Top Four In Pac-12 Go Head-to-Head
The top four teams in the Pac-12 standings go head-to-head this weekend with USC attempting to keep its place in the top spot, while CALIFORNIA, UCLA and STANFORD will try to gain momentum and knock them off. With all four teams ranked in the top six in the nation and every Conference game becoming more meaningful as the season winds down, great battles should be taking place in the Bay Area ... There have been 13 upsets by Pac-12 teams so far this season, and with six teams ranked in the AVCA poll, there will be opportunities for more ... This week's FSN Pac-12 Match of the Week pits the second-ranked Golden Bears with the fourth-ranked Trojans on Saturday night. Check local listings for the tape-delayed broadcast. Cal will be looking to avenge its loss to USC from earlier in the season ... Three teams remain in the AVCA top-five in this week's national ranking - No. 2 Cal, No. 4 USC and No. 5 Stanford. UCLA is No. 6, WASHINGTON is No. 10 and OREGON is ranked 16th ... The Bank of the West Pac-12 Players of the Week are Oregon's Lauren Plum (Offensive), California's Shannon Hawari (Defensive) and Cal's Lillian Schonewise (Freshman).
This Week's Storylines
The Pac-12 dominates the AVCA weekly poll, with half of the Conference earning a national ranking, including three in the top five and five in the top 10. California made a steady climb after being ranked No. 1 in the nation and then dropping to No. 4. This week, Golden Bears are No. 2 for the second-straight week. USC remains is No. 4 this week, also boasting 12 first-place votes, the second-most of any team in the poll. Stanford is at No. 5 for the second-consecutive week, UCLA stays put at No. 6 and Washington falls three spots to No. 10. Oregon is back up to No. 16 in the polling after picking up a top-10 victory last week.
Six Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the AVCA poll all season, including five in the top 10. Cal was the No. 1 team in the nation for four-consecutive weeks, and at least three Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the top five since Sept. 5.
FSN Match of the Week
A big top-five showdown between two of the top-five teams in the nation is on tap for the FSN Match of the Week. The second-ranked Golden Bears host fifth-ranked USC on Saturday, Oct. 29. Check local listings for the airing of the tape-delayed broadcast. Heading into the weekend, the Trojans have a one-game lead over Cal in the Pac-12 standings. Both have a match scheduled for Friday night.
Cal will be looking to avenge its earlier season setback in Los Angeles. Ranked No. 1 at the time of the meeting, it was the first loss of the season for the Bears. Cal has limited its opponents to a league-best .121 hitting percentage and ranks seventh in the nation in blocks per set (2.99). Leading the way at the net, defensively is Kat Brown, who brings with her 1.29 bps, good for 25th in the country.
USC will be looking to stay atop the Conference standings when it goes into this weekend's matches. The Trojans boast one of the best offenses in the country, ranking third and leading the Pac-12 with 14.91 kps. Setter Kendall Bateman directs the offense, distributing 11.77 assists per set, seventh-best in the country, with the team's 13.68 aps ranking fifth.
Fri., Oct. 28
ARIZONA at WASHINGTON STATE * - 7 p.m. PT
ARIZONA STATE at #10 WASHINGTON * - 7 p.m. PT
COLORADO at OREGON STATE * - 7 p.m. PT
#6 UCLA at #2 CALIFORNIA * - 7 p.m. PT
#4 USC at #5 STANFORD * - 7 p.m. PT
UTAH at #16 OREGON * - 7 p.m. PT
Sat., Oct. 29
ARIZONA STATE at WASHINGTON STATE * - 7 p.m. PT
#6 UCLA at #5 STANFORD * - 7 p.m. PT
#4 USC at #2 CALIFORNIA * (FSN) - 7 p.m. PT
UTAH at OREGON STATE * - 7 p.m. PT
Sun., Oct. 30
ARIZONA at #10 WASHINGTON * - 12 p.m. PT
COLORADO at #16 OREGON * - 1 p.m. PT
* Indicates Pac-12 Conference game
Game times local to site
FSN - indicates tape delayed televised broadcast on Fox Sports Net.