Seven Pac-12 Volleyball teams ranked, two in NCAA top 10

SAN FRANCISCO - Second-ranked STANFORD has won 20-straight matches and has claimed a nation-best 29-consecutive victories at home. The Cardinal are undefeated at home and play its next two at home, and could potentially clinch a share of the Pac-12 crown with two more wins this week.

Seven Pac-12 teams are ranked this week in the AVCA Coach poll, marking the 11th of 12 weeks at least seven league teams are ranked. Three Pac-12 teams have RPI in the top 10, tying for the most of any conference. The Cardinal and USC were among the NCAA’s top 10 it revealed that would be among the top 10 seeds if the season had ended over the weekend.

WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK
• Five matchups between top 25 teams take place in the state of California this week. Thursday top-25 tilts in the Golden State include the Cardinal hosting No. 17 OREGON, No. 19 WASHINGTON STATE travels to No. 21 UCLA, and No. 13 USC welcoming No. 25 WASHINGTON. Each of the matches will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
• The Bruins take on the Huskies on Saturday evening on Pac-12 Networks, with the week’s top-25 action wrapping up on Sunday between the Cougs and Trojans in Galen Center.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Local to Site)

Thursday, Nov. 8 TV/Stream Time
Oregon State at California* P12O 6 p.m. PT
#19 Washington State at #21 UCLA* P12N 6 p.m. PT
#17 Oregon at #2 Stanford* P12N 8 p.m. PT
#25 Washington at #13 USC* P12W 8 p.m. PT
Friday, Nov. 9 TV/Stream Time
Arizona State at Colorado* Live Stream 7 p.m. MT
#20 Arizona at Utah* Live Stream 7 p.m. MT
Oregon State at #2 Stanford* Live Stream 7 p.m. PT
Saturday, Nov. 10 TV/Stream Time
#17 Oregon at California*   5 p.m. PT
#25 Washington at #21 UCLA* P12N 7 p.m. PT
Sunday, Nov. 11 TV/Stream Time
#20 Arizona at Colorado* Live Stream 12 p.m. MT
Arizona State at Utah* Live Stream 1 p.m. MT
#19 Washington State at #13 USC Live Stream 1:30 p.m. PT

* Pac-12 Conference Match

NCAA TOP 10 REVEAL 
• On Sunday, Nov. 4, the NCAA revealed its top-10 seeds for the NCAA Tournament if the season ended on Wednesday, Oct. 31, using the selection criteria and results through that date. STANFORD was picked the No. 2 overall seed while USC would be the No. 7 seed.
• The reveal is based on the criteria used to select and seed the 64 teams for the Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship and includes strength of schedule, Rating Percentage Index, head-to-head competition, results versus common opponents and significant wins and losses. The announcement is part of the continued team evaluations that will culminate with the final bracket, revealed during the selection show on Sunday, November 25, at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

IN THE RANKINGS
• WASHINGTON is back in the AVCA Coaches poll this week after dropping out of last week’s polling, earning a No. 25 ranking. With the Huskies back in the top 25, the Pac-12 has seven teams in the polling. At least seven teams have been ranked every week except one, including the preseason.
• STANFORD continues to be the standard bearer of the league, coming in at No. 2. It has been in the top two every week but one, including spending the first two weeks of the season at No. 1.
• After a strong weekend, USC moved up two spots to No. 13, followed by No. 17 OREGON, No. 19 WASHINGTON STATE, No. 20 ARIZONA and No. 21 UCLA.
• 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 one, including the preseason.
• Stanford also maintains the top RPI in the country with USC (No. 6) and WSU (No. 10) also appearing in the top 10. The three top-10 teams are tied for the most of any conference. The Pac-12 also boasts nine teams with a RPI of 50 and better, and all but one are in the top 90.

WHAT’S TRENDING
• For the first time this season a freshman was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after Washington’s Claire Hoffman had a breakthrough weekend, leading the Huskies to a 2-0 week, including an upset of then-No. 21 Arizona. Also earning honors are Stanford’s Tami Alade, who was voted the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for the second-consecutive week and first-time honoree COLORADO’s Jenna Ewert was tabbed 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 (3.23) while ranking second in assists per set (14.20) and hitting percentage (.311), and third in kills per set (15.14).
• 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 12.49 aps and Oregon’s August Raskie ranks fifth at 11.90 aps. USC’s Raquel Lázaro has the highest assists average among freshmen in the country and ranks 13th among all players with 11.49 aps. Only three freshman in the country are ranked in the top 25 in the category. Arizona’s Julia Patterson ranks 25th with an assists average of 11.10.
• The Pac-12 also boasts four of the most high-powered offenses in the country with Stanford (15.14) and Oregon (14.71) ranking third and fourth in the country, respectively, in kills per set. Additionally, ARIZONA (14.28) is 12th and USC (14.20) is 16th.
• 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. She notched her 1,400th kill on Nov. 4, making her the 67th player in Pac-12 history to reach the milestone. Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer and Arizona’s Kendra Dahlke are also among the top 40 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 is 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.
• Washington State looks to continue to boost its postseason resume and make a third-consecutive NCAA Tournament, a feat it has not accomplished since 2000-02. The Cougs, who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year, have already surpassed its Pac-12 win total from all of last season (6) and has tied its overall win total from 2017 (18). WSU is tied for third in the Conference heading into the UCLA-USC road trip, which would be its highest finish since 2002 if it stays in that position.
• 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. Rubio has led his squad to more league and overall wins than all of last season when the Wildcats were 11-18 and 5-15 in the Pac-12.
• Stanford recorded its 18th-consecutive 20-win season with its victory over UCLA on Oct. 28. The Cardinal have won 20 in a row, as of Nov. 4. 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. The Bears have more Pac-12 wins than all of last season and has equalled its win total from last year (13).
• 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. The Sun Devils have surpassed their overall win total from all of last season.
• 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 11/5/18)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Stanford 14-0 22-1
USC 10-4 18-7
Washington State 9-5 18-6
Oregon 9-5 16-8
Arizona 7-7 18-8
Washington 7-7 15-9
UCLA 7-7 12-9
Colorado 6-8 14-11
California 5-9 13-12
Utah 5-9 13-12
Arizona State 4-10 13-13
Oregon State 1-13 11-15

PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

THIS WEEK:
Offensive: Claire Hoffman, WASH
Defensive: Tami Alade, STAN
Freshman: Jenna Ewert, COLO

ALSO NOMINATED:
Offensive:
Paige Whipple, ARIZ; Justine Spann, COLO; Ronika Stone; ORE; Amy Underdown; OSU; Jenna Gray, STAN; Kyra Rogers, UCLA; Emily Baptista, USC; McKenna Woodford, WSU.
Defensive: Danielle Price, COLO; Ronika Stone, ORE; Kayla Ellis, OSU; Zana Muno, UCLA; Victoria Garrick, USC; Avie Niece, WASH; Claire Martin, WSU.
Freshman: Zyonna Fellows, ARIZ; Brooke Nuneviller, ORE; Holly Campbell, STAN; Alexis Light, UCLA; Raquel Lázaro, USC; Claire Hoffman, WASH.

2018 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

 

Offensive

Defensive

Freshman

Aug. 27 Brooke Botkin, USC Grace Massey, OSU Raquel Lázaro, USC
Sep. 3 Mac May, UCLA Claire Martin, WSU Raquel Lázaro, USC
Sep. 10 Kathryn Plummer, STAN Morgan Hentz, STAN Brooke Nuneviller, ORE
Sep. 17 Kathryn Plummer, STAN Morgan Hentz, STAN Maddie Sheehan, OSU
Sep. 24 Ronika Stone, ORE Lindsey Vander Weide, ORE Raquel Lázaro, USC
Oct. 1 Kendra Dahlke, ARIZ Morgan Hentz, STAN Holly Campbell, STAN 
Oct. 8 Taylor Borup, ORE Morgan Hentz, STAN Brooke Nuneviller, ORE
Oct. 15 Kathryn Plummer, STAN Morgan Hentz, STAN Raquel Lázaro, USC
Oct. 22 Jocelyn Urias, WSU Devyn Cross, ARIZ Lauren Forte, CAL
Oct. 29 Penny Tusa, WSU Tami Alade, STAN Brooke Nuneviller, ORE
Nov. 5 Claire Hoffman, WASH Tami Alade, STAN Jenna Ewert, COLO

NATIONAL HONORS

AVCA National Player of the Week:
Sep. 11 - Kathryn Plummer, Stanford
Oct. 9 - Taylor Borup, Oregon

ESPNW Player of the Year Watch: 
Kathryn Plummer keeps elevating
Khalia Lanier hitting and knitting her way to Stanford showdown
After rocky introduction, Ronika Stone is crushing it at Oregon
Stanford setter Jenna Gray is no joke

Senior CLASS Award Nominees: 
Alexa Smith, COLO

Tami Alade, STAN

Senior CLASS Award Finalists:
Tami Alade, STAN


IN THE PRESEASON

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


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.


HISTORICALLY SPEAKING

• 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.

  

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