Ryan Smith, Sports editor
Despite being a month into Pac-12 play, no team has been able to create any separation in the the conference standings.
Then-No. 7 Washington (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) entered this past weekend as one of two unbeaten schools in the Pac-12, but fell to then-No. 17 Oregon (5-1, 2-1) 30-27 in a game that created a four-way tie in the loss column at the top of the north division.
Stanford (4-2, 2-1) took down Oregon on the road earlier in the season, but a 40-21 loss at the hands of Utah gave Stanford its only blemish of the year.
No. 25 Washington State (5-1, 2-1) is the other team in the north with one loss. The Cougars lost their conference opener 39-36 to USC (4-2, 3-1).
USC lead the south division with three Pac-12 wins, but are tied with Colorado (5-1, 2-1) in the loss column. The Buffaloes suffered their first loss of the season to the Trojans on Saturday.
The other four teams in the south are all tied with two conference losses. Utah and Arizona each have a pair of Pac-12 wins, while Arizona State and UCLA are at the bottom of the standings with one apiece.
Angie Forburger, assistant Sports editor
Seven Pac-12 women’s volleyball teams are ranked in the top 25 as the halfway point of conference play approaches.
No. 2 Stanford (16-1, 8-0 Pac-12) remains at the top of the conference standings with an undefeated Pac-12 record. The Cardinal’s only loss this season came against the No. 1 BYU Cougars.
Of Stanford’s eight conference wins, six of them were sweeps. Stanford will next visit Oregon State (10-10, 0-8) and No. 16 Oregon (12-6, 5-3) this week – two of the three Pac-12 teams it has not faced this season.
No. 14 USC (14-5, 6-2) stands alone at second in the Pac-12, having only fallen to Stanford and Oregon since the start of conference play. It took home two wins over Arizona State (13-7, 4-4) and No. 25 Arizona (14-6, 3-5) last weekend and will face No. 19 Washington (13-5, 5-3) and No. 23 Washington State (13-5, 4-4) this week.
The Huskies, along with the Ducks and the No. 20 UCLA Bruins (10-5, 5-3), are tied for third in the Pac-12. While Washington has swept two of the last four teams it has faced, it has also been swept by Arizona State and Stanford.
Oregon is also coming off a loss this past weekend to Utah (11-8, 3-5). Prior to facing the Utes, the Ducks had won their last three games.
The Bruins gained some ground in the Pac-12 standings after sweeping both Arizona and Arizona State last week. With three straight-set wins in a row, UCLA will travel to Washington to face the Huskies and Cougars this weekend.
Washington State and Arizona State are tied for fourth in the conference, both coming off of back-to-back losses.
Arizona and Colorado (11-8, 3-5) – tied for fifth in the Pac-12 with Utah – are coming off losses of their own, with the Wildcats losing their last four games in a row and the Buffaloes dropping five of their last seven matches.
California (10-9, 2-6) and Oregon State sit at the bottom of the Pac-12, with the Beavers still yet to secure a conference win.
Gabriel McCarthy, assistant Sports editor
The Bruins just began play and other conference players have begun the fall season.
The Pac-12 had two players featured in the preseason top-25 singles rankings: Brandon Holt of USC and Thomas Laurent of Oregon. Holt finished last season at No. 12 in the nation in singles, with a record of 25-12, and No. 9 in doubles with his partner Riley Smith.
USC had Jake DeVine and Daniel Cukierman in the main draw of the Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championship, an invitational for the some of the best collegiate players in the nation based off rankings at the end of the 2017-2018 season.
DeVine was defeated in three sets by Mitch Harper of Virginia Tech, whereas Cukierman advanced one round before falling to Majed Kilani of Tulsa.
Other Pac-12 schools were represented at the competition. Stanford had Alexandre Rotsaert who fell in the second round but Axel Geller advanced as far as the quarterfinals, losing to Emil Reinberg of Georgia. Geller earned a second-team All-Pac-12 mention after his freshman season in 2017-2018, as he finished No. 86 in the ITA poll with an 18-7 overall record.
Laurent competed in the tournament as the sixth seed. He advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament before falling to eventual runner-up Nuno Borges of Mississippi State, who also defeated UCLA sophomore Keegan Smith in three sets in the second round.
Laurent was ranked No. 8 in the nation prior to the season start after finishing the 2017-2018 season with a 26-7 singles record. Laurent has been an All-Pac-12 first-team selection the past two years.
On the West Coast at the UC Santa Barbara Classic, two Pac-12 players faced off in the A Flight singles final, with Will Genesen of Stanford claiming the title over teammate Michael Genender. Genesen had defeated UCLA freshman Mathew Tsolakyan in the first round of the tournament. Genesen had competed at the No. 4, No. 5 or No. 6 spot during the 2017-2018 season and held a 16-10 singles record.