No. 2 Stanford leads six ranked Pac-12 volleyball teams
SAN FRANCISCO - STANFORD heads into the week with a commanding four-match lead in the Pac-12 over three second-place teams. Ranked second in the nation, the Cardinal have yet to drop a match in Conference play, relinquishing just six games in 12 matchups.
Despite Stanford’s domination, it has been a competitive league season so far with Pac-12 teams collectively recording 26 upsets so far this season. Of those, 16 have come in league play, including 12 in the month of October alone. All but one team has posted at least a pair of upsets this campaign, and all have at least one.
Behind the Cardinal are three teams tied for second, with No. 16 OREGON, No. 15 USC and No. 19 WASHINGTON STATE tangled with an 8-4 record. The trope boast a two-match lead over No. 23 ARIZONA and No. 20 UCLA, which are tied with a 6-6 record.
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK
• Looking to break that second-place tangle, OREGON hosts USC on Saturday on Pac-12 Network. The match will show off two of the nation’s top setters with UO’s August Raskie directing the nation’s fourth-best attack while USC freshman Raquel Lázaro taking the reins of the 17th-best offense.
• CALIFORNIA and COLORADO kick off the week’s action on Wednesday on Pac-12 Network. After getting off to a 0-6 start to league play, the Golden Bears have won four of their last seven, including two wins over ranked teams. Cal heads home after a four-match road trip. The Buffs are 3-2 over their last five, coming off an upset over then-No. 21 Washington to close out last week’s action.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Local to Site)
|Wednesday, Oct. 31||TV/Stream||Time|
|Colorado at California*||P12N||7 p.m. PT|
|Friday, Nov. 2||TV/Stream||Time|
|Arizona State at Washington*||7 p.m. PT|
|#21 Arizona at #18 Washington State*||Live Stream||7 p.m. PT|
|Colorado at #2 Stanford*||P12N||7 p.m. PT|
|#22 UCLA at Oregon State*||Live Stream||7 p.m. PT|
|Utah at California*||7 p.m. MT|
|#15 USC at #16 Oregon*||P12O||8 p.m. PT|
|Sunday, Nov. 4||TV/Stream||Time|
|Arizona State at #18 Washington State*||P12N||12 p.m. PT|
|#21 Arizona at Washington*||P12N||12 p.m. PT|
|#22 UCLA at #16 Oregon*||P12N||12 p.m. PT|
|#15 USC at Oregon State*||P12N||12 p.m. PT|
|Utah at #2 Stanford*||P12N||2 p.m. PT|
* Pac-12 Conference Match
IN THE RANKINGS
• STANFORD continues to remain solidly in the No. 2 spot in the AVCA National Coaches Poll, the Cardinal gaining six first-place vote this week. Six league teams are ranked this week: No. 15 USC, No. 16 OREGON, No. 18 WASHINGTON STATE, No. 21 ARIZONA and No. 22 UCLA. COLORADO, UTAH and WASHINGTON are receiving votes.
• 11 different teams have earned a top-25 ranking or have received votes this season with nine teams appearing in the ranking on Sept. 24. At least seven Pac-12 teams have been ranked every week except two, including the preseason.
• Stanford also maintains the top RPI in the country with USC (No. 7) and WSU (No. 10) also appearing in the top 10. The Pac-12 also boasts eight teams with a RPI of 43 and better, and all but one are in the top 85.
• For the second-straight week, a Washington State Cougar takes the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honor as Penny Tusa claimed the award for the first time in her career. Stanford’s Tami Alade garnered Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors, receiving the nod for the first time. It marks the sixth time a Cardinal has been tabbed the top weekly defender this season. Lastly, receiving the nod for the third time this season, Brooke Nuneviller was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.
• Stanford’s No. 2 national ranking can easily be justified by looking at the team’s statistical numbers. It has found success with a balanced offensive attack and a staunch defense leading the nation in blocks per set (3.22) while ranking second in assists per set (14.20) and hitting percentage (.311), and third in kills per set (15.20).
• The Pac-12 boasts some of the best setters in the nation, with four student-athletes ranked in the top-20 in assists per set. Stanford’s Jenna Gray is second in the country with 12.56 aps and Oregon’s August Raskie ranks fifth at 11.91 aps. USC’s Raquel Lázaro has the highest assists average among freshmen in the country and ranks 15th among all players with 11.39 aps. Only three freshman in the country are ranked in the top 25 in the category. Arizona’s Julia Patterson ranks 19th with an assists average of 11.15.
• The Pac-12 also boasts four of the most high-powered offenses in the country with Stanford (15.20) and Oregon (14.73) ranking third and fourth in the country, respectively, in kills per set. Additionally, ARIZONA (14.41) is 12th and USC (14.03) is 17th.
• Seven current Pac-12 student-athletes have collected over 1,000-career kills. USC Khalia Lanier leads all active players in the Conference, ranking among the top 20 in the NCAA among active players. Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer and Arizona’s Kendra Dahlke are also among the top 30 active leaders in the nation. Since the Conference began sponsoring women’s volleyball in 1986, there have been 179 student-athletes reach the 1,000-kills plateau.
• COLORADO’s Naghede Abu and WASHINGTON STATE’s Claire Martin became the 26th players in Pac-12 history to record 500-career blocks. The duo rank sixth and seventh, respectively, among active NCAA leaders in the category.
• Six current players have recorded a a minimum 1,000 career digs, led by OSU’s Kayla Ellis who broke into the Pac-12’s top 50 with over 1,300. Oregon’s Lindsey Vander Weide became the first player this season to reach the threshold while Utah’s Brianna Doehrmann is the latest to join the list. There are 164 all-time student-athletes that have reached the threshold in Pac-12 history.
• Arizona’s Dave Rubio joined an elite company after claiming his 500th victory while at Tucson on Sept. 14. In his 27th season at the Wildcat helm, he is only the second head coach in Pac-12 history to reach the milestone.
• Stanford recorded its 18th-consecutive 20-win season with its victory over UCLA on Oct. 28. The Cardinal have won 18 in a row, as of Oct. 29. Going a perfect 10-0 to start league play and after starting off with a 14-0 league record last year, it is the first time since 1997 and 1998 that the Cardinal has had back-to-back seasons of 10-0 starts in league play.
• CALIFORNIA defeated its second ranked opponent in three tries, taking down the-No. 24 Utah on Oct. 7 and then-No. 21 Washington State on Oct. 14 marking the first time Cal has taken down two ranked conference opponents in the same season since 2016.
• ARIZONA STATE broke a lengthy losing streak, picking up its first Pac-12 win since 2016 and the first under head coach Sanja Tomasevic on Sept. 23 over then-No. 12 Oregon. The win over the Ducks was the first over a ranked team since 2016 and was also the first sweep of UO since 2005. They notched a second sweep over a top-15 opponent this season with a win over No. 15 Washington, the most wins over a ranked opponent for the Sun Devils since 2015. It was ASU’s first win over Washington since Nov. 21, 2012 and the first sweep of the Huskies since Sept. 22, 2000.
• 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.
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.
STANDINGS (as of 10/29/18)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive: Penny Tusa, WSU
Defensive: Tami Alade, STAN
Freshman: Brooke Nuneviller, ORE
Offensive: Paige Whipple, ARIZ; Preslie Anderson, CAL; Alexa Smith, COLO; Ronika Stone, ORE; Amy Underdown, OSU; Audriana Fitzmorris, STAN; Mac May, UCLA; Kenzie Koerber, UTAH.
Defensive: Naghede Abu, COLO; Brooke Nuneviller, ORE; Grace Massey, OSU; Zana Muno, UCLA; Brianna Doehrmann, UTAH; Alexis Dirige, WSU.
Freshman: Lauren Forte, CAL; Anyse Smith, COLO; Holly Campbell, STAN; Alexis Light, UCLA; Raquel Lázaro, USC.
2018 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
AVCA National Player of the Week:
Sep. 11 - Kathryn Plummer, Stanford
Oct. 9 - Taylor Borup, Oregon
Senior CLASS Award Finalists:
Tami Alade, STAN
IN THE PRESEASON
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.
• The Pac-12 has captured seven of the last 15 NCAA crowns (2016- Stanford, 2011 - UCLA, 2005 - Washington, 2004 - Stanford, 2003 - USC, 2002 - USC, 2001 - Stanford) and 15 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.