Arizona volleyball's schedule gets tougher with matches against No. 12 UCLA, No. 1 USC

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Jesus Barrera | The Daily Wildcat

Outside Hitter Kalei Mau hits the ball into play at the Wildcats' game against California on Friday, Oct. 2. She played in all 4 sets that game.

The Arizona Wildcats volleyball gauntlet of a schedule continues as they travel to Los Angeles to take on two top 12 teams. The Wildcats take on the No. 12 UCLA Bruins at the Pauley Pavilion Friday and that is not even the toughest game on their trip. They get to face the top-ranked and undefeated USC Trojans Sunday.

Last season the Wildcats played each of the Los Angeles teams once and split the series, sweeping the Bruins in Malibu, California, before losing to USC in Tucson.

Once their LA trip ends, the Wildcats will have played seven of the country’s top 12 teams in their last 12 games.

The Wildcats last won at Washington State and have alternated between wins and losses since starting the season 8-0.

Arizona comes into its matchup against UCLA first in the conference in digs at 16.51. That is a sign of balance as the Wildcats do not have a single player currently in the top 10 in the conference.

UCLA comes into this meeting at 13-3 on the season with two of those losses coming to top five teams in conference play: USC and No. 4 Washington.

The Bruins are led by Jordan Anderson, a junior outside hitter who made 2014 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention and All-Big 12 Conference First Team last year at West Virginia University. Last season she placed second in the Big 12 in kills per set at 4.63 and this season she is currently in first in kills per set at 4.88 and points at 271.

After that, Arizona takes on USC who, after ending last season No. 10 in the conference at a modest 16-16, is currently on an 18-game winning streak this season and does not seem to be letting up anytime soon. The Trojans have taken down many formidable opponents this season including No. 4 Washington, No. 6 Stanford, No. 12 UCLA and No. 20 Kentucky so far. There are still many more ranked teams to come for the Trojans.

Although facing USC on the road is tough, Arizona knows it is up to the task of defeating them as they beat the top-ranked Trojans in three sets in 2013.

If you would like to stay up to date on the Wildcats’ road trip, tune in to the Pac-12 Network. They will be broadcasting both games live from LA.

The Wildcats return to McKale Center to play the Colorado Buffaloes Oct. 23 and the Utah Utes Oct. 25. If you are unable to attend but would like to stay posted, these games will also be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.


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