Adora Anae honored after Utah's weekend sweep in Washington
There are weekends, and then there are weekends. Just ask Utah volleyball and its star, Adora Anae, the espnW national player of the week.
The Utes (14-3, 5-1 Pac-12) won a pair of road matches against Washington and Washington State, elevating them to second alongside USC in the Pac-12 behind Stanford. It was the first win for Utah in Seattle in the eight matches the teams have played there.
Utah is ranked No. 13 in this week's AVCA poll. Washington dropped from No. 9 to 14.
Anae followed up a 25-kill night at Washington with 20 more versus Washington State, setting the program's all-time record for kills. Anae passed Utah's first All-American, Kim Turner (2000-03), who previously held the record with 1,620 kills. Anae has 1,635 for her career. Her teammates counted down on the sidelines -- Anae was six kills shy of the record coming into Sunday's match against Washington State.
"The other team was so confused and so was the crowd when everybody was cheering so much extra after that one point," she said. "We all had smiles. It was just awesome."
This week's Pac-12 offensive player of the week had double-doubles in both games, adding 11 digs against the Huskies and 16 versus the Cougars.
The native Hawaiian, whose Twitter handle is @anaealator, comes from a family of elite athletes. Her mother, Beth, played volleyball at Utah, and her father, Brad, played defensive end for BYU, signing with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1982. Her older sister, Pati, played volleyball for Portland State; younger sister Bradina throws discus and shot at BYU. Brother Bradlee starts at defensive end for Utah football.
Adora shared a few more thoughts on:
Utah upsetting Washington: "It was packed, and it was loud. We had to keep composed and keep within our team."
On her kills record: "I was reminded of the number by my teammates. They were counting down. It's so surreal to beat it. It was a sweet victory on top of beating Washington and Washington State."
Leaving her native Hawaii for Utah: "I have a lot family here, and they had the No. 1 nursing program when I was being recruited so I really bought into that."
Her first name: "My dad's mom's sister was Inez Adora. They were going to name me Inez first, but Adora was more appealing to my mom."
Off the court: "I love the outdoors. I go on a lot of hikes. I appreciate nature and what's around me."
Her goofy personality outside of volleyball: "I can do the 'It' laugh really well. That's been the current mood on this trip."
Her future: "I'm planning to get my master's and work toward hospital administration. I also want to play overseas."
Other notable results
• No. 4 Nebraska (13-3) topped No. 10 Michigan State (12-3), its third victory over a ranked conference opponent in four matches. The Huskers also won at Iowa, disappointing a record crowd of 4,729.
• Arizona swept USC on Friday, the Trojans' first conference loss of the season. The Trojans are ranked No. 19.
• No. 2 Penn State (15-1) rallied to dominate the final two sets at Ohio State. Haleigh Washington finished with a career-best 20 kills at a clip of .500. The senior is this week's Big Ten player of the week for the eighth time in her career and third time this season.
• Cal Poly (16-2) debuted in the poll this week at No. 24 after winning its last 11.
• Pitt defeated Miami over the weekend to win its 10th straight, the Panthers' longest streak since 2003.
• Marquette swept former No. 12 Creighton behind 21 kills and one error from Allie Barber. The Bluejays, who dropped to 17th, had won 28 straight in the Big East. It's the second ranked team the Golden Eagles have upset in 2017; they opened the season by beating former No. 20 Hawaii.
When Florida wins, so does coach Mary Wise.
When her top-ranked Gators defeated Texas A&M, Wise became the all-time winningest female head coach in Division I volleyball. Wise is in her 27th season with the Gators and 31st year of coaching overall.
Florida's defeat of Georgia on Sunday gave Wise her 888th career victory, tying recently retired Stanford coach John Dunning for seventh in Division I history. The 14-time SEC coach of the year has also been AVCA coach of the year twice. The Gators have been to seven final fours; Wise is still seeking her first national title. Gracious after the win over the Aggies, she tweeted, "So thankful for all the players who have won those matches and hope the record is broken by 100s of women 100s of times."
Wisconsin announced last week that sophomore Molly Haggerty would redshirt the 2017 season. Last year's Big Ten freshman of the year, also a third-team All-American, will continue her recovery from offseason back surgery to repair a herniated disk.
Julia Scoles, the ACC freshman of the year in 2017, remains out of the North Carolina lineup due to concussion symptoms. She has not played since opening weekend.
Washington played without Bailey Tanner last weekend. The senior setter is sidelined after breaking her finger against USC on Oct. 1.
Oregon's Jolie Rasmussen has missed four straight matches due to a concussion sustained during the Sept. 22 match at UCLA when she bumped her head on the floor. The Ducks are ranked 15th.
For your calendar
No. 3 Stanford at No. 12 UCLA: The Bruins were the last Pac-12 team to take down Stanford, a five-setter on Nov. 12, 2016 in Maples Pavilion. They'll look to pull off the upset on Friday over a Cardinal team that's only been beaten by Penn State.
No. 5 Texas at No. 9 Kansas: The Jayhawks had lost 25 straight to the Longhorns before eking out a five-set thriller a year ago in Lawrence. First place in the Big 12 is at stake again in this one on Tuesday in Lawrence.
No. 8 Kentucky at No. 1 Florida: Speaking of grudge matches, the Wildcats swept the Gators in Gainesville a year ago. They'll look to do it again on Sunday against the lone unbeaten team in the nation at 13-0. Kentucky (14-2) hasn't lost since being swept at Kansas on Sept. 4. The winner has the upper hand in the SEC.
No. 4 Nebraska at No. 11 Wisconsin: The Badgers have dropped three straight, a string that includes a five-set loss to these Huskers in Lincoln. Can they get back on track on Wednesday against a Nebraska team running roughshod over its Big Ten opponents?