Four women's volleyball teams in top seven of AVCA poll
The No. 1 team in the nation and three teams in the top seven, that is Pac-12 volleyball this week. With the latest AVCA Coaches poll released, USC, which was ranked No. 22 to start the season, overtook the top spot in the polling this week, while No. 5 ARIZONA STATE garnered its first-ever top-five national ranking. League teams are coming off a tough week of competition where seven matches warranted at least four sets to decide the match, four of which went to five sets. Through two weeks of league play, 11 Pac-12 teams have already posted at least one Conference win.
Sixth-ranked WASHINGTON suffered its first loss of the season and is looking to rebound with matches against No. 14 ARIZONA and the Sun Devils. The Huskies host the Wildcats on Wednesday for the Pac-12 Networks’ Volleyball Match of the Week. Adding to the intrigue for Friday’s match between UW and ASU, the contest will also feature two of top defensive teams in the nation as the Huskies and Sun Devils rank 1 and 2 in opponent hitting percentage, respectively, with not much difference between them (.117 vs. .119).
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded standings)
|Teams||Pct.||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Local To Site)
|Wednesday, Oct. 7||TV/Live Stream||Time|
|#14 ARIZONA at #6 WASHINGTON||PAC12||7:30 p.m. PT|
|Friday, Oct. 9|
|#12 UCLA at UTAH||PACLA/PACMT||6 p.m. MT|
|#14 ARIZONA at WASHINGTON STATE||PAC12/PACAZ/PACWA||6 p.m. PT|
|OREGON STATE at #7 STANFORD||PACBA/PACOR||6 p.m. PT|
|#1 USC at COLORADO||PACLA/PACMT||7 p.m. PT|
|#5 ARIZONA STATE at #6 WASHINGTON||7 p.m. PT|
|#25 OREGON at CALIFORNIA||PACOR||8 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Oct. 11|
|#5 ARIZONA STATE at WASHINGTON STATE||PACAZ/PACWA||11 a.m. PT|
|#12 UCLA at COLORADO||PAC12/PACMT/PACLA||12 p.m. MT|
|OREGON STATE at CALIFORNIA||PACBA/PACOR||11 a.m. PT|
|#1 USC at UTAH||1 p.m. MT|
|#25 OREGON at #7 STANFORD||PAC12/PACBA/PACOR||5 p.m. PT|
PAC12/PACAZ/PACBA/PACLA/PACMT/PACOR/PACWA - Indicates live broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.
• Seven Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top-25 of the AVCA Coaches Poll for the seventh-straight week with four rating in the top seven.
Undefeated USC took over the No. 1 spot in the country for the first time since Oct. 14, 2013, while No. ARIZONA STATE earns its first-ever top-five national ranking. WASHINGTON slipped to No. 6 and STANFORD nudged up to No. 7. UCLA is ranked No. 12 this week, ARIZONA is No. 14 and OREGON is No. 25. COLORADO is also receiving votes.
The Pac-12 head a league-record nine teams earn preseason top-25 rating this season. USC started the season at No. 22 and quickly moved up to the top three.
• Three undefeated teams remain in the country, two of which are ARIZONA STATE and USC.
• With just one loss to date, WASHINGTON has been one of the toughest teams on either side of the ball this season. The Huskies lead the nation in hitting efficiency (.323), while also leading the country in opponent hitting percentage, limiting teams to just .117. ASU is second with a party .119 opponent hitting percentage.
• Five Pac-12 teams are in the top 20 in the country in blocks per set: 3. Washington (3.11), 7. Arizona State (3.06), 9. Stanford (3.00), 10. Washington State (2.95) and No. 17 USC (2.81).
• USC’s Samantha Bricio leads the country in aces per set (0.81) and points per set (6.30).
• The Pac-12 has four players ranked in the top 25 in the nation in blocks per set and kills per set. USC’s Alicia Ogoms is second in the nation with a 1.76 blocks average, while UW’s Melanie Wade is fifth (1.54), ASU’s Whitney Follette is 18th (1.44) and Stanford’s Ivana Vanjak is 20th (1.42). Bricio leads the Pac-12 and ranks fourth in the NCAA with a 5.06 kills per set average, followed by UCLA’s Jordan Anderson (6th, 4.08), ARIZONA’s Kalei Mau (12th, 4.56) and WASHINGTON STATE’s Kyra Holt (24th, 4.27).
For a complete list of NCAA stats team and individual leaders visit this link: http://stats.ncaa.org/rankings/ranking_summary
•USC sits atop the RPI rankings as well. The first RPI rankings of the season were released on Oct. 5 and the Pac-12 has five teams in the top 14. USC is first, UCLA is No. 3, STANFORD is seventh, ARIZONA STATE sits in the 13th spot and WASHINGTON is 14th. The Conference has nine teams in the top 72. For the full rankings, click here.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
•ARIZONA STATE’s Macey Gardner was voted the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after helping ASU snap a 28-match losing streak to Stanford. COLORADO’s Cierra Simpson was voted the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, and STANFORD’s Hayley Hodson was selected the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the second time. For the full release, click here.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
All four of Arizona's losses have come to teams currently ranked in the top nine of the AVCA Top 25 … Arizona State's victory over Stanford snapped a 28-game losing streak to the Cardinal, dating back to Sept. 30, 2000 … California's setter Alyssa Jensen is fifth in the league in assists per set at 9.73 … Colorado snapped an eight-match losing streak to Oregon on Oct. 2, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to win. It is also the program's first win in Eugene … Amanda Benson led the Oregon Ducks with 21 digs against Utah on Oct. 3, marking the third time in the last four matches she has reached 20 digs … Oregon State's Mary-Kate Marshall, a 2014 AVCA All-American, is currently fifth in the Conference with 4.02 kills per set … Stanford won a five-set thriller against the Arizona Wildcats on Sept. 30 in Tucson. Stanford has not lost to Arizona since 2005 … UCLA is currently third in the Conference in digs per set at 15.84, a key component to its 11-3 start … At 16-0, USC had 12 sweeps during the season and only lost five sets total … Utah's Adora Anae is tied for the most double-doubles in the Pac-12 with nine on the season … Washington ranks first in the country in hitting percentage (.323) and opponent hitting percentage (.117) … Washington State leads the Pac-12 and ranks 13th in the nation in aces per set (1.79).
• Pac-12 teams have defeated nine ranked non-conference teams so far 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, 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 is coming off another historic season 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 will be roaming 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. Also in coaching news, UTAH head coach Beth Launiere needs just seven more victories for career No. 500. She has spent all 25 years of her career in Salt Lake City.
• 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 will have the most comprehensive volleyball television coverage of any league in the country. 95 total matches will be 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.
Pac-12 students are known for their success on the field, but they are also impressive, complete people with outside interests, diverse backgrounds, extracurricular activities, interesting families, busy schedules, and full lives.
PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
2015 PAC-12 WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
IN THE PRESEASON
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).
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