Washington gets top spot for first time in eight years; Wisconsin enters rankings
SEATTLE -- Coming off a pair of road wins to start Pac-12 play, Washington moved up to the top spot in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25, released on Monday afternoon. It is the first time the Huskies have held the No. 1 ranking since the 2005 season.
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Helping the Huskies reach the top spot was junior Krista Vansant, who was named Pac-12 offensive player of the week on Monday, the second time she’s earned the honor during the past three weeks.
Washington (10-0, 2-0 Pac-12) was ranked No. 2 last week, but then-No. 1 Penn State suffered a loss last week while the Huskies earned a 3-0 win at previously unbeaten Washington State, and then defeated No. 21 Oregon 3-1 in Eugene, Ore.
The Huskies have 38 of the 60 first-place votes this week, though seven different teams are receiving at least one first-place vote. Pac-12 rival Southern California is now No. 2 with 12 first-place votes. Florida is ranked third, Texas comes in fourth, then Penn State at No. 5. The rest of the top-10 follows as No. 6 Hawaii, No. 7 Stanford, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 9 Michigan State, and No. 10 Nebraska.
Vansant put up 30 kills in the two wins last week, hitting .348, to earn her second offensive player of the week honor this season and fourth of her career. She last won the award on Sept. 16. Vansant also won three Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors in 2011. This is the third season that the conference has had separate weekly awards for offensive, defensive and freshman of the week.
In the conference opener at Washington State on Wednesday, Vansant had 13 kills on 25 attempts with just two errors to hit .440, also adding three digs and four blocks as UW gave WSU its first loss. Two days later, facing the third-largest crowd in Oregon history of 4,668, Vansant had a team-high 17 kills on a .295 attack percentage as the Huskies knocked off the 21st-ranked Ducks in four sets. Vansant added seven digs and a season-best five blocks. Vansant averaged 4.29 kills, 1.43 digs, 1.29 blocks and 5.14 points per set on the week.