Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Weekly Release - Oct. 5, 2021
Oct 5, 2021
WEEK THREE OF CONFERENCE ACTION
- Another dozen matches comprise the upcoming Pac-12 women's volleyball schedule, as Conference play continues into its third week.
- Seven of the weekend's Conference matches will air on Pac-12 Networks, including a pair of top-25 clashes when No. 24 Colorado is at No. 16 UCLA on Friday at 8 p.m. PT (Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Los Angeles) and No. 17 Stanford is at No. 14 Oregon on Sunday at noon PT (Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Oregon).
- Five teams - Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Utah - are tied atop the Pac-12 standings with 3-1 records through two weeks of Conference play.
- Stanford, Utah and Washington each won both of their matches last weekend.
- The Cardinal beat Arizona State (3-1) and Arizona (3-0) at home, while Utah beat Oregon State (3-0) on Friday and then picked up its fourth top-25 win of the season when it knocked off then-No. 11 Oregon (3-1) on Sunday.
- Washington, which lost a pair of five-setters to Utah and Washington State on the first weekend of Pac-12 play, dropped the first two sets against then-No. 15 UCLA on Friday, but came back to prevail 21-25, 21-25, 25-13, 27-25, 15-12 for its first Conference win. UW, the coaches' preseason selection to win the Conference, followed that up with a 3-1 victory over USC on Sunday to move to 2-2 in league play.
- In the Pac-12's other ranked clash last weekend, Oregon downed then-No. 24 Colorado 3-1 to hand the Buffs their first home defeat of the season.
- 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 nonconference Top 25 wins.
- Three unbeaten programs in the country remain, while five others have one loss. The Pac-12 boasts three of the nation's 15 two-loss programs in Oregon (12-2), Colorado (11-2) and UCLA (10-2).
- In the NCAA's first RPI report, the Pac-12 has seven programs in the top 40, which is one behind the ACC and Big Ten which have eight each. Utah (No. 14) and Colorado (No. 15) lead the way for the Conference, while Stanford (No. 17) and Oregon (No. 20) are both in the top 20. UCLA is No. 24, Washington No. 36 and Washington State No. 37.
- The Ducks are 3-2 against the RPI top 25 and one of seven programs in the country with at least three such wins (Pittsburgh, Louisville, Texas, South Carolina, Purdue, Wisconsin).
- UCLA is 2-0 against the RPI top 25 and Utah 2-1. The Ducks, Bruins and Utes are three of only 11 programs in the country with winning records against RPI top 25 opponents.
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 Oct. 4 in No. 11 Washington, No. 14 Oregon, No. 15 Utah, No. 16 UCLA, No. 17 Stanford and No. 24 Colorado.
- The Conference’s six programs in the poll are tied with the Big Ten for the most among all leagues.
- UCLA's Mac May was voted Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career on Monday following an standout performance in the Bruins' 3-2 win at Washington State.
- May totaled a career-high 39 kills in the victory, the second-most in program history and tied for the sixth-most in Pac-12 history.
- Her 39 kills were the most by a Bruin since Natalie Williams set the school record with 43 against Hawaii on Sept. 7, 1991 and are tied for the second-most in the NCAA this season.
- In an epic five-set victory over then-No. 6 Washington on Sept. 26, Washington State totaled 132 points (25-14, 23-25, 25-16, 44-46, 15-11) to tie 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.
NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
- Pac-12 players have won two of the six Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week awards this season, tied with the ACC for most among all leagues.
- Washington State's Pia Timmer took home the honor on Sept. 28 after she 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 (1,911) and is 16th in Conference history in that category. She's 10th in the NCAA this season in kills per set (4.67) and 11th in point per set (5.28).
ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
- In addition to Drews, UCLA's Mac May is fifth among active players and and 36th in the Pac-12 record book with 1,716 career kills.
- Washington's Lauren Sanders is third among active Division I players in career blocks with 569, a total that is also 17th in Pac-12 history.
- Utah's Stef Jankiewicz, a transfer from Illinois State, tops active NCAA career leaders in assists with 5,244, while WASHINGTON’s Ella May Powell is ninth in that category (4,188). Powell is 25th in Conference history in assists.
- Oregon State’s Grace Massey is 12th among active NCAA players with 1,944 career digs, a total which is 18th in Conference history.
MORE NCAA RANKS
- Stanford is fourth nationally in assists per set (13.43) and is led by three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Kami Miner, who is third in the NCAA in that category (11.79). The Cardinal is also 10th in the country in hitting percentage (.289).
- Oregon's Karson Bacon is seventh in the country in hitting percentage (.451) and Abby Hansen is 11th in blocks per set (1.43).
- As a team defensively, the Ducks are ninth in blocks per set (2.83) and 10th in opponent hitting percentage (.138).
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 AND PARALYMPIANS MADE HERE
- Five Pac-12 volleyball alumnae were Olympians and Paralympians at the recently concluded Summer Games in Tokyo and four 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.
- At the Tokyo Paralympics, Arizona's Whitney Dosty, who compiled 1,278 kills during her collegiate career in Tucson, won a gold medal in sitting volleyball with Team USA.
- 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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