USC No. 1; Four Teams Still In Title Hunt
A third Pac-12 team is ranked No. 1 in the country this week with USC earning the top spot in the AVCA Coaches poll for the first time since 2004 ... Pac-12 teams occupy the top three spots in the nation and four of the top five ... This week's AVCA poll has six teams ranked once again, all of them in the top 15 - No. 1 USC, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 CALIFORNIA, No. 5 STANFORD, No. 10 WASHINGTON and No. 15 OREGON ... Four teams are still playing for the Pac-12 Conference crown, with USC leading the pack. The top four teams are separated by just three matches ... There have been 20 upsets by Pac-12 teams so far this season and with six teams ranked in the top 15, opportunities for upsets come up nearly every weekend ... This week's FSN Pac-12 Match of the Week features the Women of Troy and ARIZONA ... The Bank of the West Pac-12 Players of the Week are USC's Alex Jupiter (Offensive), ARIZONA STATE's Stephanie Preach (Defensive) and ASU's Nora Tuioti-Mariner (Freshman). The Trojans claim offensive player of the week honors for the second-consecutive week.
THIS WEEK'S STORY LINES
• Poll analysis ... USC bumps up three spots to No. 1 in the AVCA Coaches poll this week, the third Pac-12 team to hold the top spot in the poll. It is the first top-ranking for USC since the 2004 campaign. Prior to the Trojans, UCLA was ranked No. 1 on Oct. 31 for the first time since the 2000 preseason poll and held that spot for two weeks. California received its first-ever No. 1 national ranking and was in that spot 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 four in the top five. It is the eighth week that five teams are ranked in the top 10 in the same week.
There was some re-shuffling of the top-five teams, with Pac-12 teams occupying the top-three positions. After USC, UCLA is No. 2 and Cal is No. 3. Stanford is ranked fifth. Washington re-entered the top 10 and Oregon jumps three spots to No. 15.
Six Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the AVCA poll all season. At least three Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the top five since Sept. 5.
• FSN Match of the Week ... With just three matches left on USC's schedule, the Trojans are looking to secure their spot at the top of the standings. Meanwhile, Arizona is looking to strengthen its postseason resume and avoid the regular-season sweep at the hands of USC.
Arizona has tied its Conference record from a year ago and has not had more than nine league wins since 2005. Leading the Wildcats are a pair of freshman. Madison Kingdon is averaging a team-high 3.42 kills per set, while freshman setter Chloe Mathis is dishing out 9.80 assists per set. Both are ranked in the top 10 in the Pac-12 in their respective categories.
The Wildcats will have a tough challenge facing the No. 1 team in the country. USC boasts a powerful offense, ranking second in the country in kills per set (15.0), fourth in hitting percentage (.289) and fourth in assists per set (13.82). Kendall Bateman's 12.02 aps is fourth-best in the nation. Lauren Williams' .403 hitting percentage is eighth. Alex Jupiter, this week's Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, ranks eighth in the country averaging 5.2 points per set.
• Some notes on records ... With wins over the weekend, Arizona matches its Conference win total from a year ago. The Wildcats have not won more than nine league matches since 2005 ... California's 15 wins matches last year's Conference win total, which was also a program record set last year when the Golden Bears were co-Pac-10 Champions ... Oregon's 11 league wins are the most since 2008. It is the second time in four years UO has posted double-digit league wins and only the second time since 1989 ... Oregon State's six Conference victories are the most since winning seven in 2005. The Beavers have a tough road ahead to claim No. 7, facing three ranked opponents in their last four matches. However, OSU has one win over a ranked opponent already this season ... Claimed its 20th victory over the weekend, five-time defending Conference champion STANFORD has posted 11-consecutive 20-win seasons ... UCLA's 23 wins so far this year are more than all of last year. Its 16 Conference wins so far are the most since 17-1 in 1999 ... USC's 17 league victories are the most since going 18-0 in 2003. That year, the Trojans won their second-straight NCAA title. USC claimed its third-straight 20-win season ... Washington has posted double-digit Conference win seasons for the last nine-consecutive years ... Washington State has doubled its win total from last season.
Fri., Nov. 18
ARIZONA at #2 UCLA * 7 p.m. PT
ARIZONA STATE at #1 USC * 7 p.m. PT
#15 OREGON at #5 STANFORD * 7 p.m. PT
OREGON STATE at #3 CALIFORNIA * 7 p.m. PT
#10 WASHINGTON at UTAH * 7 p.m. MT
WASHINGTON STATE at COLORADO * 7 p.m. MT
Sat., Nov. 19
ARIZONA at #1 USC * (FSN) 7 p.m. PT
#15 OREGON at #3 CALIFORNIA * 7 p.m. PT
#10 WASHINGTON at COLORADO * 7 p.m. MT
WASHINGTON STATE at UTAH * 7 p.m. MT
Sun., Nov. 20
ARIZONA STATE at #2 UCLA * 1 p.m. PT
OREGON STATE at #5 STANFORD * 1 p.m. PT
* Indicates Pac-12 Conference game
Game times local to site
FSN - indicates tape delayed televised broadcast on Fox Sports Net.