Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Weekly Rundown - Nov. 1, 2023
The second half of the Pac-12 women's volleyball conference slate started much how most of the first half went - some dominating performances and some unexpected upsets. No upset might be bigger than Arizona State's takedown of No. 3 Stanford at home last weekend, which gave the Sun Devils their second top-five win of the season and ended a 29-match conference winning streak by the Cardinal that dated back to September of last year. ASU rose six spots in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Poll, climbing from No. 21 to No. 15 and already has 21 wins on the season - the sixth-highest total in program history - with a month still left to play.
In all, the Pac-12 has four teams ranked in the AVCA Poll, including three in the top 10 in No. 5 Stanford, No. 7 Oregon and No. 9 Washington State, which has all but guaranteed a ranked matchup almost every weekend of conference play. That trend continues this week with the ninth-ranked Cougars visiting the third-ranked Cardinal on Friday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Insider in a match where both squads are looking to bounce back after unexpected losses.
- Just when it looked like the Cardinal were going to keep on rolling after easily taking care of business against Arizona to start the weekend, they ran up against a roadblock in the Sun Devils, who handed Stanford its first conference loss in its last 30 league matches and ended a 12-match winning streak this season. It was also Stanford's first loss on the road this season as the Cardinal had been a perfect 12-0 away from Maples Pavilion prior to dropping the match against ASU, marking just the seventh time in program history they've suffered a defeat at the hands of the Sun Devils. Despite the loss, the Cardinal remain in control of their own destiny on the road to a second straight Pac-12 Championship, holding a two-match lead atop the conference standings with eight regular season matches to go.
- Arizona State, meanwhile is having one of its best seasons in program history, all under a first-year head coach in J.J. Van Niel. The Sun Devils didn't just beat the Cardinal, they swept them for only the second time in the series and first since 1993. It was not only ASU's second win over a top-five team this season, but a second sweep as the Sun Devils blanked No. 5 Oregon on the road earlier in October, marking the first time in program history a Sun Devils squad had swept two top-five programs in the same season. ASU's 21 wins are the most for the program this century and at 9-3, the Sun Devils are tied for second in Pac-12 play and still within striking distance of the title. Key to the big win were the pair of seniors Marta Levinska and Mary Shroll, who earned Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors with Levinska earning her third offensive weekly award of the season and Shroll picking up the first defensive award of her career. Levinska came up big over the weekend, registering double-digit kills in the wins over California and Stanford and notching a double-double (17 kills, 12 digs) in the victory over the Cardinal. Her performance also garnered the Pac-12's first AVCA National Player of the Week Award of the season as she became just the fifth Sun Devil all-time to earn the honor.
- Oregon bounced back nicely from a home loss to Stanford with a pair of wins on the road last weekend. The Ducks returned the favor to then-No. 6 Washington State, beating the Cougars on their home floor 3-1 after the Cougars had done the same in Eugene earlier this season. They followed that up Sunday with a dominating sweep at Washington in front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN, the Ducks' first win in Seattle since 2018 and first road sweep of the Huskies since 2016. With eight matches to play, Oregon sits tied for second with Arizona State at 9-3 and two back from Stanford with matches remaining against the Sun Devils and the Cardinal yet to come, both on the road where the Ducks are 9-0 in 2023.
- Washington State has hit a bit of a rough patch this season, dropping both home contests last weekend against then-No. 9 Oregon and unexpectedly to Oregon State. The Cougars have lost three of their last four but remain ranked inside the top 10 of the latest AVCA Poll at No. 9. The schedule doesn't get any easier as WSU heads out on the road to face No. 5 Stanford on Friday and finishes the weekend at California, who has not been the easy win of recent years. At 8-4 and tied for fourth in the league standings, the Cougars may not be able to afford many more losses if they want a shot at the title as they trail first-place Stanford by three matches.
- Oregon State continues to surprise in conference play, most recently with a 2-0 weekend on the road that included a 3-1 win at Washington and a five-set win at then-No. 6 Washington State. The victory over the Cougars was the Beavers' second over a top-25 this season after they upset then-No. 19 Arizona State at home on Oct. 13 and was the first top-10 win for first-year head coach Lindsey Behonick. OSU hadn't beat Washington or Washington State since the Beavers beat both schools twice each during the 2017 season.
- UCLA joined OSU, Oregon and ASU with a 2-0 record on the weekend as the Bruins beat Utah (3-1) and swept Colorado on its Rocky Mountain road trip. The Bruins avenged its earlier season loss to the Utes in LA, while completing the season 2-0 record over the Buffs.
- USC, Colorado and California each went 1-1 on the weekend. The Trojans lost a tight five-setter at Colorado on Friday before bouncing back with a 3-1 win at Utah, while Colorado ended the weekend with a loss to the Bruins after its Friday win over USC. California came up short at Arizona State to begin its road trip, but finished it out with a sweep at Arizona, the Bears' first sweep over a conference opponent since 2019. Coming up big in the match was freshman Maggie Li, who paced the Bears with 10 kills, and earned her fifth Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award of the season, which is tied for third-most all-time by a conference freshman.
- Arizona, Utah and Washington all came up empty on the weekend.
- Four weekends remain in the regular season and 12 more matches are on deck for Friday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 5 with seven of the 12 airing live across Pac-12 Networks over the weekend.
- The top-10 showdown between No. 9 Washington State and No. 5 Stanford is the lone Friday night broadcast, live on Pac-12 Insider at 6 p.m. PT. The Cougars are hoping to avoid a three-game losing streak but will be looking for their first win over Stanford since 2016 and first ever win at Maples Pavilion. On the other side of the Bay, Washington and Cal will go head-to-head Friday night at 7 p.m. PT. Washington State will end the weekend facing California on Sunday at 12 p.m. PT, also on Pac-12 Insider, while Stanford and Washington will meet at 2 p.m. PT on Sunday on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Washington.
- The Oregon schools will be at home over the weekend against the Mountain Schools, with the seventh-ranked Ducks hosting Utah on Friday at 6 p.m. PT and Colorado on Sunday at 12 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Oregon. Oregon State will start the weekend with the Buffs on Friday at 7 p.m. PT before wrapping the slate up Sunday against the Utes at 12 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Mountain.
- No. 15 Arizona State travels west to LA to take on UCLA Friday at 7 p.m. PT and USC on Sunday at 2 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Arizona and Pac-12 Los Angeles. ASU's earlier win this season at home over USC was its first over the Trojans since 2018, but a win at USC would be the Sun Devils' first in LA since 2014. Similarly, ASU is looking for its first win at UCLA since 2013. Arizona meanwhile will begin the weekend at USC on Friday at 7 p.m. PT and close out the road trip at UCLA on Sunday at 12 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Arizona and Pac-12 Los Angeles.
UPCOMING SCHEDULE (Full Schedule)
|Friday, Nov. 3
|Utah at No. 7 Oregon
|ORE Live Stream
|6:00 p.m. PT
|No. 9 Washington State at No. 5 Stanford
|6:00 p.m. PT
|#15 Arizona State at UCLA
|UCLA Live Stream
|7:00 p.m. PT
|Arizona at (RV) USC
|USC Live Stream
|7:00 p.m. PT
|Colorado at Oregon State
|7:00 p.m. PT
|Washington at California
|Cal Live Stream
|7:00 p.m. PT
|Sunday, Nov. 5
|Arizona at UCLA
|Pac-12 Arizona/Los Angeles
|12:00 p.m. PT
|Colorado at No. 7 Oregon
|12:00 p.m. PT
|Utah at Oregon State
|12:00 p.m. PT
|No. 9 Washington State at California
|12:00 p.m. PT
|No. 15 Arizona State at (RV) USC
|Pac-12 Arizona/Los Angeles
|2:00 p.m. PT
|Washington at No. 5 Stanford
|2:00 p.m. PT
- In the fifth RPI update of the 2023 season on October 30, three Pac-12 teams rank in the top 10 and four are in the top 12.
- For a fifth consecutive week, the three in the top 10 are the most of any conference in the nation, while the four in the top 12 this week is the most among all conferences.
- Despite the loss, Stanford stayed stayed steady at No. 3, while Oregon moved up one spot to No. 7 after its win over the Cougars. Washington State fell four spot to No. 10 after the pair of losses over the weekend and Arizona State made the biggest jump from No. 20 to No. 12 after its upset over Stanford.
- After its 21-spot rise last week, USC fell back just one spot to No. 33 after a road loss at Colorado. UCLA is next highest at No. 41 followed by California at No. 49, Washington at No. 51 and Colorado at No. 54.
- Utah checks in at No. 98, Oregon State at No. 121 and Arizona at No. 127.
FOUR IN LATEST AVCA TOP 25
- For the sixth straight week, four Pac-12 teams appeared in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Top 25 poll with three of four in the top 10 and all four in the top 15. Earlier this season, the Pac-12 saw a two-week run of three in the top five, but that came to an end on Oct. 16. The three top-10 teams and four top-15 teams for the Pac-12 are the most of any conference in the nation.
- Stanford dropped two spots following the Arizona State upset, Oregon climbed up to No. 7 after wins over Washington State and Washington and the Cougars dropped from No. 6 to No. 9 after falling to the Ducks and Beavers over the weekend. Arizona State, who six weeks ago entered the top 25 for the first time since 2018, climbed back into the top 15, moving up six spots after its big win over Stanford.
- WSU's three-week stint in the top five was its longest in program history, while the No. 4 ranking was also its highest, besting the previous high of No. 5 back in October of 1995. The week-three jump from No. 11 to No. 7 was the Cougars' first time in the top 10 since 2016.
NCAA D1 COMMITTEE TOP 10 RANKINGS - SECOND REVEAL
- The NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee revealed its second and final top-10 in-season rankings of 2023 on Sunday, Oct. 28.
- Stanford is projected as the No. 2 seed, Washington State is the No. 5 seed and Oregon is the No. 6 seed. The three Pac-12 teams in the top-10 are the most of any conference in the country, while the Pac-12 owns three of the top six projected seeds according to the committee.
- In the committee's first rankings released on Sept. 26, three Pac-12 teams appeared in the top-10 with Stanford at No. 4, Washington State at No. 6 and Oregon at No. 7.
GAMECHANGER/AVCA DIVISION I NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
- Arizona State senior and three-time Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week this season Marta Levinska earned the conference's first American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I National Player of the Week award of the season on Oct. 31.
- The Riga, Latvia native has led the Sun Devils to an outstanding season so far, which has included two top-five wins, the latest over No. 3 Stanford, the Cardinal's first loss against Pac-12 competition since September of last year.
- She is the fifth Sun Devil in program history to earn the honor.
AMONG THE NCAA LEADERS (Team)
- Through 10 weeks, four Pac-12 teams rank in the top 15 in hitting percentage. Stanford is second in the nation (.314), followed by Arizona State in 10th (.287), Oregon in 12th (.286) and Washington State in 14th (.284).
- Two teams are in the top 25 in kills per set, with Stanford third in the NCAA (14.67) and Oregon at 10th (14.06).
- Oregon is the league's top-ranked blocks per set squad at eighth (2.79), with Stanford the next best at 12th (2.73), Colorado in 14th (2.73) and UCLA in 17th (2.67).
- Arizona State is eighth in the country with 2.07 aces per set, followed by Stanford in 16th at 1.93 per set and Washington at 24th at 1.85 ace per set.
- Stanford continues to lead the country in assists per set (13.86) followed by Oregon in seventh (13.18).
- Defensively, Oregon ranks 14th in opponent hitting percentage at .156.
AMONG THE NCAA LEADERS (Individual)
- Two rank in the top-25 in assists per set - Stanford's Kami Miner leads the country (11.97) and Oregon's Hannah Pukis is seventh (11.10).
- USC's Skylar Fields is seventh in the country in attacks per set (12.23).
- Oregon's Karson Bacon is 13th in the nation in blocks per set (1.43), Washington State's Magda Jehlarova is 17th (1.40) and Colorado's Skyy Howard is 20th (1.38).
- Oregon's Kara McGhee in second in hitting percentage (.459), followed by WSU's Jehlarova in eighth in hitting percentage (.427).
- USC's Fields owns the Pac-12's top kills per set average at 4.93, which ranks third in the country. Arizona State's Marta Levinska is 16th (4.41) and Stanford's Kendall Kipp is 22nd (4.23).
- USC's Fields also has the conference's top points per set mark at 5.38, which is sixth in the nation, while ASU's Levinska is 13th at 5.17 and Stanford's Kipp ranks 15th at 5.15.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Stanford (18-3) is one of just 17 teams in the country to have three or fewer losses through the first 10 weeks of the season. Arizona State's 21 wins are tied for seventh most among all teams. Top-ranked Nebraska remains the only unbeaten left in the nation.
- Stanford, who played six ranked teams out of nine non-conference games, has the fourth-toughest schedule in the country through the first 10 weeks. Oregon is the next highest with the 12th-toughest schedule, while Arizona is the 13th-toughest and Washington State's is the 20th-toughest schedule.
- Washington State fifth year senior Magda Jehlarova is the NCAA's active career leader for total blocks, who became just the eighth player in NCAA to reach the 700 mark in the rally-scoring era (since 2011), added 13 blocks over the weekend to get to 713 in her career. Earlier this season, Jehlarova officially became Washington State's all-time blocks leader, breaking the old mark of 615 set by former Cougar Carrie Couturier from 1988-91. Jehlarova currently sits in second place in Pac-12 history and needs just 44 to break the conference's all-time career record for blocks. Oregon's Kara McGhee, a transfer from Baylor, is third on the active list with 629.
- On Oct. 2, Jehlarova earned her second Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award of the season and the 10th of her career, giving her 11 combined defensive and offensive weekly awards to set a new conference record for most career weekly honors, surpassing former Washington standout Krista Vansant (2011-14).
- USC's Skyar Fields is the current NCAA active career leader for kills with 1,968 total.
- Oregon's Hannah Pukis ranks second on the active career list for total assists with 4,905, while Stanford's Kami Miner is currently fifth in the NCAA with an 11.57 career assists per set mark.
- Cal freshman Maggie Li, who earned her fifth Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor on Oct. 30, became the first freshman in Pac-12 history to start the season with three consecutive Pac-12 freshman weekly nods. She is also the first ever Bear to earn a weekly award in three consecutive weeks. Li is the top freshman in the Pac-12 this season with 337 kills, 4.01 kills per set, 377.5 points and 4.49 points per set. All four marks put her among the top-five overall players in the conference and top-50 in Division I, with the first three ranking second-best among all Division I freshmen.
- Pac-12 programs closed non-conference play at 96-31 (.756), the best mark among all leagues in 2023 (ACC .741, SEC .731; Big 12 .707; Big 10 .671), and a marked improvement over the last two seasons - 84-37 (.694) in 2022 and 78-36 (.684) in 2021.
- The Pac-12 went 11-8 overall against opponents ranked in the Top-25 of the AVCA Poll, with its top-three ranked teams - Stanford, Oregon and Washington State, going 10-4 against ranked foes. The four losses all came against top-10 opponents, while eight of the 10 wins came on the road or at neutral sites.
- USC added a ranked win on the road, taking down No. 17 Purdue on the final weekend of non-conference play.
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
- The Pac-12 announced the 2023 Women's Volleyball Preseason All-Conference Team ahead of the upcoming season. 14 of the 15 members of the team were All-Pac-12 or All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention selections in 2022.
- Stanford led the way with six selections - three of which were individual award winners a year ago, reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year Kendall Kipp, Setter of the Year Kami Miner and Libero of the Year Elena Oglivie. Caitie Baird, Elia Rubin and Sami Francis rounded on the Cardinal on the list.
- Washington State saw three voted onto the team in Magda Jehlarova, Pia Timmer and Arizona State transfer Iman Isanovic.
- Oregon (Mimi Colyer, Hannah Pukis) and USC (Skylar Fields, Mia Tuaniga) collected two selections apiece while Arizona State (Marta Levinska) and UCLA (Anna Dodson) had one each.
STAR POWER RETURNING
- Every 2022 Pac-12 individual award winner is back in 2023 - Player of the year Kendall Kipp (Stanford); Freshman of the Year Mimi Colyer (Oregon); Setter of the Year Kami Miner (Stanford); and Libero of the Year Elena Oglivie (Stanford).
- 12 of 18 All-Pac-12 selections return highlighted by four-time All-Pac-12 honoree Magda Jehlárová (Washington State).
- Four of five 2022 AVCA First Team All-Americans return in 2023 (Skylar Fields, USC; Magda Jehlarova, WSU; Kendall Kipp, STAN; Kami Miner (STAN); 2022 AVCA Second Team All-American Hannah Pukis (ORE) and third-team selection and AVCA National Freshman of the Year Mimi Colyer is also back for the Ducks. 2022 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention selections Elena Oglivie (STAN) and Mia Tuaniga (USC) return as well.
NEW COACHING FACES
Half the league has a new face on the sideline as the Pac-12 will have six new head coaches in 2023 - two of which are alums of the programs they are taking over.
- Arizona: Charita Stubbs, who played at Arizona from 1992-94, takes over after the retirement of longtime head coach Dave Rubio. Stubbs was the first player in Arizona history to record 300 kills, 300 digs and 100 blocks in one season and helped the program to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances.
- Arizona State: JJ Van Niel comes to Tempe after servicing as an assistant coach and associate head coach at Utah and USC for the past eight years.
- California: Crissy Jones Schoonderwoerd takes over as the interim head coach after former head man Sam Crosson resigned in July. Jones Schoonderwoerd is no stranger to the Pac-12 as she was an AVCA All-American and a three-time All-Pac-12 performer at Washington (2014-17), helping the Huskies to a pair of Elite Eight appearances.
- Oregon State: Lindsey Behonick is new to the Pac-12 but brings a wealth of experience after serving as an assistant coach at Pittsburgh for the last 10 years. Pitt is fresh off back-to-back Final Four appearances and Behonick helped the program win four ACC Championships and compile a 258-62 record during her time there.
- UCLA: After helping guide San Diego to a Final Four appearance last season as an assistant coach, Alfee Reft becomes just the fourth Bruin head coach in UCLA history. He previously served as an assistant coach at Illinois and Minnesota and currently serves as a season assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
- Washington: Leslie Gabriel is the other alum to take over the program where she played. From 1995-1998 Gabriel was one of the best blockers in Pac-12 history and is third all-time in the Huskies’ record book with 613. Gabriel will get the chance to lead the Huskies after being on UW’s staff through multiple head coaches since 2001, helping the Huskies to 21 straight NCAA tournament appearances and the 2005 National Championship.
HOW TO WATCH
- The league's teams will be featured 97 times this season across Pac-12 Networks and Pac-12 Insider, which is available on Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app, as well as eight partner platforms, including Local Now, Redbox, Samsung TV Plus, Sling, Sportstribal, The Roku Channel, Vizio Xumo, Sling and Tubi.
- ESPN will also televise three Pac-12 matches on their networks – Nebraska at Stanford on Sept. 12, Stanford at Oregon on Oct. 22 and Oregon at Washington on Oct. 29.
- For a full television schedule, visit pac-12.com.
- Pac-12 institutions have won 17 of the 42 all-time NCAA championships in women’s volleyball, four more than the next closest conference (Big Ten), and four of the past 12.
- The Conference has had at least five teams earn NCAA Tournament bids in 24 consecutive seasons and eight postseason berths in five of the past 10 tournaments.
- Four different Pac-12 teams have won at least one NCAA title (UCLA, USC, Stanford, Washington), double any other conference. The Big Ten (Nebraska, Penn State) and Big West (Hawaii, Long Beach State) are the only other leagues with multiple NCAA champions.
- Seven different Pac-12 programs have made NCAA semifinal appearances since 2001 and 14 of the past 22 NCAA championship matches have included at least one Pac-12 program.
- At least one Pac-12 team has played in 27 of the 42 NCAA title matches all-time, the most of any league. At least one Big Ten team has been in 22 NCAA finals all-time and a Big West team has played in the title match nine times.
- Five NCAA title matches have been between two Pac-12 teams (2002, 1994, 1992, 1984, 1981). The only other conference to have an all-conference NCAA title match is the Big Ten, which has done so three times (2021, 2013, 2000).
- A Pac-12 team has been one of the final four teams in all but six years of the NCAA tournament.
- Since 2010, the Pac-12 has the second-most NCAA Tournament berths of any league with 94.
- The Pac-12 has had 10 or more first, second and third-team All-America selections in 13 of the last 18 seasons. Thirteen former Pac-12 players have earned first, second or third-team All-America honors four times, while 30 players have earned All-America honors three times, with Magda Jehlarova (Washington State) garnering her third nod last season.
- Since 1990, Pac-12 players garnered AVCA Player of the Year honors 15 times, including the seven of the last 12 - 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). Overall, the Pac-12 has produced 16 student-athletes that have won AVCA Player of the Year, the most of any league. Thirteen Big Ten student-athletes have earned the honor, along with 10 from the Big West and one each from the Big 12 and WCC.
- The Honda Sports Award for volleyball has been bestowed upon a Pac-12 athlete 21 times in its 47 years of existence, including eight of the past 12. The Big Ten has had 11 student-athletes earn the honor, the Big West seven, the SEC two and the Big 12, WCC, A-10 and MWC each one.
CONFERENCE STANDINGS (Expanded Standings)
|#15 Arizona State
|#9 Washington State
2023 PAC-12 WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL WEEKLY AWARDS