USC And Washington Sit Atop AVCA Rankings

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THIS WEEK
Only four teams remain in the race for the Pac-12 regular-season title and USC continues to be in control. With only two weeks left before the postseason, the Trojans are holding on to a one-game lead in the Conference standings ahead of WASHINGTON. STANFORD and UCLA are still vying for the league crown, but need some help sitting three games back.

If the Bruins and Cardinal want to stay in the Pac-12 race, at minimum both need to sweep their matches this week but still need a USC loss. It still will not be an easy feat to stay in contention, however. The Cardinal hosts COLORADO on Thursday and look to avenge a loss from October in the first meeting between the teams. The Buffs are a dangerous squad, having defeated six ranked opponents this season, including both Arizona teams last week. The Bruins are on the road heading for the desert where ARIZONA and ARIZONA STATE look to make up for losses over the weekend and stay in NCAA Tournament berth consideration.

Meanwhile, the Huskies cannot slip up and hit the road for a contest at OREGON STATE for the Pac-12 Networks’ Match of the Week on Wednesday. UW closes out the weekend at OREGON, who also registered an upset over the weekend.


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded standings)

Teams Pct. Pac-12 Record Overall Record
USC .938 15-1 27-1
Washington .875 14-2 24-2
UCLA .750 12-4 21-5
Stanford .750 12-4 18-6
Arizona State .500 8-8 19-8
Colorado .500 8-8 16-12
Arizona .438 7-9 17-11
Oregon .438 7-9 13-12
Washington State .250 4-12 15-13
Utah .188 3-13 9-18
California .188 3-13 9-18
Oregon State .188 3-13 5-21

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Local To Site)

Wednesday, Nov. 18 TV/Live Stream Time
WASHINGTON STATE at OREGON PACOR 7:30 p.m. PT
#2 WASHINGTON at OREGON STATE PAC12 7:30 p.m. PT
Thursday, Nov. 19    
COLORADO at #7 STANFORD Live Stream 4 p.m. PT
UTAH at CALIFORNIA Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Friday, Nov. 20    
#2 WASHINGTON at OREGON PAC12/PACOR/PACWA 4 p.m. PT
#1 USC at #23 ARIZONA Live Stream 6 p.m. MT
UTAH at #7 STANFORD PACBA 6 p.m. PT
#11 UCLA at #24 ARIZONA STATE PACAZ/PACLA 7 p.m. MT
WASHINGTON STATE at OREGON STATE PACOR/PACWA 6 p.m. PT
Saturday, Nov. 21    
COLORADO at CALIFORNIA Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Sunday, Nov. 22    
#11 UCLA at #23 ARIZONA Live Stream 12 p.m. MT
#1 USC at #24 ARIZONA STATE Live Stream 1 p.m. MT

PAC12/PACAZ/PACBA/PACLA/PACMT/PACOR/PACWA - Indicates live broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.


AVCA RANKINGS
USC reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the AVCA Coaches poll, while WASHINGTON earns its highest ranking of the season at No. 2. The Pac-12 held the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the polling last year for three-consecutive weeks from Oct. 27-Nov. 10 when STANFORD and UW were No. 1 and 2, respectively. The Cardinal is No. 7 this week, UCLA is No. 11, ARIZONA is No. 23 and ARIZONA STATE is No. 24.

A league-record nine Pac-12 teams were ranked in the preseason top 25. The Trojans started the season ranked No. 22 and quickly moved up to No. 1 in the country, remaining there for four-straight weeks from Oct. 5-26.

NCAA STATS 
USC boasts the best record in the country, with a NCAA-best .964 winning percentage after going 27-1 so far this season.WASHINGTON’s 24-2 overall record is good for a .923 winning percentage, which ranks fifth in the nation.
• A strong contender for national player of the year, USC’s Samantha Bricio continues to have a strong season, leading the nation in aces per set (0.74) and points per set (6.23). She also ranked third with a 5.07 kills per set average.
• WASHINGTON’s Lianna Sybeldon is the most efficient hitter in the nation, boasting a .486 hitting percentage. USC’s Alicia Ogoms is 16th at .414.
• Four of the top 16 blocking teams in the nation are in the Pac-12. UW is sixth averaging 2.98 blocks per set, while ARIZONA STATE ranks ninth at 2.95. STANFORD and WASHINGTON STATE are 15th (2.88) and 16th (2.85), respectively.
• The Huskies lead the Pac-12 and rank second in the country with a .316 hitting percentage and also boast the fifth-best opponent hitting percentage in the nation, limiting foes to .143.
• 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 4.72 kps, which is seventh. ARIZONA’s Kalei Mau is 22nd (4.33).

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

RPI RANKINGS 
Four Pac-12 teams have top-12 RPIs this week. USC is at No. 3, WASHINGTON is at No. 6, UCLA is at No. 11 and STANFORD is at No. 12. ARIZONA and ARIZONA STATE are also in the top 50 at No. 32 and No. 50, respectively. For the full rankings, click here.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK 
COLORADO’s Alexis Austin was selected the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Buffs to a pair of upsets over the weekend against the Arizona schools. WASHINGTON’s Cassie Strickland is the Defensive Player of the Week for the third-consecutive week and Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors went to WASHINGTON STATE’s McKenna Woodford, who garners the award for the second time this season. For the complete release and for previous winners, click here.

AROUND THE LEAGUE
Halli Amaro of ARIZONA reached 400 blocks for her career in the match against Colorado. She is only the seventh student-athlete in program history to reach that mark … With the win over Utah, ARIZONA STATE has won 19 or more matches in each of the last four seasons for the first time in program history … CALIFORNIA setter Alyssa Jensen is sixth in the league in assists per set at 10.00 … COLORADO has beaten six ranked opponents on the year after knocking off the Arizona schools last weekend … After OREGON's 3-2 victory over then-No. 9 UCLA, the Ducks have played six five-set matches this year, which is the most since 2011 (7) … OREGON STATE's Mary-Kate Marshall, a 2014 AVCA All-American, is second in the Pac-12 and seventh in the country in attacks per set (12.47) … In STANFORD's 3-1 victory over Washington State, three Cardinal student-athletes recorded double-doubles … UCLA's junior Jordan Anderson has reached the 20-kill mark eight times this season. She ranks seventh in the country in kills per set at 4.72 … USC improved to 13-0 at home this season after wins over Colorado and Utah last weekend … UTAH's Adora Anae is tied for first in double-doubles in the Pac-12 with 17 on the season … WASHINGTON has won 29-straight home games in Alaska Airlines Arena … WASHINGTON STATE averages 2.85 blocks per set, the 16th-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.

• 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 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 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

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

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


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).

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