Pac-12 Domination in Women’s College Volleyball


Fans won’t have to wait for a climactic Oregon vs. USC matchup in November. There’s already one happening on Friday.

Dec 17, 2011; San Antonio, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins players react after a point during the fourth set against Illinois Fighting Illini at the Alamodome. UCLA Bruins defeated Illinois Fighting Illini 3 sets to 1.

Two of the 10 remaining undefeated teams in women’s college volleyball will square off in Los Angeles, California, as they open Pac-12 competition this week. The Ducks come in as the eighth-ranked team in the AVCA while the Trojans are the second-best in the nation in the same poll.

Well…it could be an undefeated matchup. There’s already a powerhouse conference opener this Wednesday, when the top two teams in the nation (and also the Pac-12 conference) in UCLA and USC square off. The Bruins currently have one loss, and sit at a record of 8-1.

Why is UCLA still ranked at the top with three undefeated teams behind them in the SAME conference? Well, UCLA lost to Nebraska earlier in the year with a dramatic 3-2 set loss when they were ranked first before (NU was fourth), and the Cornhuskers just lost to Iowa State last weekend (who is currently ranked at 18th). Even though the Bruins lost, they still got the nod above their rivals.

At least UCLA got their revenge in the football game.

Luckily in the world of volleyball, there isn’t much bitching over who’s all ranked at the top. The conference is absolutely stacked, and if you include Washington at fifth and Stanford at sixth, all five teams in the Pac-12 that are ranked are located in the top 10. The Huskies are the third undefeated team currently.

That’s ridiculous. That’s SEC-level dominance in a different sport other than football, except the rest of the conference isn’t garbage like Arkansas and Ole Miss. Not one single team has a losing record, and none have lost more than four games.

People are buying into the Pac-12 love as well. In the AVCA poll, 56 of the 60 first-place votes are all smacked on three Pac-12 teams – the other four with Nebraska.

So basically, let’s round out this week of college volleyball for you in terms that makes sense in football terms. If Alabama and LSU played this Wednesday, that means that LSU would play South Carolina on Friday.

If that doesn’t sell enough to pay attention to the world of women’s volleyball without showing all the hotties to entice men, who knows what will.

  • Wednesday: (1)UCLA at (2)USC – 7:00 p.m. PT on ESPNU
    Oregon State @ (8)Oregon – 7:00 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks
  • Friday: (8)Oregon at (2)USC – 6:00 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Networks

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo. See his banter with other FanSided writers and love for his favorite west coast professional teams by following him on Twitter.

Read his other work on the Iowa State blog, Clones Confidential, and Lacrosse the Web.