This year in Pac-12 volleyball

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SAN FRANCISCO - STANFORD successfully defended its NCAA title, winning back-to-back crowns for the first time since 1996 and 1997. The NCAA leader with nine all-time, it is the Cardinal’s third title in four years. Stanford dropped just two sets in its title run, with only UTAH pushing the eventual champs to five sets in the regional semifinal. Stanford head coach Kevin Hambly became the seventh head coach all-time to lead a school to back-to-back titles. Senior Kathryn Plummer was tabbed the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Pac-12 teams have won a NCAA-record 17 of 39 NCAA titles awarded.

• Six Pac-12 teams earned NCAA Tournament bids. In addition to Stanford earning a top-16 seeding, WASHINGTON was tabbed the No. 8 seed, advancing to the regional final for the 15th time. UCLA, USC, Utah and WASHINGTON STATE earned at-large bids, as well. It marked the 20th-consecutive year at least six Pac-12 teams have participated in the “Big Dance.”

• The Cardinal became the first Pac-12 team to win back-to-back NCAA titles since USC won in 2002 and 2003. With Stanford winning in 1996 and 1997, UCLA is the only other league team to win back-to-back, doing so in 1990 and 1991.

• Four Pac-12 teams were ranked in the final AVCA Coaches poll, the Cardinal claiming the No. 1 spot with all 64 first-place votes. Washington was ranked No. 6, its highest final ranking since 2015. At No. 9, Utah has its highest-ever final ranking, and UCLA is in the last poll for the first time since 2017, coming in at No. 25.

• Stanford won its 19th all-time Pac-12 crown. UCLA junior Mac May was named Pac-12 Player of the Year, the first Bruin to win the honor since 1994. Stanford seniors Jenna Gray and Morgan Hentz were tabbed Pac-12 Setter of the Year and Pac-12 Libero of the Year for the third-straight years, respectively. WSU’s Magda Jehlarova became the first Coug to be named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.

• 12 Pac-12 student-athletes earned AVCA All-America honors, marking the 12th time in 16 years at least 10 from the Conference earned national nods. Gray, Hentz and Fitzmorris were three-time honorees with teammate Madeleine Gates joining them on the national award list. Utah had three selections, Washington had a pair, and UCLA, USC and Washington State each had one.

• WSU’s Jehlarova made more history, becoming the first Coug to be named AVCA National Freshman of the Year, and the first from the Pac-12 since Plummer won in 2016.

PAC-12 IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT... The Pac-12 has captured 17 out of 39 NCAA titles, including 15 of the last 29. With Stanford winning its ninth crown in 2019, and three of the last four, it is now the nation’s leader in NCAA titles. Four different Pac-12 teams have claimed the NCAA titles and has had at least six tournament berths for 20-consecutive years. Pac-12 teams have compiled an impressive 485-256 (.655) record in NCAA play. Toss out the 20 postseason matches between Conference teams since 2001 and the league’s NCAA Tournament record against non-conference foes stands at 265-105 (.716) during that span. Over the last 20 years, Pac-12 teams are 120-20 (.857) in the first round, including posting a NCAA-record 10-0 in 2015 after a NCAA-record 10 league teams earned bids that season.

The Pac-12 has placed at least one Conference team in the regional semifinal every year of the tournament. 18 times in the history of the Conference, the Pac-12 has had at least three teams advance to the regional final. A league team has also advanced to the national semifinal every year of the tournament except four times (1993, 1998, 2009, 2015), advancing a team to the championship match 27 times, including 2019. Every Pac-12 member has earned a NCAA Tournament berth since 2013 and seven different teams have reached the national semifinal all-time.

STANFORD WINS BACK-TO-BACK NCAA TITLES … For the third time in four years, Stanford wins the NCAA title, claiming back-to-back titles for the first time since 1996 and 1997. Led by 2017 and 2018 AVCA National Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer, the Cardinal swept all but one opponent on its way to the title run, including a 3-0 sweep of NCAA runner-up and fourth-seeded Wisconsin. The Cardinal senior class became the second in program history to win three national titles in four seasons and finished their careers with a record of 121-16, including a 22-1 record in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Kevin Hambly becomes the seventh head coach in NCAA history to lead a program to back-to-back titles.

STANFORD CLAIMS 19TH PAC-12 CROWN … For the third year in a row and 19th time overall, Stanford claims the Pac-12 crown. The Cardinal went 18-2 in league play, clinching at least a share of the title in the second-to-last week of conference play before winning outright on Nov. 26. The Cardinal were the overwhelming preseason favorite to win the Pac-12 title and has only finished lower than second three times in the history of the program, and never lower than fourth.

AVCA POLL NOTES ... NCAA Champion Stanford leads four ranked Pac-12 teams in the final AVCA Coaches poll, earning the No. 1 final ranking for the ninth time ever, earning all 64 first-place votes. Washington is No. 6 in the poll, its highest final ranking since 2015. Utah is No. 9 in the poll, its highest-ever final ranking, and UCLA is in the final ranking for the first time in three years, coming in a No. 25. USC and Washington State earned votes in the final poll.

At least five teams were ranked in the AVCA poll in every poll of the regular season with 10 different schools earning at top-25 ranking at some point during the season. 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.

12 FROM PAC-12 EARN ALL-AMERICA HONORS ... 12 Pac-12 student-athletes were recognized nationally, earning AVCA All-America honors, marking the 12th time in 15 years the Conference had had 10 or more All-Americans. For the seventh-straight season, Stanford had at least four All-Americans, led by first team selections Jenna Gray and Morgan Hentz. Washington’s Kara Bajema and Utah’s Dani Drews were also named to the first team. The Utes had three All-America selections and UW had a pair, while UCLA, USC and Washington State each had one. Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer was ineligble for All-America honors. WSU’s Magda Jehlarova was named the AVCA National Freshman of the Year, the first Coug to ever earn the honor and the first from the Pac-12 since Plummer in 2016. .

21 FROM PAC-12 EARN REGIONAL HONORS ... A combined 21 Pac-12 women’s volleyball student-athletes were selected to the AVCA Pacific North and Pacific South teams. Washington’s Kara Bajema was selected the Pacific North Player of the Year while Washington State’s Magda Jehlarova was picked the same region’s freshman of the year. Utah’s Beth Launiere was named the AVCA Pacific South Coach of the Year with fellow Ute, Danni Drews, named the region’s player of the year.

PAC-12 CAREER LEADERS … Stanford’s Jenna Gray was the first active player in the NCAA to hit the 5,000-career assists milestone this season. The 14th player in Pac-12 history and the fourth Cardinal to record 5,000 career assists, she ends her career at 5,446 assists to rank seventh in the Pac-12. USC’s Khalia Lanier became the eighth player in league history with 2,000 kills and leaves USC ranking second in Pac-12 history with 2,025. Despite missing five weeks of action, two-time AVCA National Player of the Year Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer became the 16th player in league history to record 1,900 career kills and ends her career ranked ninth all-time in the Pac-12 with 1,953 kills.

Stanford’s Morgan Hentz finds herself ranked fourth all-time in Pac-12 history in career digs with 2,293, breaking the all-time Stanford mark. Washington State’s Alexis Dirige became just the 14th player in league history to reach over 2,000 digs and ends her career ranked sixth in the Conference with 2,152 career digs.

Stanford’s Audriana Fitzmorris recorded her 600th block 11th all-time in league history to hit the mark. She leaves Stanford tied for second in the Pac-12 all-time with 558 block assists.

• AROUND THE LEAGUE ... Arizona’s Julia Patterson became the first Power 5 Conference player to record a triple-double this season in a hard-fought five-set loss at No. 17 Utah. The senior setter had 46 assists, 13 digs and a career-most 10 kills in the match. The triple-double was the first in her career and the first by a Wildcat in at least 10 years … Arizona State’s 17-13 overall record and nine Pac-12 wins surpass its totals from a year ago when it went 16-12 overall and 8-10. Both are the most wins since 2015, the last time the Sun Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament … California eclipsed its overall wins and league wins from a year ago when it went 15-16 and 7-13 in the Pac-12. The Bears posted their first 20-win campaign since 2011. Its 10 league wins are the most since 2013 … After starting Pac-12 play with an 0-10 record, Colorado closed out the season going 5-5 in the month of November, posting wins over UCLA and California, while also taking Washington State to five sets … Oregon ended the season going 2-1 in its final matches. It posted a 3-6 record in five-set matches, but one of those wins was against Utah on Sept. 29 and USC on Nov. 24. The win over the Trojans was the third five-setter in a row for the Ducks … After starting league play at 2-0 for the first time since 2004, Oregon State ended the season with three victories, which was better than the 1-19 record it posted in 2018 … Stanford’s first loss of the season came after the Cardinal put together a school-record 37-match win streak, which dated back to Sept. 1, 2018 and included a 6-0 run in last season’s NCAA Tournament to claim the national championship. Its second loss of the season to Washington on Sept. 29 snapped a 26-match winning streak against Pac-12 teams. Stanford’s two-time National and Pac-12 Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer missed all of October and five weeks in total due to injury, returning to the court on Nov. 7 at Arizona State, then putting up 15 kills on 22 swings at Arizona two days later. Plummer missed matches from Oct. 4-Nov. 3, before returning. During her absence, the Cardinal still went 9-1 and took control of first place in the Pac-12. She was named NCAA Stanford Regional Most Outstanding Player and NCAA Tournament most Outstanding Player, leading the Cardinal to its second-straight NCAA title and third in four years. Stanford won 30 matches for the third-straight year … After missing out on the NCAA Tournament last season and posting its first-ever losing campaign in program history, UCLA has made a big turnaround, recording more overall wins than last season (13 in 2018) and more league wins (11 in 2018). The Bruins posted a winning record this season, tying for fourth in the Pac-12 after finishing ninth last season. The Pac-12 Player of the Year Mac May was named AVCA All-American … Sophomore Raquel Lázaro is the only Trojan to have played every set this season and leads the Pac-12 in double-doubles (20). Teammate Khalia Lanier was named All-American … Utah’s pair of top-25 wins to open the season is the first time it had beaten two AVCA ranked teams in the opening weekend in program history, with wins over then-No. 7 Kentucky (3-0) and then-No. 23 Cal Poly (3-2). It also beat Saint Mary’s (3-0) in the true season opener for the season’s first match. The Utes posted their fifth 20-win season in seven years. Their 12 Pac-12 wins are a team record. They advanced to the regional semifinal for the second time in three years and the fourth time ever. The Utes were the only team in the NCAA Tournament to take any sets from Stanford, taking the NCAA Champion to five sets. Three Utes were named AVCA All-Americans … Washington posted its 18th-consecutive 20-win season, surpassing its Pac-12 win total from a year ago (20). The Huskies, who finished an uncharacteristic sixth in the league last year, finished second in the Pac-12 race after being picked to finish fourth. The Huskies had two named AVCA All-Americans … Washington State produced significant milestones, recording its first sweep of USC since 1986 late in the season. Earlier this season, WSU’s home sweep of the Oregon schools was the first time it had knocked off both teams since 2002 at Bohler Gym. It completed the regular-season sweep of both the Oregon teams, marking the first time WSU has accomplished that since 2002. WSU has posted back-to-back 20-win campaigns for the first time since 1996 and 1997. The Cougs posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1995 and 1995. Magda Jehlarova became the first Coug to be named AVCA National Freshman of the Year.


STANDINGS (Final)

Teams Pac-12 Record Overall Record
Stanford 18-2 30-4
Washington 15-5 27-7
Utah 14-6 24-10
UCLA 13-7 19-12
Washington State 12-8 23-10
USC 11-9 18-14
California  10-10 20-10
Arizona State 9-11 17-14
Arizona 5-15 15-17
Colorado 5-15 13-17
Oregon 5-15 9-20
Oregon State 3-17 9-22

2019 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  Offensive Defensive Freshman
Sept. 2 Savannah Rennie, CAL Courtney Leffel, ASU Kylie Robinson, ORE
Sept. 9 Kathryn Plummer, STAN Meegan Hart, COLO Jill Schneggenburger, COLO
Sept. 16 Kara Bajema, WASH Jasmine Gross, USC Kalen Owes, USC
Sept. 23 Kara Bajema, WASH Avie Niece, WASH Kendall Kipp, STAN
Sept. 30 Kara Bajema, WASH Grace Massey, OSU Kylie Robinson, ORE
Oct. 7 Audriana Fitzmorris, STAN Madeleine Gates, STAN Kendall Kipp, STAN
Oct. 15  Kenzie Koerber, UTAH Magda Jehlárová, WSU Kendall Kipp, STAN
Oct. 21 Mima Mirkovic, California Shayne McPherson, Washington Iman Isanovic, Arizona State
Oct. 28 Mac May, UCLA Morgan Hentz, Stanford Lexi Hadrych, UCLA
Nov. 4 Khalia Lanier, USC Kenzie Koerber, Utah Magda Jehlárová, Washington State
Nov. 11 Khalia Lanier, USC Alexis Dirige, Washington State Zoe Weatherington, Utah
Nov. 18  Kara Bajema, Washington Courtney Leffel, Arizona State Kamaile Hiapo, Arizona
Nov. 25  Kara Bajema, Washington Morgan Hentz, Stanford Kamaile Hiapo, Arizona
Dec. 2 Mac May, UCLA Morgan Hentz, Stanford Karson Bacon, Oregon

NATIONAL HONORS

AVCA NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
• Oct. 22 - Mima Mirkovic, CAL
Oct. 29 - Mac May, UCLA
Nov. 12 - Khalia Lanier

Senior CLASS Award

Finalists
Jenna Gray, STAN
Morgan Hentz, STAN
Kathryn Plummer, STAN

CoSIDA Academic All-Americans
Meghan McClure, STAN (1st)
Audriana Ftizmorris, STAN (2nd)

Senior CLASS Award Finalists
Jenna Gray, STAN
Morgan Hentz, STAN
Kathryn Plummer, STAN

AVCA All-Pacific North
Kara Bajema, WASH
Audriana Fitzmorris, STAN
Madeleine Gates, STAN
Jenna Gray, STAN
Morgan Hentz, STAN
Magda Jehlarova, WSU
Mima Mirkovic, CAL
Ella May Powell, WASH

Honorable Mention
Samantha Dreschel, WASH
Meghan McClure, STAN
Lauren Sanders, WASH
Ronika Stone, ORE

Pacific North Player of the Year: Kara Bajema, WASH
Pacific North Freshman of the Year: Magda Jehlarova, WSU

AVCA All-Pacific South
Dani Drews, UTAH
Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres, UTAH
Kenzie Koerber, UTAH
Khalia Lanier, USC
Mac May, UCLA
Berkeley Oblad, CAL
Savvy Simo, UCLA

Honorable Mention
Jasmine Gross, USC
Raquel Lazaro, USC

Pacific South Player of the Year: Danie Drews, UTAH
Pacific South Coach of the Year: Beth Launiere, UTAH

Stanford Regional All-Tournament Team
Kathryn Plummer, STAN (MOP)
Madeleine Gates, STAN
Morgan Hentz, STAN

Baylor Regional All-Tournament Team
Kara Bajema, WASH
Samantha Dreschel, WASH

AVCA All-Americans
First Team
Kara Bajema, WASH
Dani Drews, UTAH
Jenna Gray, STAN
Morgan Hentz, STAN

Second Team
Magda Jehlarova, WSU
Kenzie Koerber, UTAH
Khalia Lanier, USC
Mac May, UCLA
Berkeley Oblad, UTAH

Third Team
Audrianna Fitzmorris, STAN
Madeleine Gates, STAN
Ella May Powell, WASH

Honorable Mention
Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres, UTAH
Savvy Simo, UCLA

AVCA National Freshman of the Year: Magda Jehlarova, WSU

NCAA All-Tournament Team
Morgan Hentz, STAN
Jenna Gray, STAN
Kathryn Plummer, STAN

NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player:
Kathryn Plummer, STAN

CoSIDA Academic All-America
First Team
Meghan McClure, STAN

Second Team
Audriana Fitzmorris, STAN

Senior CLASS Award
Kathryn Plummer, STAN

Senior CLASS All-America
Jenna Gray, STAN (1st)
Morgan Hentz, STAN (2nd)


• HISTORICALLY SPEAKING … The Pac-12 has had 10 or more All-Americans selections in 12 of the last 16 years, including 2019. Ten former Pac-12 players have earned All-America honors four times, while 25 players in all have earned All-American honors three times. Since 1990, Pac-12 players garnered AVCA Player of the Year honors 16 times, including the seven of the last nine years - California’s Carli Lloyd (2010), USC’s Alex Jupiter (2011), Oregon’s Alaina Bergsma (2012), Washington’s Krista Vansant (2013), USC’s Samantha Bricio (2015) and Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer (2017 and 2018). The NCAA Honda Sports Award honor has been bestowed upon a Pac-12 volleyball player 20 times, including Plummer in 2018.

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