Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Weekly Release - Oct. 28, 2021
Oct 28, 2021
SECOND HALF OF CONFERENCE PLAY BEGINS
- Three top-25 matches highlight the Pac-12 women’s volleyball schedule, as Conference play begins the second half of its schedule.
- On Friday, No. 17 Oregon takes on No. 19 Utah in Eugene at 6 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Mountain and No. 16 UCLA hosts No. 22 Washington State at 7 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Los Angeles.
- The top two teams in the Conference standings will battle it out on Sunday in Westwood, when No. 8 Washington is at No. 16 UCLA at 4 p.m. PT on ESPNU.
- The Huskies and Bruins are tied atop the league standings with identical 8-2 records through the first half of the Pac-12 schedule.
- No. 15 Stanford and No. 22 Washington State are tied for third, a game back of Washington and UCLA at 7-3.
- The Cardinal is in Arizona to play at Arizona and Arizona State this weekend, while the Cougars will cross Los Angeles to play at USC on Sunday to wrap up their swing through Southern California.
- The Conference’s other two nationally-ranked squads, which face each other Friday night, No. 17 Oregon and No. 19 Utah, are even with USC in the standings. All three have 6-4 league marks.
- In total, seven of the Conference’s 12 matches will be televised this weekend, six on Pac-12 Networks and the Washington-UCLA showdown on ESPNU.
- No. 19 Utah at No. 17 Oregon // 6 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Mountain
- California at Arizona State // 7 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Arizona
- Colorado at Oregon State // 7 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Oregon
- No. 15 Stanford at Arizona // 7 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Bay Area
- No. 22 Washington State at No. 16 UCLA // 7 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Los Angeles
- No. 8 Washington at USC // 8 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Washington
- No. 8 Washington at No. 16 UCLA // 4 p.m. PT // ESPNU
- Arizona State, UCLA and Washington went 2-0 last weekend, while Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, USC, Utah and Washington State split each of their two matchups.
- The Sun Devils picked up a road upset over then-No. 18 Utah (3-1) on Friday and followed that up with another win at Colorado (3-1) on Sunday. Coupled with an earlier result against then-No. 14 UCLA on Oct. 17, the victory in Salt Lake City gave ASU back-to-back wins against ranked teams for the first time since 2015.
- Washington extended its winning streak to eight after two home victories over California (3-1) and Stanford (3-0). The Huskies, which have won 12 of their past 13 sets, have the fifth longest active winning streak in the nation among Power 5 programs, behind only Louisville (20), Texas (17), Wisconsin (10) and Kentucky (10).
- UCLA swept both the Ducks and Beavers at home and has dropped only one set in Pauley Pavilion all season, in its Pac-12 opener against USC back on Sept. 22. At home, the Bruins are 5-0 and have won 13 consecutive sets.
- Additionally last Friday, Arizona won at Colorado (3-1), Stanford was victorious at Washington State (3-2) and USC beat Oregon State (3-1). On Sunday, Oregon rallied for a reverse sweep at USC, while Washington State swept California and Utah swept Arizona, both at home.
- In the NCAA's most recent RPI report the Pac-12 has five programs in the top 25, the third most among all leagues (Big Ten/ACC – 6). No. 11 UCLA and No. 17 Stanford lead the way for the Conference, and are followed closely by No. 21 Utah, No. 22 Washington and No. 24 Oregon. Washington State is No. 36, Colorado is No. 42 and USC is No. 48.
- Twelve teams in the nation have at least three wins against the RPI top 25 this season and four are from the Pac-12, which is tied with the Big Ten for the most among all leagues. UCLA is 4-1, Washington is 3-2, Utah is 3-3, Oregon is 3-4 and Stanford is 3-6.
- UCLA and Washington are also two of only eight programs in the country with a winning record against RPI top 25 opponents (Pittsburgh, Louisville, Wisconsin, Texas, Creighton, Boise State).
- UCLA's .800 winning percentage against RPI top 25 teams is fourth best among schools that have multiple matches against such teams, trailing only Louisville (7-0), Wisconsin (7-0) and Texas (3-0).
- Stanford’s nine matches against RPI top 25 foes are tied for tops in the country (Pittsburgh).
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. 25 in No. 8 Washington, No. 15 Stanford, No. 16 UCLA, No. 17 Oregon, No. 19 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 three of the nine Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week awards this season, a total which leads all conferences.
- Arizona State’s Iman Isanovic claimed the honor on Oct. 26 after stellar performances in road wins over then-No. 18 Utah (3-1) and Colorado (3-1). She notched 24 kills against the Utes, her fifth time this season with 20+, and tied her career high with six blocks. In ASU's first win over Utah since 2015, Isanovic added 12 digs to secure her eighth double-double of the season. She also helped the Sun Devils to their first Pac-12 road sweep since 2019 with another 18 kills and eight digs at Colorado.
- 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 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 (2,015) and is seventh in Conference history in that category. She is the ninth Pac-12 player to surpass 2,000 career kills and first since USC's Khalia Lanier in 2019. Drews is ninth in the NCAA this season in kills per set (4.82) and seventh in points per set (5.39).
- With 13 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, Arizona State’s Iman Isanovic was voted Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career, UCLA’s élan McCall was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for the first time and the Bruin’s Charitie Luper became the Conference’s first four-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week winner since 2018 (Raquel Lázaro – USC; Brooke Nuneviller – Oregon).
ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
- In addition to Drews, UCLA's Mac May is fifth among active players and 26th in the Pac-12 record book with 1,826 career kills. May also has 149 career aces, which is tied for 16th among active NCAA players and 12th in Conference history. Her 4.69 kills per set average this season is 12th nationally and her 5.24 points per set are 12th.
- Washington's Lauren Sanders is second among active Division I players in career blocks with 603, 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 5,457, while Washington's Ella May Powell is eighth in that category (4,466). Powell is 18th in Conference history in assists.
- Oregon State’s Grace Massey is 12th among active NCAA players with 2,019 career digs, a total which is 13th in Conference history.
MORE NCAA RANKS
- Stanford is thirteenth nationally in assists per set (13.01) and is led by three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Kami Miner, who is seventh in the NCAA in that category (11.27).
- The Cardinal and Washington are two of the best in the nation in terms of hitting percentage, with Stanford eighth (.282) and the Huskies ninth (.282).
- Defensively, Stanford is also ninth in blocks per set (2.75), while Oregon is 16th (2.67) and UCLA 24th (2.59). Individually, four from the Conference are in the top 21 in the category, including Stanford's McKenna Vicini in 10th (1.43), Washington State's Magda Jehlářová in 15th (1.39), Oregon's Abby Hansen in 16th (1.39) and Washington's Lauren Sanders in 21st (1.37).
- Oregon's Karson Bacon is 14th in the country in hitting percentage (.422), while Washington's Marin Grote is 18th (.416) and California's Bella Bergmark is 21st (.409).
- 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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