Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Weekly Release - Sept. 9, 2021
Sep 9, 2021
WEEK 3 SCHEDULE
- Twenty-nine matches fill the Pac-12 women’s volleyball slate from Thursday, Sept. 9 through Saturday, Sept. 11, highlighted by a continuation of the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge, which has shifted to Eugene, Ore. after a weekend in Champaign, Ill. and features No. 11 OREGON and No. 14 STANFORD against No. 13 Minnesota and No. 18 Penn State.
- The Cardinal and Golden Gophers play Friday at 4 p.m. PT, followed by the host Ducks against the Nittany Lions at 7 p.m. PT. The matchups flip on Saturday, with STANFORD and Penn State leading things off at 4 p.m. PT and OREGON and Minnesota playing at 7 p.m. PT.
- Four other ranked meetings for the Conference begin on Thursday, when No. 16 UCLA plays at No. 25 San Diego at 7 p.m. as part of the USD Invitational. On Friday, ARIZONA plays at No. 1 Texas at 5 p.m. PT/MST and No. 9 WASHINGTON is at No. 22 Pepperdine for the Asics Classic at 7 p.m. PT. No. 20 UTAH is at No. 3 Nebraska on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. MT.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
- No. 16 UCLA at No. 25 San Diego – Thursday – 7 p.m. PT (WCC Network)
- No. 14 STANFORD vs. No. 13 Minnesota - Friday - 4 p.m. PT (Pac-12 Networks)
- ARIZONA at No. 1 Texas - Friday - 5 p.m. PT/MST (Longhorn Network)
- No. 11 OREGON vs. No. 18 Penn State - Friday - 7 p.m. PT (Pac-12 Networks)
- No. 9 WASHINGTON at No. 22 Pepperdine - Friday - 7 p.m. PT (WCC Network)
- No. 14 STANFORD vs. No. 18 Penn State - Saturday - 4 p.m. PT (Pac-12 Networks)
- No. 20 UTAH at No. 3 Nebraska - Saturday - 5:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. MT (BTN Plus)
- No. 11 OREGON vs. No. 13 Minnesota - Saturday - 7 p.m. PT (Pac-12 Networks)
- Pac-12 teams are a combined 42-18 (.700) through the season’s first two weeks, including four unbeaten squads in No. 11 OREGON (5-0), No. 20 UTAH (5-0), No. 16 UCLA (4-0) and COLORADO (4-0).
- The Pac-12 is one of four leagues with a winning percentage of .700 or better, joining the ACC (.811), SEC (.733) and Big Ten (.729). Its four unbeaten teams are third among all conferences. The ACC has six and the Big Ten five.
- Last week, UTAH grabbed a top-25 victory when it beat then-No. 22 San Diego, 3-1, as did UCLA with its 3-1 upset of then-No. 16 Georgia Tech.
- OREGON's Brooke Nuneviller won the second Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honor of the young season on Monday after totaling 41 kills and 30 digs as the Ducks won a pair of matches in Houston, highlighted by a Pac-12-leading 31 kills on .338 hitting percentage in a four-set win at Rice on Thursday. She added 21 digs against the Owls to complete the first 30-20 effort by a Pac-12 player this season and had two aces and a block to post a Conference-high 33.5 points.
- Fellow Duck Georgia Murphy was voted Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after averaging 5.43 digs in the two wins, including a season-high 22 digs against Rice, which pushed her over 700 digs in her career. In the two wins, she committed zero reception errors on 27 targets.
- UCLA's Charitie Luper earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors following her breakout match against Georgia Tech, leading UCLA with a match-high tying 17 kills on .295 hitting in the 3-1 win over the then-No. 16 Yellow Jackets on Saturday.
NATIONAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS
- STANFORD freshman Kami Miner is second in the country in assists per set (12.31) to lead three Pac-12 players in the top 10 of the NCAA's statistical rankings. The Cardinal's McKenna Vicini is eighth in hitting percentage (.510) and UTAH's Dani Drews is 10th in points per set (5.53). Drews is also 13th in kills per set (14.72) and teammate Kennedi Evans is just outside the top 10 in blocks per set, checking in 11th at 1.59.
- As a team, STANFORD is second nationally in both kills per set (15.15) and assists per set (14.31), and UTAH is second in blocks per set (3.44), while OREGON is seventh (3.28). The Ducks also hold their opponents to .104 hitting, which is the 14th-best mark in the NCAA.
- Five Pac-12 women’s volleyball teams are ranked in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Top 25 revealed on Sept. 6. The Conference’s five programs in the poll are the second most among all leagues.
- WASHINGTON leads the group at No. 9. The Huskies are followed by No. 11 OREGON, No. 14 STANFORD, No. 16 UCLA and No. 20 UTAH.
- 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 565 of 573 all-time polls (98.6 percent). The Bruins are third at 93.9 percent (538 of 573), the Trojans fifth at 90.2 percent (517 of 573) and the Huskies 10th at 61.8 percent (354 of 573).
- 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 1,772 career kills and UCLA's Mac May is 10th with 1,561. Drews’ total is 32nd in Pac-12 history and May’s is 55th.
- WASHINGTON’s Samantha Drechsel (1,332), USC’s Brooke Botkin (1,176), COLORADO’s Leah Clayton (1,127), OREGON STATE’s Maddie Goings (1,118), CALIFORNIA’s Mima Mirkovic (1,035) and USC’s Shannon Scully (1,034) and 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 1,860 career digs, a total which is 18th in Conference history.
- Along with Massey, ARIZONA STATE’s Jamye Cox (1,463), OREGON’s Brooke Nuneviller (1,362), Scully (1,303), UTAH’s Stef Jankiewicz (1,232), UCLA’s Zoe Fleck (1,055) and Mirkovic (1,045) are also over 1,000 career digs.
- Jankiewicz, a transfer from Illinois State, also tops active NCAA career leaders in assists with 5,008, while WASHINGTON’s Ella May Powell is 10th in that category (3,830).
- The Huskies’ Lauren Sanders has 550 career blocks, a total which is the second-most in the country among active players and 19th 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.
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