USC Wins Pac-12; It's Rivalry Week
USC claimed the first-ever Pac-12 Championship, the Trojans' first Conference crown since 2003. Its 19 league-wins are a Conference record … This week is rivalry week with all teams facing their rivals in the final matches before NCAA selections … The FSN Match of the Week pits the Bay Area teams on Friday, Nov. 25. CALIFORNIA won the first meeting this year between the teams. Check local listings for the tape-delayed broadcast … With two big upsets over the weekend, OREGON swept the Bank of the West Pac-12 Players of the Week … There have been 24 upsets by Pac-12 teams. With six league teams ranked, there are still opportunities for more ... There was a lot of movement in the AVCA Coaches poll after plenty of upsets over the weekend. USC remains the No. 1 team in the nation, followed by No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 STANFORD, No. 10 Golden Bears, No. 11 WASHINGTON and the No. 13 Ducks… Pac-12 teams await their postseason fates with the announcement of the NCAA Tournament bracket on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. PT on ESPNU.
USC Claims Pac-12 Crown
The a program-record victories (19) and the fewest losses since going undefeated in 2003 (18-0), USC claimed the first-ever Pac-12 Championship, the program's first in eight years. The Trojans were the preseason favorites to win the title by the league coaches, receiving all 11 possible first-place votes. It is the fourth league crown for USC, after claiming the trophy in 2000 (co), 2002 and 2003.
THIS WEEK'S STORY LINES
• Poll analysis ... UCS is the No. 1 team in the country for the second week in a row, according to the AVCA Coaches poll. The Trojans are the third Pac-12 team to hold the top spot in the poll. It is also the fourth-straight week a Pac-12 team is ranked No. 1. USC was No. 1 last week for the first time 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. Four teams are in the top 10, including No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 Stanford and No. 10 California. Washington and Oregon are ranked No. 11 and No. 13, respectively. Five Pac-12 teams were ranked in the top 10 in the same week for eight weeks. At least two teams have been in the top five every week this season; four teams were in the top five for four weeks; and at least three teams were ranked in the top five for 11-straight weeks, from Sept. 5-Nov. 14. Six Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the AVCA poll all season, as well.
• FSN Match of the Week ... In the final week of the regular season, Stanford and California clash on national television. The Golden Bears won the first meeting between the teams and are looking for the regular-season sweep. Cal has won the last four meetings between the teams and looks to continue that trend as it also hopes to snap a current two-match losing streak. It is the longest losing streak for the Bears since losing back-to-back matches in late November of 2009. Cal is armed with one of the best setters in the nation. Elly Barrett, who had big shoes to fill this year, stepping in for the graduated Carly Lloyd, the 2010 AVCA National Player of the Year. Barrett ranks 20th in the nation in assists per set (11.53). Barret has among her arsenal Tarah Murrey, an All-American last year who is averaging 4.22 kills per set. Stanford also relies on one of the top setters in the country in Karissa Cook. She ranks 20th in the country in assists per set (11.32). Rachel Williams leads the attack with 4.31 kps, ranking 21 in the nation. It will be tough to get passed the Cardinal with the second-best blocking corp in the nation. Stanford averages 3.19 blocks per set, trailing only Washington in the category in the country.
• Some notes on records ... Arizona's 10 league wins are the most since winning 14 in 2005. Head coach David Rubio picked up his 500th-career win in an upset over UCLA ... 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 13 league wins are a record for the program, topping the 12 Conference victories the Ducks won in 1986. 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 seven Conference victories are the most since winning that many in 2005 ... STANFORD has posted 11-consecutive 20-win seasons and no less than 13 league wins every year since joining the Pac-12 but one (10 wins in 2000) ... UCLA topped its win total from all of last year on Nov. 12. Its 17 Conference wins so far are the most since 17-1 in 1999 ... USC's 19 league victories are a program record, topping the record of 18 set in 2003 when the Trojans were undefeated (18-0). 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.
Tues., Nov. 22
ARIZONA STATE at ARIZONA * 7 p.m. MST
#13 OREGON at OREGON STATE * 7 p.m. PT
WASHINGTON STATE at #11 WASHINGTON * 7 p.m. PT
Wed., Nov. 23
COLORADO at UTAH * 7 p.m. MT
Fri., Nov. 25
#1 USC at #4 UCLA * 5 p.m. PT
#10 CALIFORNIA at #6 STANFORD * (FSN) 7 p.m. PT
OREGON STATE at #13 OREGON * 7 p.m. PT
#11 WASHINGTON at WASHINGTON STATE * 7 p.m. PT
Sat., Nov. 26
ARIZONA at ARIZONA STATE * 7 p.m. MST
* Indicates Pac-12 Conference game
Game times local to site
FSN - indicates tape delayed televised broadcast on Fox Sports Net.
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