League teams to compete for Pac-12 beach volleyball title this week
SAN FRANCISCO - The third-annual Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championships are set to begin this week on the campus of the Stanford University, Thursday-Saturday, April 26-28, featuring the strongest field in the short history of the event. UCLA earned the top seed in the tournament based on a coaches vote, the first time the Bruins earn the highest seed in the event. Two-time defending Pac-12 and NCAA Champion USC is the No. 2 seed.
The championship opens on Thursday with the Bruins looking for their first Pac-12 crown. The No. 1 team in the nation, UCLA has been dominant this season, winning a school-record 26-consecutive duals to amass a program-record 31 wins. No. 2-seed USC is in a new position having been the No. 1 seed the last two seasons. The Trojans are looking to extend its championship streak after winning the first two Pac-12 crowns.
Five of the nine Pac-12 teams are ranked heading into the Pac-12 Championship. After UCLA and fifth-ranked USC, CALIFORNIA is No. 12, STANFORD is No. 13 and ARIZONA is No. 14 in the AVCA Coaches poll. WASHINGTON and ARIZONA STATE are receiving votes. All five ranked teams earned the same rating in the DiG magazine polling, except for the Golden Bears who are up two spots at No. 10.
The Bears are having a particularly strong season, notching their first 20-win campaign in program history and garnering their highest seeding (No. 3) since 2016 (No. 4). Host-STANFORD is the No. 4 seed, steadily improving its position at the championship after garnering the No. 5 seed in 2017 and No. 6 in 2016.
Rounding out the seeds this week are No. 5 ARIZONA, No. 6 WASHINGTON, No. 7 ARIZONA STATE, No. 8 UTAH and No. 9 OREGON. The Wildcats are hitting their stride, entering the tournament with a three-dual win streak, while the Huskies look for upsets, which they have recorded in the last two championships. ASU looks to snap a losing streak, the Utes look to capitalize on a successful final regular-season competition where they went 2-1. And although the Ducks’ campaign was fairly short, they prepared by facing six top-20 opponents, comprising the majority of their schedule.
The tournaments will be played at the Stanford Beach Volleyball Stadium. The new stadium has four courts approximately 75-yards long. Grass berms are in place for seating and is outlined with 10 palm trees over 100 years old to give it a ‘beach’ feeling, making it one of the premier collegiate sand venues in the nation. The facility is located just south of the Varsity Field Hockey Turf on the Stanford campus.
All of the championship action will be televised live on Pac-12 Network with Anne Marie Anderson, Holly McPeak, Mike Dodd and Kevin Barnett calling all the action.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
|Thur., April 26||Championship opening rounds begins||8 a.m. PT||P12N|
|Fri., April 27||Championship play continues||8 a.m. PT||P12N|
|Sat., April 28||Championship play continues||9 a.m. PT||P12N|
|Championship awards ceremony||4:30 p.m. PT|
- Arizona Beach Volleyball
- Arizona State Beach Volleyball
- California Beach Volleyball
- Oregon Beach Volleyball
- Stanford Beach Volleyball
- UCLA Beach Volleyball
- USC Beach Volleyball
- Utah Beach Volleyball
- Washington Beach Volleyball
- Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Championship
- Arizona State
- Beach Volleyball