Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Weekly Release - Oct. 20, 2021
Oct 20, 2021
APPROACHING THE MIDWAY POINT
- The Pac-12 will hit the midway point of its Conference schedule this weekend with six matches on Friday and another six on Sunday.
- There is sure to be a shakeup in the standings, as No. 15 Stanford is on the road for contests at No. 22 Washington State and No. 10 Washington. The Cardinal, Cougars and Huskies are three of four teams tied atop the league standings with identical 6-2 records.
- Stanford is in Pullman on Friday at 6 p.m. PT in a match televised on Pac-12 Bay Area and will meet UW in Seattle at noon PT on Sunday on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Washington.
- Also 6-2 in Conference action, No. 17 UCLA hosts No. 16 Oregon on Friday night at 7 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Los Angeles. The Ducks sit one game back of the Bruins and share 5-3 league records along with No. 18 Utah and USC. The Women of Troy host Oregon on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT.
- While the Bay Area schools are in the Pacific Northwest and the Oregon schools are in Los Angeles, Utah and Colorado will host the Arizona schools before the Pac-12 turns the page to the second half of the Conference season.
- Seven of the 12 matches this weekend will be carried on Pac-12 Networks, including each of the six contests on Friday.
- Arizona State at No. 18 Utah // 5 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Arizona
- Arizona at Colorado // 5 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Mountain
- No. 15 Stanford at No. 22 Washington State // 6 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Bay Area
- California at No. 10 Washington // 7 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Washington
- Oregon State at USC // 7 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Oregon
- No. 16 Oregon at No. 17 UCLA // 7 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Los Angeles
- No. 15 Stanford at No. 10 Washington // noon PT // Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Washington
- Stanford, USC, Washington and Washington State went 2-0 last weekend, while Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA and Utah split each of their two matchups.
- The Cardinal picked up home results over then-No. 17 Utah (3-1) and Colorado (3-0), USC won its matches at Arizona State (3-2) and Arizona (3-1), the Huskies upped their win streak to six with victories at then-No. 13 Oregon (3-2) and Oregon State (3-0) and the Cougars swept both the Ducks and Beavers on the road for the first time since 2001.
- On Friday, Colorado won at Cal and UCLA was victorious at Arizona on Friday, while on Sunday Utah earned a win in Berkeley and Arizona State pulled off the reverse sweep at home to beat then-No. 14 UCLA for the first time since 2014.
- In the NCAA's most recent RPI report, the Pac-12 has eight programs in the top 40, which is tied for the most with the Big Ten and two clear of the ACC and SEC. UCLA (No. 11) and Utah (No. 12) lead the way for the Conference, and are followed by No. 16 Stanford, No. 25 Washington, No. 27 Oregon, No. 32 Colorado, No. 33 Washington State and No. 40 USC.
- The Bruins are 3-1 against the RPI top 25, while the Ducks are 3-3 and the Cardinal are 3-4. They are three of nine programs in the country with at least three such wins (Pittsburgh, Louisville, Texas, Baylor, Purdue, Wisconsin), which is the most among all leagues.
- UCLA is also one of only nine programs in the country with a winning record against RPI top 25 opponents.
SIX 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. 18 in No. 10 Washington, No. 15 Stanford, No. 16 Oregon, No. 17 UCLA, No. 18 Utah, and No. 22 Washington State.
- The Conference’s six programs in the poll are tied with the Big Ten for the most among all leagues.
- 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.
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 second among active NCAA players in career kills (1,979) and is ninth in Conference history in that category. Only eight Pac-12 players have surpassed 2,000 career kills. USC's Khalia Lanier was the last to do it in 2019. Drews is seventh in the NCAA this season in kills per set (4.79) and sixth in points per set (5.39).
- With 21 more kills and 37 more digs, Drews would become the sixth player in Conference history with 2,000 kills and 1,000 digs, joining Kristee Porter (UCLA), Kim Glass (Arizona), Alix Klineman (Stanford), Samantha Bricio (USC) and Lanier.
- On Monday, Stanford's Caitie Baird was voted Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career, Washington State's Magda Jehlárová was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season and the Washington's Emoni Bush won her first Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award.
ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
- In addition to Drews, UCLA's Mac May is fifth among active players and and 32nd in the Pac-12 record book with 1,788 career kills. May also has 149 career aces, which is tied for 13th among active NCAA players and 12th in Conference history. Her 4.53 kills per set average this season is 14th nationally and her 5.10 points per set are 20th.
- Washington's Lauren Sanders is second among active Division I players in career blocks with 593, a total that is also 13th in Pac-12 history.
- Utah's Stef Jankiewicz, a transfer from Illinois State, tops active NCAA career leaders in assists with 5,373, while WASHINGTON’s Ella May Powell is eighth in that category (4,383). Powell is 20th in Conference history in assists.
- Oregon State’s Grace Massey is 13th among active NCAA players with 1,992 career digs, a total which is 16th in Conference history.
MORE NCAA RANKS
- Stanford is seventh nationally in assists per set (13.21) and is led by three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Kami Miner, who is fifth in the NCAA in that category (11.44). The Cardinal is also ninth in the country in both hitting percentage (.284) and 12th in blocks per set (2.73). McKenna Vicini is 16th in blocks per set (1.40).
- Oregon's Karson Bacon is 14th in the country in hitting percentage (.425) and Abby Hansen is 18th in blocks per set (1.38).
- As a team defensively, the Ducks are 13th in blocks per set (2.73) and 21st in opponent hitting percentage (.152).
- 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 third-most in the NCAA this season.
- In a 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.
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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