Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Weekly Release - Sept. 30, 2021
Sep 30, 2021
WEEK TWO OF CONFERENCE ACTION
- Twelve matches, six on Friday and six on Sunday, comprise the upcoming Pac-12 women's volleyball schedule as Conference play shifts to its second week.
- Nine of the weekend's Conference matches will air on Pac-12 Networks, including the three clashes that will feature a pair of ranked teams.
- On Friday, No. 11 Oregon plays at No. 24 Colorado at 6 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Oregon and later that night No. 15 UCLA is at No. 13 Washington at 8 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Los Angeles.
- No. 19 Utah hosts the Ducks at 11 a.m. PT on Sunday on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Oregon.
- Four Pac-12 teams made it through the first week of Conference action unscathed and are tied atop the early league standings with identical 2-0 records.
- Oregon picked up wins over Oregon State (3-0) and Arizona State (3-2), while Arizona also knocked off the Sun Devils (3-2) and Beavers (3-0).
- UCLA downed USC (3-1) in its Pac-12 opener and then came back from a two-set deficit to beat then-No. 14 Stanford (3-2) on Sunday for its first win in Maples Pavilion since 2016.
- Washington State swept previously unbeaten and No. 24 Colorado on Wednesday to hand the Buffs their first loss of 2021 and followed that up with an epic five-set victory over then-No. 6 Washington on Sunday.
- The Cougars' 132 points (25-14, 23-25, 25-16, 44-46, 15-11) in the win over their rival tied the NCAA record for a five-set match in the 25-point scoring era (since 2008), while the Huskies' 46 points in the fourth also tied the NCAA mark for points in a set. Both marks equaled totals from a Nov. 21, 2017 match between Saint Mary's and Santa Clara. The Gaels won the five setter (22-25, 25-22, 44-46, 26-24, 15-11), while the Broncos took the fourth set with 46 points.
- Pac-12 programs closed the nonconference portions of their schedules with a combined record of 78-36 (.684), the fourth-best among all leagues (ACC .790, Big 12 .747, Big Ten .712).
- The Pac-12 went 6-12 against Top 25 opponents and 13-17 against Power 5 foes in non-league play in 2021.
- No. 17 Stanford collected three of those ranked wins, toppling then-No. 5 Florida (3-1), then-No. 18 Penn State (3-2) and then-No. 6 Nebraska (3-1) during an Aug. 31-Sept. 19 gauntlet that featured six consecutive Top 25 foes, including four in the Top 10.
- Oregon swept then-No. 18 Penn State and Washington downed then-No. 22 Pepperdine (3-1) on Sept. 10 and Utah earned its best true road victory in program history with a stunning 3-2 comeback triumph at then-No. 3 Nebraska on Sept. 11 for the Pac-12's other Top 25 wins.
ONLY ONE LOSS
- While only three unbeaten programs in the country remain, the Pac-12 boasts three of the nation's 18 one-loss programs in Oregon (11-1), Colorado (10-1) and UCLA (9-1).
- Defense plays a part of the success of each of those three teams. The Bruins and Ducks are also two of the country's top 10 teams in blocks per set. UCLA is eighth nationally, averaging 2.92, while Oregon is ninth at 2.85. Colorado is not far behind in 19th (2.71).
SIX STILL IN AVCA TOP 25
- Six Pac-12 women’s volleyball teams are ranked in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Top 25 revealed on Sept. 27 in No. 11 Oregon, No. 13 Washington, No. 15 UCLA, No. 17 Stanford, No. 19 Utah and No. 24 Colorado.
- The Conference’s six programs in the poll are tied with the Big Ten for the most among all leagues.
- By virtue of its ranked wins last week over Colorado and Washington, Washington State has moved up and is now first among teams receiving votes.
- For the second time in three weeks, a Pac-12 player was named Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week on Tuesday. Washington State's Pia Timmer, who was also voted the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, lit it up against Washington with a WSU rally-score record 31 kills on 76 swings (hitting .303), and added career-bests in digs (21), blocks (7) and aces (4).
- Utah's Dani Drews earned the national weekly honor on Sept. 14. Drews, the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year, is third among active NCAA players in career kills (1,879) and is 19th in Conference history in that category.
ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
- In addition to Drews, UCLA's Mac May is ninth among active players and and 42nd in the Pac-12 record book with 1,657 career kills.
- Washington's Lauren Sanders is second among active Division I players in career blocks with 558, a total that is also 19th in Pac-12 history.
- Utah's Stef Jankiewicz, a transfer from Illinois State, tops active NCAA career leaders in assists with 5,181, while WASHINGTON’s Ella May Powell is ninth in that category (4,099). Powell is 26th in Conference history in assists.
- Oregon State’s Grace Massey is 10th among active NCAA players with 1,928 career digs, a total which is 18th in Conference history.
MORE NCAA RANKS
- Stanford is fifth nationally in assists per set (13.30) and is led by freshman Kami Miner, who is third in the NCAA in that category (11.65).
- Oregon's Karson Bacon is second in the country in hitting percentage (.471) to pace a Ducks squad that is 14th nationally (.284).
PRESEASON POLL REVISIT
- Washington was voted by the Conference’s women’s volleyball head coaches as the league’s preseason favorite for the 2021 campaign.
- It’s the fourth time that WASHINGTON has led the Conference’s preseason rankings. The Huskies were previously voted to the top spot in 2017, 2009 and 2005.
- The preseason favorite has gone on to win the league title 20 times in the 35 years of Pac-12 women’s volleyball, including UW in 2005, which also capped that campaign with one of the Conference’s 17 national championships.
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.