Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Weekly Release - Sept. 1, 2021
Sep 1, 2021
WEEK 2 SCHEDULE
- Thirty matches fill the Pac-12 women’s volleyball slate from Thursday, Sept. 2 through Sunday, Sept. 5, highlighted by clashes with three of the nation’s top four teams in the AVCA rankings.
- On Saturday, ARIZONA STATE plays at No. 4 Nebraska at 4 p.m. PT/4 p.m. MST as part of the Ameritas Players Challenge in Lincoln and, thirty minutes later, USC is at No. 3 Kentucky for the Bluegrass Battle in Lexington. No. 20 STANFORD, coming off a 3-1 win on Tuesday night against No. 5 Florida, closes the weekend at top-ranked Texas on Sunday at 11 a.m. PT.
- Pac-12 teams will have four other opportunities to shake up the polls when No. 25 WASHINGTON STATE meets No. 8 Purdue in Las Vegas on Friday (4 p.m. PT) and No. 19 UTAH hosts No. 22 San Diego at 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT. OREGON STATE is on the road at No. 17 Penn State on Saturday at 8 a.m. PT and No. 18 UCLA takes on No. 16 Georgia Tech later that day in Long Beach (4 p.m. PT).
- No. 11 WASHINGTON and COLORADO are in Champaign, Ill. for matches against the host Fighting Illini and Iowa in a renewal of the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge. Next weekend, OREGON, STANFORD, Minnesota and Penn State will be in Eugene, Ore. when the challenge moves west.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
- ARIZONA STATE at No. 4 Nebraska – Friday – 4 p.m. PT/4 p.m. MST (BTN Plus)
- USC at No. 3 Kentucky – Friday – 4:30 p.m. PT (SEC Network+)
- No. 25 WASHINGTON STATE vs. No. 8 Purdue – Saturday – 4 p.m. PT
- No. 19 UTAH vs. No. 22 San Diego – Saturday – 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT (Pac-12 Insider)
- OREGON STATE at No. 17 Penn State – Saturday – 8 a.m. PT (BTN Plus)
- No. 20 STANFORD at No. 1 Texas – Sunday – 11 a.m. PT (Longhorn Network)
- Pac-12 teams are a combined 22-7 (.759) through the season’s first week, including six unbeaten squads in ARIZONA (3-0), No. 13 OREGON (3-0), No. 20 STANFORD (3-0), COLORADO (2-0), No. 19 UTAH (2-0) and No. 18 UCLA (1-0).
- The Cardinal grabbed the Conference’s biggest result of the young season on Tuesday night when it knocked off No. 5 Florida, 3-1, in its first home match in front of fans since 2019. The victory over the Gators kicked off a nonconference gauntlet for STANFORD that continues Sunday with No. 1 Texas and is followed by No. 10 Minnesota, No. 17 Penn State, No. 4 Nebraska and No. 3 Kentucky.
- ARIZONA (Marist, New Mexico State, UC San Diego) and OREGON (Portland State, Santa Clara, San Jose State) swept through home tournaments over the weekend, while COLORADO grabbed a pair of wins in Charlotte, N.C. (Xavier, Charlotte), UTAH took both in a home-and-home with Utah Valley and UCLA won at UC Davis.
- COLORADO’s Leah Clayton won the first Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honor on Monday after an MVP performance at the Charlotte Invitational. She averaged a conference-leading 5.29 kills and 5.93 points per set in the two victories, including a 22-kill performance against Xavier. Clayton is currently fifth in the nation in kills per set and seventh in points per set.
- STANFORD’s Elena Oglivie and Kami Miner collected the Conference’s other two awards after the Cardinal swept Villanova and Temple on the road. Oglivie averaged 5.67 digs per set in the two wins and was voted Defensive Player of the Week, while Miner averaged a nation-leading 13.67 assists to go along with 3.00 digs and was tabbed Freshman of the Week.
- UTAH’s Kennedi Evans is third in the country in blocks per set (2.33) after tallying 14 in the Utes’ season-opening victories against Utah Valley and the Pac-12 also has two in the national top 10 in hitting percentage in STANFORD’s McKenna Vicini (seventh; .575) and CALIFORNIA’s Bella Bergmark (ninth; .556).
- UCLA’s Mac May is tied for sixth nationally in kills per set (5.25) and COLORADO’s Jenna Ewert sits tied for ninth in assists per set (12.94).
- Six Pac-12 women’s volleyball teams are ranked in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Top 25 revealed on Aug. 30. The Conference’s half-dozen programs in the preseason poll are the second most among all leagues.
- WASHINGTON leads the group at No. 11. The Huskies are followed by No. 13 OREGON, No. 18 UCLA, No. 19 UTAH, No. 20 STANFORD and No. 25 WASHINGTON STATE.
- Four of the top 10 most ranked teams all-time are from the Pac-12 in STANFORD, UCLA, USC and WASHINGTON, a total which is double any other league. The Cardinal comes in at No. 2 on that list, having appeared in 564 of 572 all-time polls (98.6 percent). The Bruins are third at 93.9 percent (537 of 572), the Trojans fifth at 90.4 percent (517 of 572) and the Huskies 10th at 61.7 percent (353 of 572).
- Only six programs have appeared in more than 90 percent of the AVCA’s polls all-time and three are from the Pac-12 in STANFORD, UCLA and USC.
NUMBERS TO WATCH
- UTAH’s Dani Drews is third among active NCAA players with 1,716 career kills and May is ninth with 1,528. Drews’ total is 35th in Pac-12 history and May’s is tied for 59th.
- WASHINGTON’s Samantha Drechsel (1,307), USC’s Brooke Botkin (1,128), COLORADO’s Leah Clayton (1,091), OREGON STATE’s Maddie Goings (1,081), USC’s Shannon Scully (1,033) and CALIFORNIA’s Mima Mirkovic (1,005) are the other Pac-12 players with more than 1,000 career kills.
- OREGON STATE’s Grace Massey is seventh among active NCAA players with 1,809 career digs, a total which is 19th in Conference history.
- Along with Massey, ARIZONA STATE’s Jamye Cox (1,448) and OREGON’s Brooke Nuneviller (1,332), Scully (1,264), UTAH’s Stef Jankiewicz (1,200), UCLA’s Zoe Fleck (1,014) and Mirkovic (1,004) are also over 1,000 career digs.
- Jankiewicz, a transfer from Illinois State, also tops active NCAA career leaders in assists with 4,913, while WASHINGTON’s Ella May Powell is 10th in that category (3,746).
- The Huskies’ Lauren Sanders has 541 career blocks, a total which is the second-most in the country among active players and 20th in Pac-12 history.
OLYMPIANS MADE HERE
- Four Pac-12 volleyball alumnae were Olympians at the recently concluded Summer Games in Tokyo and three were gold medalists.
- Four-time All-American and 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year Alix Klineman (STANFORD) won a beach volleyball gold medal for the United States playing with April Ross (USC), a three-time All-American and the 2003 Pac-10 Player of the Year.
- Sarah Sponcil, who was an AVCA All-America honorable mention selection at UCLA in 2017, was also a beach volleyball Olympian along with USC's Kelly Claes. Claes did not play indoor volleyball during her collegiate career.
- STANFORD's Foluke Akinradewo, a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year (2007 and 2008), 2007 AVCA Player of the Year and four-time All-American, helped Team USA take home an Olympic indoor gold medal for the first time. Fellow Cardinal Kathryn Plummer, herself a two-time AVCA Player of the Year (2017 and 2018) was an alternate on that U.S. roster.
- WASHINGTON's Tamari Miyashiro was an assistant coach of UCLA alumnus Karch Kiraly for Team USA, and legendary UCLA softball head coach Sue Enquist was also on staff as a consultant.
- Pac-12 institutions have won 17 of the 40 all-time NCAA championships in women’s volleyball, five more than the next closest conference, and four of the past 10.
- The Conference has had at least five teams earn NCAA Tournament bids in 22 consecutive seasons and boasts eight postseason berths in five of the past eight tournaments.
- The Pac-12 has had 10 or more first, second and third-team All-America selections in 12 of the last 16 seasons.
- Eleven former Pac-12 players have earned first, second or third-team All-America honors four times, while 26 players have earned All-America honors three times, with Dani Drews garnering her third nod this past spring.
- Since 1990, Pac-12 players garnered AVCA Player of the Year honors 15 times, including the seven of the last 11 - 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 Honda Sports Award for volleyball has been bestowed upon a Pac-12 athlete 21 times in its 45 years of existence, including most recently STANFORD’s Jenna Gray in 2019.