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Pac-12 Rankings Roundup

No. 1: Stanford (last week: No. 1), 22-0 (12-0)

The Cardinal stayed perfect this weekend after dropping Oregon State in four sets and sweeping No. 11 Oregon on the road. The 22-0 start is the best in program history since 1991. Against the Ducks, junior outside hitter Jordan Burgess led the offense, racking up 15 kills at a .371 clip. Junior setter Madi Bugg dished out 43 assists as well, and her team collectively hit .319 as a team. Stanford stays home this week as they host No. 20 Arizona State on Wednesday and No. 16 Arizona on Friday in Palo Alto, Calif.

No. 2: Washington (last week: No. 3), 23-0 (12-0)

The Huskies stayed perfect after sweeping No. 19 USC and No. 15 UCLA this weekend on the road. The victories marked the fourth time Washington has swept the Southern California road trip under head coach John McLaughlin. Against USC, the Huskies only outscored USC by a total of six points combined in the three sets (26-24, 26-24, 25-23) behind a career-high-matching 25 digs from junior libero Cassie Strickland, who earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week recognition. Washington was much more dominant against the Bruins as senior outside hitter Krista Vansant racked up an errorless 16 kills on a .562 clip. Four Huskies hit over .500 in the match. Washington will look to continue their hot streak that includes four straight sweeps as they host No. 11 Oregon and Oregon State this weekend.

No. 11: Oregon (last week: 12), 17-5 (7-5)

The Ducks split their weekend once again, defeating California in four sets before being swept by No. 1 Stanford at home. Against Cal, junior outside hitter Martenne Battendorf broke out for a career-high 21 kills on 46 attempts. However, that play did not translate against the Cardinal. Stanford had their way with Oregon, hitting .319 and holding Battendorf to 13 kills on the night. The Ducks hit the road to square off against No. 2 Washington and Washington State this weekend.

No. 15: UCLA (last week: 16), 16-7 (7-5)

UCLA struggled mightily in their weekend-opening match against No. 2 Washington as senior outside hitter Karsta Lowe was held to 11 kills along with 11 attacking errors in the sweep. However, the Bruins rebounded to spurn an upset attempt by Washington State, ultimately coming out victorious in five sets. Lowe found her dominant offensive groove, racking up 31 kills in the match which was her third 30-plus kill match of the season. No other Bruin recorded double-digit kills, but with Lowe continuing her seemingly unstoppable pace, it seems to be a plan that’s working well. She and the Bruins hit the road this weekend to face Colorado and Utah this weekend.

No. 16: Arizona (last week: 15), 17-5 (7-5)

The Wildcats responded to a disappointing four-set loss to an ever-threatening Colorado team by sweeping Utah at home. In the match, Arizona held the Utes to a .181 hitting percentage and outblocked them 9-4. Senior outside hitter Madi Kingdon led the Wildcat attack, tallying 14 kills, nine of which came in the first set. Kingdon and her team travels to face off against No. 1 Stanford and California this weekend.

No. 19: Southern California (last week: 20), 13-9 (6-6)

After dropping their competitive midweek tilt against No. 2 Washington, the Women of Troy bounced back with a strong four-set win over Washington State. Against the Cougars, junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio logged 19 kills to go along with 10 digs to lead USC. Junior middle blocker Alicia Ogoms also put up nine kills at a .571 clip. Sitting at .500 in conference play, USC will look to get a weekend sweep as they travel to face Utah and Colorado this weekend.

No. 20: Arizona State (last week: 19), 16-8 (6-6)

ASU once again had an up-and-down weekend, splitting their matches against Utah and Colorado, both of which went to five sets. In their bout with Utah, ASU took the first two sets before Utah stormed back to force a deciding fifth set. In a back-and-forth affair, junior outside hitter Macey Gardner’s 20 kills, 22 digs, and one outstanding effort from the backrow helped to give ASU match point sealed the deal. However, the Sun Devils did not keep the momentum against the Buffaloes, dropping the first two sets before making a comeback attempt of their own. The Buffaloes jumped out to an early lead in the fifth set, and ASU never caught them. Nonetheless, the Sun Devils have a quick turn around, traveling to play at No. 1 Stanford on Wednesday before playing Cal on Friday.

No. 21: Colorado (last week: unranked), 15-9 (7-5)

The Buffaloes break into the top-25 for the first time this weekend following back-to-back upset wins over No. 20 Arizona State and No. 16 Arizona on the road. The back-to-back wins over ranked opponents was the first for Colorado since 2005. Senior outside hitter Taylor Simpson led the Colorado attack in Tucson, racking up 17 kills, and junior outside hitter Alexis Austin followed with 16 kills of her own. In Tempe, Simpson once again led with 18 kills and senior outside hitter Neira Ortiz Ruiz tied her career-high with 17 kills on the night. For her efforts, Simpson was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. The Buffaloes also recorded a season-best 24 blocks against the Sun Devils. Colorado will look to continue their surge as they host No. 15 UCLA and No. 19 USC in Boulder this weekend.


California: 8-14 (0-12)

Oregon State: 15-6 (5-7)

Utah: 12-11 (2-10)

Washington State:  10-14 (1-11)

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