Two volleyball matches to be on ESPNU

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- As part of the Pac-12's landmark television contract that goes into affect this season, ESPN and the Pac-12 Conference announced on Monday three regular-season fall matches that are to be televised on live on ESPNU, including a pair of women's volleyball matches and a men's water polo match.

The volleyball schedule begins with defending NCAA Champion UCLA at USC Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET. Fans can then tune in to WASHINGTON at CALIFORNIA on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET. The games are part of a new agreement between the Pac-12 and ESPN where ESPN will televise 15 Pac-12 sporting events other than football and men's basketball.

All four teams were featured in the final top 25 of last year's AVCA Coaches poll, including the Bruins (No. 1), as well as 2011 Pac-12 Champion USC (No. 3). Cal and Washington finished No. 16 and 17, respectively.

All-American senior Rachael Kidder and junior Kelly Reeves return after a standout year that earned them spots on the 2011 All-Pac-12 team. UCLA returns nine letterwinners and gains seven newcomers for the 2012 season.

USC welcomes back last year's Pac-12 Libero of the Year, Natalie Hagglund, although the Trojans suffer the loss of 2011 Pac-12 and AVCA Player of the Year Alex Jupiter and Pac-12 Setter of the Year Kendall Bateman.

The Golden Bears return this season after finishing 16-6 last year in Conference play. They face the loss of standout hitter Tarah Murrey, but return four starters in seniors Kat Brown, Shannon Hawari, Correy Johnson and Robin Rostratter.

Sophomore Krista Vansant returns for the Huskies after a strong freshman season resulted in the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honor, as well as earning the AVCA All-Pacific Region Freshman of the Year.

The two live ESPNU volleyball matches are in addition to the unprecedented coverage of 82 matches slated to be televised live on Pac-12 Networks, which is set to launch on Aug. 15. It will be a 272-percent jump from the 22 television appearances Pac-12 teams received in 2011.

ESPNU will also be televising the men's water polo match between Cal and USC in Berkeley, Calif., on Sunday, September 23 at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET.

For a full schedule of televised Pac-12 matches, visit www.pac-12.org.

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