ranks seventh (3.08). Individually, Washington freshman Lauren Sanders leads the Conference with 1.61 blocks per set which is sixth in the country. Husky teammate Marion Hazelwood is ninth with a 1.57 bpg and WSU’s Jocelyn Urias is 10th with a 1.55 blocks average.

• Three Pac-12 teams are also ranked in the top 21 in the nation in kills per set with Utah’s 14.66 kps leading the Conference and ranking eighth nationally.

• Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer is the fifth-highest points producer in the country, averaging a league-best 5.44 points per set. Her 4.76 kills per set are also ninth in the nation. OREGON STATE’s Mary-Kate Marshall and ARIZONA STATE’s Oluoma Okaro are 13th and 16th, respectively, in kills per set.

• Three of the top-four assist producers in the country are underclassmen with Stanford’s Jenna Gray leading the league with an 11.82 aps. Freshmen Brynna Deluzio of Colorado (11.26) and Shelbie Dobmeier of ARIZONA STATE (11.03) are third and fourth, respectively. Though a senior, UCLA’s Sarah Sponcil is new to the league and ranks second in the Conference in assists per set (11.27).

• 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 fourth among the NCAA’s active leaders with 1,664, while Anae is sixth with 1,635. That also puts them in the top 41 all-time in Pac-12 history in the category.

Rivalry Showdowns … The home team went 3-3 in the rivalry matches to mark the start of the Pac-12 slate.

• 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
Stanford 6-0 13-2
Utah  5-1 14-3
USC 5-1 13-4
Washington 4-2 14-3
UCLA 4-2 11-4
Oregon  3-3 10-4
Washington State 2-4 13-5
Colorado 2-4 12-5
California 2-4 11-6
Arizona 2-4 8-7
Oregon State 1-5 11-7
Arizona State 0-6 10-8

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Oct. 11    
#15 Oregon at #14 Washington  P12N 7 p.m. PT
Friday Oct. 13    
#15 Oregon at Washington State P12N 6 p.m. PT
#3 Stanford at #12 UCLA  P12N p.m. PT
#13 Utah at Arizona    p.m. PT
Oregon State at #14 Washington    p.m. PT
California at #19 USC   p.m. PT
Colorado at Arizona State P12N 7 p.m. PT
Saturday, Oct. 14    
California at #12 UCLA P12B p.m. PT
Sunday, Oct. 15    
Oregon State at Washington State  P12N 1 p.m. PT
#13 Utah at Arizona State  P12N 1 p.m. PT
Colorado at Arizona    p.m. PT
#3 Stanford at #19 USC P12N p.m. PT

2017 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive: 
Adora Anae, Utah  
Defensive: 
Berkeley Oblad, Utah
Freshman: Lauren Sanders, Washington   

ALSO NOMINATED:
Offensive: Kendra Dahlke, ARIZ; Oluoma Okaro, ASU; Taylor Agost, ORE; Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU; Kathryn Plummer, STAN; Reily Buechler, UCLA; Brittany Abercrombie, USC; Lauren Sanders, WASH; Jocelyn Urias, WSU.
Defensive: Makenna Martin, ARIZ; Halle Harker, ASU; Sumeet Gill, ORE; Kayla Ellis, OSU; Tami Alade, STAN; Zana Muno, UCLA; Victoria Garrick, USC; Lauren Sanders, WASH; Alexis Dirige, WSU.
Freshman: Paige Whipple, ARIZ; Griere Hughes, ASU; Meghan McClure, STAN; Mac May, UCLA; Daley Krage, USC; Kenzie Koerber, UTAH; Penny Tusa, WSU.

  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 
Oct. 2 Brittany Abercrombie, USC Naghede Abu, COLO Brynna DeLuzio, COLO
Oct. 9  Adora Anae, UTAH  Berkeley Oblad, UTAH Lauren Sanders, WASH
  
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