Big matchups highlight Pac-12 volleyball this week

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SAN FRANCISCO- No. 13 WASHINGTON and No. 21 COLORADO highlight this week’s Pac-12 volleyball schedule, with the Huskies hosting the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge, which will also be televised on Pac-12 Network. The Huskies welcome the Buffs, and both face No. 11 Illinois and Iowa. It is a battle of the nation’s top-two volleyball conferences with both leagues featuring seven ranked teams in this week’s AVCA poll.

WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK
• In addition to the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge in Seattle, other marquee matchups this week includes No. 1 STANFORD heading to No. 9 BYU.
• No. 10 UCLA faces back-to-back ranked matchups against No. 12 Baylor and No. 19 San Diego in San Diego.
• A top-10 tilt in Gainesville, Fla., has the Trojans facing #3 Florida, while WASHINGTON STATE faces #17 Northern Iowa on back-to-back days in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Pacific)

Monday, Aug. 27 TV/Stream Time
#1 STANFORD at Howard   7 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Aug. 28    
Portland State at #18 OREGON Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Friday, Aug. 31    
CALIFORNIA vs. Norhtern Colorado (1)   9 a.m. MT
#22 UTAH at Montana (2)   10 a.m. MT
Lipscomb at ARIZONA Live Stream 10 a.m. MT
OREGON STATE vs. UC Davis (3)   11 a.m. PT
#10 UCLA vs. #12 Baylor (4)   1 p.m. PT
Utah Valley at #18 OREGON (5)   1 p.m. PT
#22 UTAH vs. Gonzaga (2)   5 p.m. MT
#7 USC at #4 Florida (6) SEC Network 7 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON STATE at #17 Northern Iowa   6 p.m. CT
CALIFORNIA at South Dakota (1)   6 p.m. MT
#21 COLORADO vs. #11 Illinois (7) P12N 5 p.m. PT
OREGON STATE at Portland State (3)   6 p.m. PT
#1 STANFORD at #9 Brigham Young (8)   7 p.m. MT
San Diego State at ARIZONA Live Stream 7 p.m. MT
Iowa at #13 WASHINGTON P12N 8 p.m. PT
Long Beach State at #18 OREGON (5)   8 p.m. PT
Saturday, Sep. 1    
CALIFORNIA vs. Northeastern (1)   8:30 a.m. MT
#1 STANFORD vs. Wichita State (8)   10 a.m. MT
WASHINGTON STATE at #17 Northern Iowa   11:30 a.m. CT
#22 UTAH vs. Iowa State (2)   11 a.m. MT
Pacific at ARIZONA Live Stream 12 p.m. MT
Arkansas Pine Bluff at #18 OREGON (5)   1 p.m. PT
ARIZONA STATE vs. Towson (9)   5: 30 p.m. AT
#1 STANFORD vs. West Virginia (8)   5 p.m. MT
#7 USC vs. Central Florida (6)   7:30 p.m. ET
#21 COLORADO vs. Iowa (7) P12M 5 p.m. PT
#11 Illinois at #13 WASHINGTON P12W 8 p.m. PT
Sunday, Sep. 2    
#7 USC vs. Louisville (6)   1 p.m. ET
ARIZONA STATE vs. Xavier (9)   1 p.m. AT
ARIZONA STATE vs. Missouri (9)   8 p.m. AT
#10 UCLA at #19 San Diego (4)   5 p.m. PT

1 - South Dakota Tournament, Vermillion, S.D.; 2 - Montana Volleyball Invitational, Missoula, Mont.; 3 - Rose City Showdown, Portland, Ore.; 4 - USD Invitational, San Diego, Calif.; 5 - Oregon Classic, Eugene, Ore.; 6 - Bubly Invitational, Gainesville, Fla.; 7 - Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge, Seattle, Wash.; 8 - BYU Nike Invitational, Provo, Utah.; 9 - Puerto Rico Classic, San Juan, P.R.

AVCA RANKINGS
• Stanford has taken a bigger lead at the No. 1 spot of the AVCA National poll this week, garnering 57 first-place votes for 1,591 points. The Cardinal lead a cluster of seven ranked Pac-12 teams, three coming in among the top 10, including No. 7 USC and No. 10 UCLA. Also remaining in the rankings but at different positions are No. 13 Washington, No. 18 OREGON and No. 21 Colorado. ARIZONA, OREGON STATE and Washington State are receiving votes.
• The Pac-12 had seven teams ranked in the preseason AVCA poll. Since 2003, the Pac-12 has had at least five teams in the preseason poll with the exception of 2014 and 2007 when four teams were ranked.

WHAT’S TRENDING
• Eight Pac-12 teams ended the weekend with perfect records, including Arizona, ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA and USC going 3-0 in their respective opening-season tournaments. Key wins came in the form of the Trojans upsetting then-No. 5 Kentucky (3-1), a defeat over Northern Iowa (3-0) and a win over then-No. 13 Creighton (3-2). Northern Iowa is ranked No. 17 this week after being unranked last week.
• The season’s first weekly honorees were announced on Monday. The Trojans picked up a pair of honors with sophomore Brooke Botkin taking the Offensive Player of the Week nod, while setter Raquel Lazaro was tabbed the Freshman of the Week. Oregon State’s Grace Massey was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after helping the Beavers to a 3-2 upset of then-No. 21 Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.
• Pac-12 student-athletes were bestowed preseason tournament honors, including Arizona’s Kendra Dahlke, ASU’s Megan Beedie, Cal’s Mima Mirkovic, USC’s Khalia Lanier, UTAH’s Lauga Gaute and WSU’s Taylor Mims. OSU’s Massey was tabbed the MVP of the Iowa State Tournament, a rarity for a libero to earn the honor.
• Pac-12 teams opened the season in dominant fashion, going 25-5 (.833) in the first weekend of play. League teams have posted a 385-91 (.809) record in the opening week of play dating back to 2002.
• Oregon senior Lindsey Vander Weide (1,040) and USC junior Khalia Lanier (1,050) return as the Pac-12’s active kills leaders, both tallying over 1,000 each. Stanford junior Kathryn Plummer is just behind with 999 career kills.
• Five current players enter the season with a minimum 1,000 career digs, led by OSU’s Kayla Ellis, who ranks 85th all-time in Pac-12 history with over 1,200 digs.

2018-19 IN A NUTSHELL
• Stanford returns as the defending Pac-12 Champion, also advancing to the NCAA semifinal. The Cardinal were also picked to win the 2018 league crown, followed by USC in second and Oregon in third. For a complete listing of the poll, click on the link below.
• Seven AVCA All-Americans return from last year, including 2017 AVCA National Player of the Year and Pac-12 Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer. Four of the seven are first team honorees and all are juniors, including USC’s Lanier, and Cardinal teammates Morgan Hentz and Jenna Gray. Plummer became the first player to win the national player of the year honor a year after garnering the AVCA National Freshman of the Year award.
• Nine of the 14 players named to the 2017 All-Pac-12 team return for 2018, including Stanford’s Morgan Hentz, the Pac-12 Libero of the Year last year, and Jenna Gray, the 2017 Pac-12 Setter of the Year.
• The Pac-12 welcomes new coaches to the sidelines, including CALIFORNIA mentor Jennifer Dorr and USC’s Brent Crouch. Dorr has been with the Golden Bears program since 2009 when she joined the squad as the director of operations before moving to the role of assistant coach in 2011. Crouch was named the 2016 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year while with Portland.
• Pac-12 volleyball continues to attract marquee student-athletes. Five Pac-12 teams landed at least one Volleyball Magazine FAB 50 recruit with Oregon and UCLA pacing the league with four each. Thirteen named to the list will be donning a Pac-12 uniform this season.

PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL BROADCASTS
• In 2018, 91 Pac-12 regular-season volleyball matches will be televised this season, by far the most of any conference in the nation. Of those, 88 appear on the Pac-12 Networks beginning with the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge Friday, Aug. 31 doubleheader featuring Colorado and Washington taking on Illinois and Iowa.
• ESPN will also televise three Pac-12 matches, including the UCLA-USC rivalry matchup on Wednesday, Sept. 19 on ESPNU. ESPN2 will be the home of two Pac-12 matches: USC at STANFORD on Friday, Sept. 28 and Stanford at OREGON on Sunday, Oct. 21.
• For a full television schedule, visit pac-12.com.


CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded standings)

Teams Points Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Arizona 0 0-0 3-0
Arizona State 0 0-0 3-0
California 0 0-0 3-0
USC 0 0-0 3-0
UCLA 0 0-0 2-0
Washington 0 0-0 2-0
Washington State 0 0-0 2-0
Stanford 0 0-0 1-0
Colorado 0 0-0 2-1
Oregon State 0 0-0 2-1
Utah 0 0-0 2-1
Oregon 0 0-0 0-2

PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

THIS WEEK:
Offensive: Brooke Botkin, USC
Defensive: Grace Massey, Oregon State
Goalkeeper: Raquel Lazaro, USC

ALSO NOMINATED
Offensive:
  Kendra Dahlke, ARIZ; Ivana Jeremic, ASU; Mima Mirkovic, CAL; Justine Spann, COLO; Willow Johnson, ORE; Maddie Goings, OSU; Meghan McClure, STAN; Jenny Mosser, UCLA; Lauga Gauta, UTAH; Kara Bajema, WASH; Taylor Mims, WSU.
Defensive: Devyn Cross, ARIZ; Rachel WBrooke Nuneviller, ORE; Morgan Hentz, STAN; Zana Muno, UCLA; Brianna Doehrmann, UTAH; Avie Niece, WASH; Alexis Dirige, WSU.
Freshman: Jade Blevins, CAL; Danielle Price, COLO; Brooke Nuneviller, ORE; Lindsey Schell, OSU; Holly Campbell, STAN; Devon Chang, UCLA; Phoebe Grace, UTAH; Ella May Powell, WASH.

2018 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  Offensive Defensive Goalkeeper
Aug. 27 Brooke Botkin, USC Grace Massey, OSU Raquel Lazaro, USC

IN THE PRESEASON

Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll & All-Pac-12 Team | AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll


HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

  • The Pac-12 has captured six of the last 15 NCAA crowns (2011 - UCLA, 2005 - Washington, 2004 - Stanford, 2003 - USC, 2002 - USC, 2001 - Stanford) and 14 NCAA titles overall.
  • The current group of Pac-12 volleyball coaches finished the 2015 season with over 5,000 Division I victories to its credit, having compiled 5,040 wins in a combined 230 years of head coaching experience. That averages out to nearly 22 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 14 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, 2015 AVCA), Washington’s Jim McLaughlin (2004 ASICS and AVCA), and UCLA’s Andy Banachowski (2006 ASICS and AVCA).
  • The Pac-12 has had 10 or more All-Americans selections in seven of the last 10 years. This year, eight were named to the AVCA All-America squad, USC’s Samantha Bricio and Washington’s Lianna Sybeldon were named to the first team, Stanford had a pair of second-team selections in Hayley Hodson and Merete Lutz, with USC’s Alicia Ogoms joining them. On the third team, Stanford’s Madi Bugg and Brittany Howard, and UCLA’s Taylor Formico earned spots. Ten former Pac-12 players have earned All-America honors four times, while 18 players in all have earned All-American honors three times.
  • Since 1990, Pac-12 players garnered AVCA Player of the Year honors 14 times, including the five of the last six - CAL’s Carli Lloyd (2010), USC’s Alex Jupiter (2011), ORE’s Alaina Bergsma (2012), WASH’s Krista Vansant (2013) and the latest honoree in USC’s Samantha Bricio. The NCAA Honda Sports Award honor has been bestowed upon a Pac-12 volleyball player 13 times, including Vansant in 2013.
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