Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Weekly Release - Nov. 23, 2021
PAC-12 TITLE TO BE DECIDED IN FINAL WEEK
- The Pac-12 title and league's automatic qualifier remain up for grabs with two matches remaining in the regular season, as No. 12 Washington and No. 13 UCLA are knotted atop the standings with 15-3 Conference records.
- If the two squads match records over their final two contests, the Pac-12 will celebrate co-champions in 2021.
- If one team wins on Wednesday and the other loses, the victor will clinch at least a share of the Conference title, with the outright determination coming down to the 20th and final league matches of the season.
- If the two ultimately finish the regular season as co-champions of the Pac-12, UCLA would receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The teams split their regular-season meetings, but the Bruins won five sets in the two matches to Washington's three.
- Washington State also remains in the mix for its first Pac-12 title with a 13-5 mark, but will need some help. Two losses from both Washington and UCLA and two wins from the Cougars would lead to the championship being shared by three schools for the first time in Conference history.
- The Pac-12 has had co-champions four times previously - 2015 (USC/Washington), 2010 (California/Stanford), 2000 (Arizona/USC) and 1999 (Stanford/UCLA).
- The defending Conference champions, Washington has won six Pac-12 titles in program history (2004, 2005, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2020). UCLA is a seven-time league champion, with its most recent crown coming in 1999 (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1999).
- Seven matches will be televised this weekend on the Pac-12 Networks, including each team's regular-season finales on Friday and Saturday. Another three will be carried on Pac-12 Insider, the free, 24/7 streaming channel from Pac-12 Networks.
- Arizona at No. 19 Oregon // 6 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Insider
- Arizona State at Oregon State // 12 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Arizona, Pac-12 Oregon
- No. 12 Washington at Colorado // 12 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Insider
- No. 18 Stanford at USC // 4 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Insider
- No.19 Oregon at Oregon State // 5 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Oregon
- No. 13 UCLA at USC // 7 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Los Angeles
- Arizona State at Arizona // 11 a.m. PT // Pac-12 Arizona
- Colorado at No. 17 Utah // 11 a.m. PT // Pac-12 Mountain
- No. 21 Washington State at No. 12 Washington // 1 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Washington
- No. 18 Stanford at California // 8 p.m. PT // Pac-12 Bay Area
- In the NCAA's most recent RPI report the Pac-12 has six programs in the top 35, which is tied with the ACC for the second-most among all league (Big Ten - 7). No. 10 UCLA leads the way for the Conference, followed by No. 18 Washington, No. 23 Oregon, No. 24 Utah, No. 28 Stanford and No. 33 Washington State.
- Ten teams in the nation have at least four wins against the RPI top 25 this season and three are from the Pac-12 in UCLA (5-2), Utah (4-3) and Stanford (4-8). The ACC and Big Ten also have three each, and the Big 12 one.
- UCLA and Utah are two of 12 programs in the country with winning records against RPI top 25 opponents (Louisville, Pittsburgh, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Purdue, Creighton, UCF, Houston, Boise State).
- Stanford’s 12 matches against RPI top-25 foes are the most in the country.
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 Nov. 22 in No. 12 Washington, No. 13 UCLA, No. 17 Utah, No. 18 Stanford, No. 19 Oregon and No. 21 Washington State.
- The Conference’s six programs in the poll are the second most among all leagues (Big Ten - 7).
2021 CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM
- Ten Pac-12 student-athletes were named to the 2021 Academic All-District® Volleyball Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
- The 10 now advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected next month.
- The Academic All-District Teams recognize the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. The teams are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada with District 8 encompassing Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawai'i, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Canada.
|Taylor Borup||Oregon||Sr.||3.55||Prevention Science|
|Iman Isanovic||Arizona State||Jr.||4.00||Political Science|
|Kendall Kipp||Stanford||Jr.||3.55||Human Biology|
|Mac May||UCLA||Gr.||3.41/4.00||Sociology (UG)/ Transformative Coaching & Leadership (G)|
|Lauren Sanders||Washington||Sr.||3.63||Speech & Hearing Sciences|
|Caitie Baird||Stanford||Jr.||3.76||Human Biology|
|Bella Bergmark||California||Jr.||3.43||Nutritional Sciences, Physiology & Metabolism|
|Magda Jehlarova||Washington State||Jr.||3.78||Management|
- 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 four of the 12 Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week awards this season, a total which leads all conferences.
- Washington's Samantha Drechsel was the latest to receive the accolade on Tuesday. Also the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, Drechsel helped the Huskies stretch their win streak to six with back-to-back 15-kill performances in sweeps of Oregon State and then-No. 16 Oregon. Against the Ducks, became just the fifth UW player in the rally scoring era to post 15+ kills and hit at least .700, and just the second outside hitter to do so. Her .700 hitting percentage against the Ducks is tied for the 13th in the country (min. of 20 attempts) and is the best performance against a ranked team this season.
- 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 (2,183) and is third 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 fourth in the NCAA this season in kills per set (5.11) and fourth in points per set (5.65).
- Also with 1,062 career digs, Drews is now the sixth player in Conference history with at least 2,000 kills and 1,000 digs, joining Kristee Porter (UCLA), Kim Glass (Arizona), Alix Klineman (Stanford), Samantha Bricio (USC) and Lanier.
- In addition to Drechsel, on Monday Stanford's McKenna Vicini was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, her first career weekly Conference honor, and USC's Mia Tuaniga earned Freshman of the Week accolades for the first time this season.
ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
- In addition to Drews, UCLA's Mac May is fifth among active players and 11th in the Pac-12 record book with 1,964 career kills. May also has 164 career aces, which is 12th among active NCAA players and sixth in Conference history. Her 4.76 kills per set average this season is 10th nationally and her 5.35 points per set are 12th.
- Washington's Lauren Sanders is second among active Division I players in career blocks with 633, a total that is also fifth in Pac-12 history.
- Utah's Stef Jankiewicz, a transfer from Illinois State, sits second in active NCAA career leaders in assists with 5,793, while Washington's Ella May Powell is seventh in that category (4,767). Powell is 16th in Conference history in assists.
- Oregon State’s Grace Massey is 12th among active NCAA players with 2,135 career digs, a total which is ninth in Conference history.
MORE NCAA RANKS
- The Pac-12 boasts three of the nation's top 20 teams in terms of hitting percentage in Washington, UCLA and Stanford. The Huskies are 13th (.284), the Bruins 15th (.275) and the Cardinal 17th (.275).
- Stanford is 19th nationally in assists per set (12.93) and is led by three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Kami Miner, who is ninth in the NCAA in that category (11.26).
- Defensively, Stanford is also 19th in blocks per set (2.65). Individually, three from the Conference are in the top 25 in the category in Washington State's Magda Jehlářová (3rd - 1.46), Stanford's McKenna Vicini (9th - 1.39) and Washington's Lauren Sanders (21st - 1.31).
- Additionally, Oregon's Karson Bacon is 16th in the country in hitting percentage (.409), while Washington's Marin Grote is 20th (.401).
- Against Arizona State on Nov. 7, Washington State's Magda Jehlářová had a career-high 21 kills on 25 attempts to hit .840 as a three-rotation player. It's the third-best percentage for a Pac-12 player with 20+ attempts all-time and the best since 2006. It's also the 18th-best hitting percentage in NCAA history for a player with 20+ attempts and the fifth-best in NCAA single-match history for a player with 20+ kills.
- 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.