UCLA No. 1, Three Teams In AVCA Top 5
With a couple of big upsets last weekend, UCLA is the new No. 1 team in the country, according to this week's AVCA Coaches poll. The Bruins are the top-ranked team in the nation for the first time since the 2000 preseason poll. They are the second Pac-12 team to occupy the top spot this season ... UCLA and fourth-ranked USC are tied for first in the Pac-12 standings, but there is not much separating them from the next three teams. The top five teams are separated by just 2.5 matches.
The FSN Pac-12 Match of the Week features a rematch between Arizona and Oregon State, this time in Tucson on Friday, Nov. 4. Both teams are tied for seventh and having solid campaigns with marquee wins. Check local listings for the tape-delayed broadcast.
There have been 18 upsets by Pac-12 teams so far this season, five of those coming last weekend. With six teams ranked in the top 25, opportunities for upsets come up nearly every weekend ... Teams ranked in the AVCA poll this week are - No. 1 UCLA, No. 3 STANFORD, No. 4 USC, No. 7 CALIFORNIA, No. 10 WASHINGTON and No. 20 OREGON.
The Bank of the West Pac-12 Players of the Week are UCLA'S Rachael Kidder (Offensive) and Lainey Gera (Defensive), and OREGON STATE's Arica Nassar (Freshman).
THIS WEEK'S STORY LINES
• Poll analysis ... UCLA is the new No. 1 team in the country, according to the latest AVCA Coaches poll, receiving 41 first-place votes. After upsetting a pair of ranked teams in the Bay Area last weekend, the Bruins claim the top spot for the first time since the 2000 preseason poll. They are the second team in the Pac-12 to be ranked No. 1 in the poll.
California was ranked No. 1 for four weeks, from Aug. 29-Sept. 19.
The Pac-12 has dominated the weekly poll with half of the Conference earning a national ranking, including three in the top five and five in the top 10.
The Bruins jumped up from No. 6 last week. Stanford moved up two spots to No. 3 and USC is at No. 4, recording its eighth week in the top five.
The Golden Bears slip to No. 7 after spending 10 weeks ranked in the top five in the nation. Washington remains at No. 10 for the second-straight week. Oregon falls to No. 20 this week.
Six Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the AVCA poll all season, including five in the top 10. At least three Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the top five since Sept. 5.
• FSN Match of the Week ... Oregon State travels to Arizona for this week's FSN Match of the Week. Both teams are currently tied for seventh in the Pac-12 standings with a 6-8 record and each will look to gain the upperhand in the second meeting between the teams. The Wildcats won the first meeting, 3-1, on Sept. 17 in Corvallis, Ore.
OSU is having one of its best seasons in recent history. Its six Conference wins are the most since 2005 and the 14 overall victories are the most since 2008 and includes a win at then-No. 22 Long Beach State in early September. The Beavers are on a three-match win streak, the longest win streak vs. Conference teams since 2001.
Freshman outside hitter Arica Nassar is the most efficient hitter on the squad, registering a 28.3 percent hitting percentage while also recording 2.13 kills per set, third-best on the team. She was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the second time this season. Veteran Megan McBride has been directing the offense, distributing a team-best 7.08 assists per set.
The Wildcats come into the match vs. the Beavers having lost three of their last four. Prior to that stretch, however, Arizona had won three in a row, including an upset over UCLA on Oct. 8. Arizona has been relying on a pair of freshman, with Chloe Mathis directing the offense at the setter position, while Madison Kingdon has been pounding 3.47 kills per set, which ranks 10th in the Pac-12. Mathis' 9.62 assists per set is eighth in the league.
• National leaders ... In the latest NCAA statistical report, Washington leads the nation in blocks per set with an average of 3.57. Four Pac-12 players are ranked in the top-five in four statistical categories. Washington's Bianca Rowland is averaging 1.67 blocks per set, the second-best mark in the nation. Also in the top five in the same category is Stanford's Carly Wopat. USC's Kendall Bateman's 11.86 assists per set and Washington State's Meagan Ganzer's 4.91 kills per set both rank fourth in the nation in their respective categories.
Thurs., Nov. 3
#7 CALIFORNIA at UTAH, 7 p.m. MT *
#3 STANFORD at COLORADO, 7 p.m. MT *
Fri., Nov. 4
#20 OREGON at ARIZONA STATE, 7 p.m. PT *
OREGON STATE at ARIZONA, 7 p.m. PT * (FSN)
#10 WASHINGTON at #1 UCLA, 7 p.m. PT *
WASHINGTON STATE at #4 USC, 7 p.m. PT *
Sat., Nov. 5
#7 CALIFORNIA at COLORADO, 1 p.m. MT *
OREGON STATE at ARIZONA STATE, 7 p.m. PT *
#3 STANFORD at UTAH, 2 p.m. MT *
#10 WASHINGTON at USC, 7 p.m. PT *
Sun., Nov. 6
#20 OREGON at ARIZONA, 12 p.m. MT *
WASHINGTON STATE at #1 UCLA, 1 p.m. PT *
* Indicates Pac-12 Conference game
Game times local to site
FSN - indicates tape delayed televised broadcast on Fox Sports Net.
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