High-profile matches slated for volleyball this week as Pac-12 play nears

GoDucks.com

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As the non-conference slate draws near with just one week remaining before the first Pac-12 matches, league teams continue to build on its strong showing in 2014, posting a 88.1 winning percentage, including 10 wins versus ranked opponents. With the Pac-12 and Big Ten widely considered the two strongest Division I collegiate volleyball conferences, the Pac-12 has so far had the upperhand in head-to-head matches, posting a 9-4 record against Big Ten teams. The non-conference clash with the Big Ten wraps up this weekend with No. 5 WASHINGTON hosting No. 10 USC as they take on last year’s NCAA runner-up No. 4 Wisconsin and Maryland. COLORADO will also be taking on No. 16 Illinois this weekend ... Other matchups of note coming up are No. 1 STANFORD at No. 19 San Diego, while UTAH travels to face intrastate-rival No. 12 BYU on Friday. No. 18 ARIZONA STATE is also faces its toughest matchup of the short 2014 campaign, hosting No. 8 Colorado State this weekend in a good test before the Sun Devils enter league play ... Seven Pac-12 teams are ranked in the AVCA Poll for the second-straight week, with three still appearing in the top 10. The Cardinal hung on to the top spot in the nation for the second-straight week, while the Huskies remain at No. 5 for the fourth-straight week. Behind the No. 10 Trojans is No. 14 OREGON, followed by ASU at No. 18, ARIZONA is No. 20 and UCLA is No. 22 ... UCLA’s Karsta Lowe is the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for the second-straight week. She is leading the nation in kills (6.42) and points (7.19) per set. UTAH’s Bailey Bateman is the Defensive Player of the Week and OREGON’s Frankie Shebby is the Freshman of the Week for the second-straight week ... Also leading the NCAA in statistical categories are Stanford’s Merete Lutz (.576 hitting percentage) and OREGON STATE’s Arica Nassar (1.80 blocks per set).

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Monday, Sept. 15
#14 Oregon at Portland State, 7 p.m. PT

Wednesday, Sept. 17
Utah at Utah State, 7 p.m. MT

Thursday, Sept. 18
#1 Stanford at San Diego (1), 7:30 p.m. PT
#10 USC vs. #4 Wisconsin (2), 5:30 p.m. PT (P12N)
Maryland at #5 Washington (2), 8 p.m. PT (P12N)
Idaho at Washington State (3), 7 p.m. PT

Friday, Sept. 19
Coppin State at #20 Arizona (4), 10:30 a.m. PT
Tulane at #20 Arizona (4), 7 p.m. PT
Colorado State at #18 Arizona State (5), 7 p.m. PT
California at St. Mary’s (Calif.), 7 p.m. PT
Colorado vs. South Dakota (6), 4:30 p.m. CT
Oregon State vs. Fresno State (7), 5 p.m. PT
#1 Stanford vs. Eastern Washington (1), 5 p.m. PT
#22 UCLA vs. Georgetown (8), 4 p.m. PT
#10 USC vs. Maryland (2), 5:30 p.m. PT (P12N)
Utah at #12 Brigham Young, 7 p.m. MT
#4 Wisconsin at #5 Washington (2), 8 p.m. PT (P12N)
Portland State at Washington State (3), 11 a.m. PT
Loyola Marymount at Washington State (3), 7 p.m. PT

Saturday, Sept. 20
UMBC at #20 Arizona (4), 12:30 p.m. PT
NCCU at #18 Arizona State (5), 12 p.m. PT
Pepperdine at #18 Arizona State (5), 7 p.m. PT
Colorado vs. #16 Illinois (6), 10 a.m. CT
Colorado at Creighton (6), 7:30 p.m. CT
Oregon State at CSU Bakersfield (7), 11 a.m. PT
Oregon State vs. Long Beach State (7), 4 p.m. PT
#1 Stanford vs. Cal State Northridge (1), 11 a.m. PT
#22 UCLA vs. Yale (8), 10 a.m. PT
#22 UCLA at Cal State Fullerton (8), 7 p.m. PT
Portland State at Washington State (3), 12 p.m. PT
Loyola Marymount at Washington State (3), 7 p.m. PT

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