Texas leads the way in the first official DI Women’s Volleyball RPI release of the season. The defending national champion is 11-2 overall this season and 4-0 in conference play. Texas has several top players back from its national championship squad, including senior outside hitter, Bailey Webster, who earned the 2012 Most Outstanding Player award. Southern California, Hawaii, Florida and Penn State round out the top five in this first edition of the RPI. The full list of rankings can be found here.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Teams all across the country are “thinking pink” and joining forces to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness during the month of October. North Carolina’s match again Duke on Friday will be Turn It Pink night at Carmichael Arena. Pink Carolina volleyball t-shirts will be sold, and player jerseys will be auctioned off. Michigan State will wear pink jerseys for its match against Iowa, and pink ribbon decorations will be provided by Spartans for the Cure (the on-campus Susan G. Komen affiliate). Other schools, like Utah State, are raising money for a local hospital’s Breast Cancer Services. Pledges are now being gathered for every dig the Aggies make during their six home matches in October as part of USU's "Dig for a Cure" campaign.
USC Sitting at No. 1
USC (14-1, 4-0 Pac-12) will take its No. 1 ranking on the road for the first of four consecutive matches away from home. The Women of Troy will need to be prepared for all comers as they travel north for a date with Oregon State on Friday at 9 p.m. ET and No. 22 Oregon on Sunday at 6 pm. ET. USC’s current eight-match winning streak can be attributed to the consistent play of its seniors and the emergence of its freshmen. Three student-athletes were honored by the Pac-12, this week, as the Women of Troy swept the league’s weekly awards. Senior MB Alexis Olgard was named the Offensive Player of the Week, while senior libero Natalie Hagglund was chosen as the Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career, and freshman OH Ebony Nwanebu received her third Freshman of the Week nod in six weeks.
Oregon is one of five schools in the nation to have three players averaging more than 3.00 kills per set and the only school in the nation to have one of those players over 4.00 kills per set. Liz Brenner leads the trio with 4.18 kills/set and Martenne Bettendorf (3.11) and Ariana Williams (3.05) also setting impressive marks this season. The other schools to achieve this kind of balanced attack are Alabama, CSU Bakersfield, Duke and Tulane.
A few records/milestones could happen this weekend if things play out right:
• Fairfield senior Rachel Romansky has the potential to reach two milestones when the Stags take the court on Saturday. The setter needs two digs to reach 1,000 for her career and 19 assists for the 4,000th of her career. Romansky, the two-time MAAC Setter of the Year, will be only the second Stag in program history to have accrued 4,000 assists and 1,000 digs in her career.
• Senior Betsi Metter, who set the all-time LMU digs record earlier this year, is now one service ace short of matching the LMU record for aces in a career (record is 158 set by Heather Hughes from 2004-07). She is currently tied with Kim Blankinship (1993-96) with 157.
Job Well Done
• Texas A&M senior setter Allie Sawatzky posted her SEC-leading fourth triple-double of the season with 40 assists, 10 kills and 10 digs at South Carolina. The 6-2 lefty, who has 10 double-doubles on the year, also moved into third place in the A&M records with 3,929 career assists.
• Fairfield head coach Alija Pittenger recorded her 100th career victory on October 9 in a 3-2 win against Marist. Pittenger, who is in her sixth year at the helm of the Stags, is 100-75 as a head coach. She’s been named the MAAC Coach of the Year in each of the last two years and led the Stags to the 2012 MAAC championship title.
Here’s the line-up for this weekend’s TV games:
Oct. 11, 7 p.m.-Notre Dame vs. Clemson (ESPN3)
Oct. 11, 7 p.m.-Duke vs. North Carolina (ESPN3)
Oct. 11, 9 p.m.-Arizona State vs. Washington State (Pac-12 Network)
Oct. 11, 9 p.m.-Utah vs. Stanford (Pac-12 Network)
Oct. 11, 9 p.m.-USC at Oregon State (Pac-12 Network)
Oct. 12, 9 p.m.-Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech (ESPN3)
Oct. 12, 5 p.m.-Wake Forest vs. North Carolina (ESPN3)
Oct. 12, 6 p.m.-Northwestern vs. Purdue (Big Ten Network)
Oct. 13, 2 p.m.-Pittsburgh vs. Florida State (RSN/ESPN3)
Oct. 13, 10 p.m.-Utah vs. California (Pac-12 Network)
Oct. 13, 6 p.m.-USC vs. Oregon (Pac-12 Network)
Oct. 13, 4 p.m.-Arizona vs. Washington State (Pac-12 Network)
Oct. 13, 6 p.m.-Arizona State at Washington (Pac-12 Network)