Volleyball Pac-10 preview

Jack Hunter

No. 3 Washington (12-0, 2-0)
The Huskies are looking like the early season favorite to win the Pacific-10 Conference after impressive victories this weekend against No. 7 Oregon and Oregon State. The Huskies swept both teams 3-0, and senior libero Tamari Miyashiro took home her first Pac-10 player of the week award. Miyashiro was all over the court against Oregon with 18 digs, as well as three service aces. She also added 15 digs against Oregon State.

Washington will head home to face No. 18 Arizona and Arizona State this weekend. The Huskies have won 13 straight against Arizona State, and 10 straight versus Arizona.

No. 7 Oregon (11-1, 1-1)
The Ducks’ undefeated start to the season ended last Friday against No. 3 Washington as Oregon fell in three sets and extended their losing streak against the Huskies to 17 matches. Despite an injury to senior outside hitter Sonja Newcombe, the Ducks bounced back against Washington State two days later, in a four set win. The Ducks will travel to Corvallis on Friday for a Civil War game against Oregon State. Oregon will look to win its seventh straight against the Beavers.

No. 9 California (8-3, 1-0)
The Bears football program may have had a rough weekend, but things went much better for California’s volleyball program against Stanford. Ranked No. 12 in the nation at the time, the Bears upset then-No. 10 Stanford in a thrilling five-set win. The Bears will travel to Los Angeles this weekend to take on No. 13 USC on Friday and No. 16 UCLA on Saturday.

No. 11 Stanford (7-4, 0-1)
Despite a 7-4 start and a Pac-10 opening loss at then-No. 12 California, the Cardinal still stands at No. 11 in country. They hope live up to their high ranking in Los Angeles this weekend as they take on No. 16 UCLA on Friday and No. 13 USC on Saturday.

No. 13 USC (12-2, 1-1)
After a 3-1 loss at Arizona last Friday, the Trojans were able to rebound against Arizona State Saturday in a four set win. USC’s biggest test of the season will come this weekend, as they play at home in two televised matches against No. 9 California on Friday and No. 11 Stanford on Saturday. USC has lost the last two match-ups against Stanford.

No. 16 UCLA (11-4, 1-1)
The Bruins are coming off of an up-and-down weekend, after losing to unranked Arizona State on Friday in three sets but bouncing back on Saturday with a win against then-No. 19 Arizona in four sets. UCLA will be home this weekend as they face off with No. 11 Stanford on Friday and No. 9 California. Stanford has won its last 17 match-ups against UCLA, while California has won three straight against the Bruins.

No. 18 Arizona (11-3, 1-1)
After defeating No. 13 USC 3-1 last Friday, the Wildcats’ first Pac-10 loss of the season came the next day to then- No. 14 UCLA in four sets. They will look to bounce back from the setback in Washington this weekend as they take on Washington State on Friday and No. 3 Washington on Saturday. The Huskies are formidable opponents, but the Cougars are no pushovers, as their only loss of the season came last Sunday against No. 7 Oregon.

Washington State (12-1, 1-1)
After a convincing 3-0 win over Oregon State last Friday, Washington State was unfortunate to catch an Oregon team coming off a frustrating loss to No. 3 Washington. The Cougars fell 3-1 to the Ducks, suffering their first loss of the season. Still unranked despite a 12-1 start, the Cougars look to prove their worth this weekend at home against No. 18 Arizona and Arizona State.

Arizona State (11-3, 1-1)
The Sun Devils shocked then-No. 14 UCLA last Friday with a 3-0 sweep, but could not keep their momentum going the next day against No. 13 USC as they fell 3-1. Arizona State will be tested again when they travel to Washington this weekend to take on the No. 3 Huskies on Friday and the Cougars on Saturday.

Oregon State (9-5, 0-2)
The Beavers had about as bad of a start to their Pac-10 season as possible, losing in straight sets to Washington State on Friday and No. 3 Washington on Sunday. Oregon State will look to earn its first Pac-10 win on Friday at home against Oregon.

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