Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Weekly Release - Oct. 13, 2021
Oct 13, 2021
WEEK FOUR OF CONFERENCE ACTION
- Three top-25 matches highlight the Pac-12 women's volleyball schedule, as Conference play moves into its fourth week.
- On Thursday night, No. 10 Washington is at No. 13 Oregon at 7 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Oregon and Pac-12 Washington, and at 7:30 p.m. PT, No. 17 Utah is at No. 18 Stanford in a match televised on ESPNU.
- On Sunday, the Ducks' date with No. 25 Washington State will be carried on Pac-12 Washington at noon PT.
- In addition to the three televised matches above, Arizona hosts No. 14 UCLA at 8 p.m. PT on Friday on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Los Angeles, while the remaining five matches on Sunday outside of Oregon/Washington State will also be carried on the Networks.
- No. 10 Washington at Oregon State // noon PT // Pac-12 Oregon
- Colorado at No. 18 Stanford // 1 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Bay Area
- No. 14 UCLA at Arizona State // 1 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Los Angeles
- USC at Arizona // 1 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Arizona
- No. 17 Utah at California // 1 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Mountain
- Oregon and UCLA are tied atop the Pac-12 standings with identical 5-1 records, Washington, Utah, Stanford and Washington State are one game back at 4-2, while Arizona and USC are both 3-3.
- Oregon and UCLA are coming off of 2-0 weekends at home, while Washington and Washington State won both of last weekend's matches on the road.
- Oregon swept Cal on Friday and followed that up with a five-set victory over the Cardinal on Sunday, the Ducks' first win in its series against Stanford since 2011.
- At 12-2 overall and off to its best start since 2011, UCLA beat then-No. 24 Colorado and then-No. 15 Utah in straight sets last weekend in Pauley Pavilion.
- Washington, which lost a pair of five-setters to Utah and Washington State on the first weekend of Pac-12 play, has now won four straight after a 3-1 victory at Arizona and 3-2 win at Arizona State.
- Washington State also collected road results over the Sun Devils (3-0) and Wildcats (3-0) to move to 9-6 overall and lift itself into the AVCA Top 25 for the first time since Aug. 30.
- 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 two of the nation's 11 two-loss programs in Oregon (14-2) and UCLA (12-2). The Ducks (.875) and Bruins (.857) are two of 17 teams in the country with winning percentages over .850.
- In the NCAA's most recent RPI report, the Pac-12 has six programs in the top 30, which tied for the second-most with the Big Ten and one behind the ACC's seven. UCLA (No. 11) and Utah (No. 12) lead the way for the Conference, and are followed by No. 22 Oregon, No. 23 Washington, No. 24 Colorado and No. 26 Stanford.
- The Bruins are 3-1 against the RPI top 25, while the Ducks and Utes are 3-2. They are three of 11 programs in the country with at least three such wins (Louisville, Pittsburgh, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, UCLA, Purdue, Wisconsin), which is tied with the ACC for the most among all leagues.
- The trio is also three of only 13 programs in the country with winning records against RPI top 25 opponents.
- Stanford has played seven RPI top 25 opponents this season, which is tied with Illinois and Texas Tech for the most in the country. The Cardinal is 2-5 in those matches, while the Fighting Illini and Red Raiders are 1-6.
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. 11 in No. 10 Washington, No. 13 Oregon, No. 14 UCLA, No. 17 Utah, No. 18 Stanford and No. 25 Washington State.
- The Cougars are back in the rankings this week for the first time since they were tied for 25th with Marquette in the Week One poll on Aug. 30.
- The Conference’s six programs in the poll are tied with the Big Ten for the most among all leagues.
- UCLA's Mac May totaled a career-high 39 kills in a five-set victory at Washington State on Oct. 3, 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.
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 (1,944) and is 10th in Conference history in that category. She's eighth in the NCAA this season in kills per set (4.76) and seventh in points per set (5.39).
- On Monday, Oregon's Brooke Nuneviller was voted Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career, UCLA's Zoe Fleck was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for the second time and the Bruins' Charitie Luper won her third Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award of the season.
ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
- In addition to Drews, UCLA's Mac May is fifth among active players and and 35th in the Pac-12 record book with 1,750 career kills. May also has 147 career aces, which is 14th among active NCAA players and 12th in Conference history. Her 4.50 kills per set average this season is 15th nationally and her 5.07 points per set are 17th.
- Washington's Lauren Sanders is second among active Division I players in career blocks with 581, a total that is also 14th in Pac-12 history.
- Utah's Stef Jankiewicz, a transfer from Illinois State, tops active NCAA career leaders in assists with 5,302, while WASHINGTON’s Ella May Powell is eighth in that category (4,292). Powell is 21st in Conference history in assists.
- Oregon State’s Grace Massey is 13th among active NCAA players with 1,971 career digs, a total which is 17th in Conference history.
MORE NCAA RANKS
- Stanford is 12th nationally in assists per set (13.09) and is led by three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Kami Miner, who is fourth in the NCAA in that category (11.44). The Cardinal is also 14th in the country in both hitting percentage (.279) and blocks per set (2.73).
- Oregon's Karson Bacon is 10th in the country in hitting percentage (.425) and Abby Hansen is 16th in blocks per set (1.39). Stanford's McKenna Vicini is 13th in blocks per set (1.40).
- As a team defensively, the Ducks are 12th in blocks per set (2.79) and 13th in opponent hitting percentage (.142). Stanford's 2.73 blocks per set are 14th.
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.