Five Pac-12 volleyball teams undefeated going into another big week
SAN FRANCISCO - Five Pac-12 teams remain undefeated with No. 16 UTAH’s seven wins tying for the most in the nation. Riding a 36-match winning streak, top-ranked STANFORD and No. 10 OREGON head to the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge this week to face to face No. 4 Penn State and No. 8 Minnesota. No. 19 COLORADO has a home-and-home series this week against intra-state rival Colorado State, including a Pac-12 Networks match on Friday, Sept. 13. Pac-12 teams have won 79 percent of its matches in the first two weekends, including seven wins over ranked opponents.
• COLORADO joins six ranked Pac-12 teams in the AVCA Coaches poll this week after getting off to a 5-0 start, including an upset-sweep of then-No. 5 Illinois. STANFORD continues to be the No. 1 team in the country, this week garnering all 64 first-place votes after a pair of big wins over top-10 opponents last week.
• After being unranked the first two weeks of the season, the Buffs jump to No. 19 this week, the second-largest jump in the polls in program history. OREGON is No. 10 in the country, followed by No. 12 WASHINGTON, No. 16 UTAH and No. 20 USC.
• Stanford was the overwhelming No. 1 pick in the AVCA Preseason Coaches poll released on Aug. 13. The defending NCAA Champion garnered 62 of a possible 64 first-place votes. It was the second-straight year the Cardinal were No. 1 in the preseason and the 74th all-time No. 1 ranking for the program.
• 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 HAPPENING THIS WEEK
• A top-10 showdown is headed to Happy Valley on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13 and 14 with No. 1 Stanford and No. 10 Oregon participating in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge hosted by No. 4 Penn State, with No. 8 Minnesota also competing. The Cardinal go into the match with a 36-match winning streak.
• The Ducks kick off their East Coast-swing with a trip to No. 6 Pittsburgh on Wednesday on ESPNU. It will be Oregon’s first action since Aug. 31, during the opening weekend of the season.
• Colorado puts its ranking to the test with a home-and-home against intra-state rival Colorado State on Thursday, Sept. 12 and Friday, Sept. 13.
• 16th-ranked Utah and No. 12 Washington end the week with scheduled matches against No. 6 Pittsburgh (Pepperdine Tournament) and No. 17 Creighton (Bluejay Invitational), respectively.
PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
• Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer was voted the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Cardinal to a pair of top-15 victories last week, averaging 7.0 points, 6.88 kills and 1.75 digs per set, while hitting .462.
• Colorado’s Meegan Hart and Jill Schneggenburger were tabbed Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week and Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, respectively, after leading the Buffs to a pair of wins at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge in Iowa City last week, including the program’s first-ever sweep over a top-five ranked program.
• The Conference has already registered some big wins just two weeks into the season, with Utah posting a pair of upsets to open the season against top-25 teams, while Washington and Colorado each logged top-five wins at the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge last week.
• Five Pac-12 teams have not lost a match (as of Sept. 9), including Utah’s 7-0 record to tie for the national lead for most wins and its best start to a season since 2014. California, who is under the direction of first-year head coach Sam Crosson, is 6-0 for the first time since 2013. Colorado is 5-0, Stanford is 4-0 and Oregon is 2-0 to round out the unbeaten Pac-12 teams.
• Stanford senior and two-time AVCA National Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer is the Pac-12’s active career kills leader with over 1,500 kills (1,614), entering the top 15 in league history. She is also expected to be No. 2-active career leader among Division I volleyball players this season. USC senior Khalia Lanier is just under the 1,500-kills threshold (1,492) and is expected to rank fifth among the NCAA’s active leaders in the category. No other student-athlete in the Pac-12 has logged 1,000-career kills heading into the 2019 campaign.
• Arizona State’s Courtney Leffel is the latest in the Pac-12 to top the 1,000 digs threshold, hitting the mark on Aug. 31. She joins four others in the Conference with over 1,000-career digs, all of which are seniors. Two-time Pac-12 Libero of the Year Morgan Hentz of Stanford has collected over 1,700 in her three seasons (1,768) to rank in the top 20 Pac-12 history. She is expected to rank fifth among the NCAA’s active leaders this season. Washington State’s Alexis Dirige, Washington’s Shayne McPherson and Utah’s Brianna Doehrmann have all eclipsed the 1,000-digs mark.
• Stanford’s Audriana Fitzmorris recorded her 500th block against Duke on Aug. 31 becoming just the 28th all-time in league history to hit the mark.
• Eight AVCA All-Americans return from last year, including two-time AVCA National Player of the Year and Pac-12 Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer. She is one of just three Cardinal to earn multiple national player of the year nods and the first in the Conference since 2001 and 2002 (Logan Tom). Also back are 2018 first-team All-Americans Jenna Gray and Morgan Hentz (STAN). Second-team All-Americans on the court in 2019 are Brooke Botkin (USC), Dani Drews (UTAH), Audrianna Fitzmorris (STAN) and Ronika Stone (ORE), as well as third-team All-American Kara Bajema (WASH).
• 10 of the 14 players named to the 2018 All-Pac-12 team return for 2018, including two-time Pac-12 Setter of the Year Jenna Gray. 2018 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Raquel Lázaro was named to the Preseason All-Pac-12 team as voted on by the league’s coaches.
• The Pac-12 welcomes back California head coach Sam Crosson who comes to Berkeley after turning around a Cal Poly squad that made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2017 and 2018. Twice voted Big West Coach of the Year, he was an assistant coach on the 2010 team that made its only national championship match appearance in 2010.
• The most tenured coach in the Pac-12 is Arizona’s David Rubio who enters his 28th season and who’s contract was extended through 2023. He is just the second coach in league history to have recorded 500-career wins. Head coach Beth Lanier enters her 30th season at the Utah helm, recently leading her team to three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
• Pac-12 volleyball continues to attract marquee student-athletes. Five Pac-12 teams landed at least one Volleyball Magazine FAB 50 recruit with Stanford leading the nation with five top-50 recruits. The Ducks landed three, which ties for second-most in the country. Twelve named to the list will be donning a Pac-12 uniform this season.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE (All Times Specific to Site)
|Wednesday, Sept. 11||TV/Stream||Time|
|#10 OREGON at #6 Pittsburg||ESPNU||5 p.m. PT|
|Thursday Sept. 12|
|#19 COLORADO at Colorado State||7 p.m. MT|
|UCLA vs. Utah Valley (1)||4:45 p.m. HT|
|Friday, Sept. 13|
|ARIZONA at Kansas (2)||6:30 p.m. CT|
|ARIZONA STATE vs. Louisiana (3)||11 a.m. CT|
|ARIZONA STATE at Oklahoma (3)||7:30 p.m. CT|
|CALIFORNIA vs. Buffalo (4)||12:30 p.m. CT|
|CALIFORNIA at North Dakota State (4)||7 p.m. CT|
|#19 COLORADO vs. Colorado State||P12N||6 p.m. MT|
|#10 OREGON vs. #8 Minnesota (5)||BTN||6 p.m. ET|
|OREGON STATE vs. New Mexico (6)||2 p.m. PT|
|#1 STANFORD at #4 Penn State (7)||BTN||9 p.m. ET|
|UCLA vs. West Virgina (1)||BWTV||4:45 p.m. HT|
|Yale at #20 USC (8)||Live Stream||7:30 p.m. PT|
|#16 UTAH at Pepperdine (9)||12 p.m. PT|
|#12 WASHINGTON vs. Drake (10)||3:30 CT|
|Idaho State at Washington State (11)||Live Stream||12 p.m. PT|
|UT Arlington at Washington State (11)||Live Stream||7:30 p.m. PT|
|Saturday Sept. 14|
|ARIZONA vs. Morehead State (2)||12 p.m. CT|
|ARIZONA vs. Syracuse (2)||7 p.m. CT|
|ARIZONA STATE vs. Georgia Tech (3)||1:30 p.m. CT|
|CALIFORNIA vs. Green Bay (4)||12:30 p.m. CT|
|#10 OREGON at #4 Penn State (5)||8 p.m. ET|
|OREGON STATE vs. Gonzaga (6)||2 p.m. PT|
|OREGON STATE at Seattle (6)||6 p.m. PT|
|#1 STANFORD vs. #8 Minnesota (7)||5:30 p.m. ET|
|UCLA at #18 Hawai'i (1)||7 p.m. HT|
|Howard at #20 USC (8)||Live Stream||10:30 a.m. PT|
|Villanova at #20 USC (8)||Live Stream||7:30 p.m. PT|
|#16 UTAH vs. #6 Pittsburgh (9)||10 a.m. PT|
|#16 UTAH vs. Cal Poly (9)||5 p.m. PT|
|#12 WASHINGTON vs. Nebraska Omaha (10)||10 a.m. CT|
|#12 WASHINGTON at #17 Creighton (10)||7:30 p.m. PT|
|Liberty at WASHINGTON STATE (11)||Live Stream||3 p.m. PT|
P12N indicates Pac-12 Networks; BTN indicates Big Ten Network; BWTV indicates Big West TV.
1 - Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Volleyball Challenge, Honolulu, Hawaii; 2 - Kansas Invitational, Lawrence, Kan.; 3 - Oklahoma University Nike Invitational, Norman Okla.; 4 - North Dakota State Tournament, Fargo, N.D.; 5 - Pac-12/BIG TEN Challenge, University Park, Pa.; 6 - Redhawk Invitational, Seattle, Wash.; 7 - Pac-12/BIG TEN Challenge, State College, Pa.; 8 - Trojan Invitational, Los Angeles, Calif.; 9 - Pepperdine Asics Classic, Malibu, Calif.; 10 - BlueJay Invitational, Omaha, Neb.; 11- Cougar Challenge, Pullman, Wash.
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded standings)
|Teams||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive: Kathryn Plummer, Stanford
Defensive: Meegan Hart, Colorado
Freshman: Jill Schneggenburger, Colorado
Offensive: Paige Whipple, ARIZ; Maddie Haynes, CAL; Justine Spann, COLO; Maddie Goings, OSU; Mac May, UCLA; Kenzie Koerber, UTAH; Kara Bajema, WASH; Charity Bradley, WSU.
Defensive: Kamaile Hiapo, ARIZ; Courtney Leffel, ASU; Grace Massey, OSU; Morgan Hentz, STAN; Savvy Simo, UCLA; Avie Niece, WASH; Jocelyn Urias, WSU.
Freshman: Kamaile Hiapo, ARIZ; Iman Isanovic, ASU; Cecilee Max-Brown, OSU; Tristin Savage, UCLA.
2019 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
|Sept. 2||Savannah Rennie, CAL||Courtney Leffel, ASU||Kylie Robinson, ORE|
|Sept. 9||Kathryn Plummer, STAN||Meegan Hart, COLO||Jill Schneggenburger, COLO|