No. 19 Arizona (15-9, 5-7 Pac-12) returns to the friendly confines of McKale Center, where it is 8-3 on the season, to host Washington State (14-10, 3-9 Pac-12) and third-ranked Washington (20-2, 10-2 Pac-12) this weekend.
The Wildcats, coming off a four-set victory at California, are looking to win back-to-back matches for the first time since early September when they welcome Washington State to McKale on Friday, Nov. 6. The Cats and Cougars get underway at 6 p.m. in a match that will air on Pac-12 Network.
Starting Sunday, each of Arizona’s four remaining home matches will be against teams currently ranked in the AVCA top 20, beginning with third-ranked Washington, which is coming off a sweep of then-No. 1 USC and No. 8 UCLA, at noon on the Pac-12 Networks.
• After beginning the season 8-0 for the fifth time in school history, Arizona has gone 7-9 in the 16 matches since, but has faced nine top-20 teams, including six top-10 clubs, in that span.
• UA is 15-1 against teams ranked outside of the AVCA top 15 and 0-8 against top-15 teams.
• UA’s 0-8 mark against the top teams in the country does not properly showcase the competitiveness of the matches. Arizona has taken nine sets off top-15 teams and has taken seven additional sets to deuce. Arizona is just 1-7 in sets decided by two points in its eight losses. Despite losing all eight of the matches, Arizona is only being outscored by a total of 2.06 points per set in the losses (771-703 in 33 sets).
Washington State: The Cougars (14-10, 3-9 Pac-12) have lost five consecutive matches, but came two points away from a monumental upset over No. 1 USC, falling in five sets on Sunday.
Series History: Arizona owns a 64-15 all-time record vs. the Cougars in the programs’ 79 meetings. The Wildcats have won five straight and 10 of the last 11 overall, including a five-set victory in Pullman earlier this year. Each of the last two matchups in the series have gone to five.
Washington: The third-ranked Huskies (20-2, 10-2 Pac-12) became the first team to take down then-top ranked USC when they swept the Trojans in Seattle on last Friday, and then followed that up with a four-set win over No. 8 UCLA. When Arizona and Washington first met on Oct. 7, the Cats took the first set from the Huskies in UW’s four-set victory. Since Arizona’s 25-17 victory in that opener, Washington has rolled to a 23-4 record over its next 27 sets, which included matchups with six ranked teams.
Series History: The Huskies lead the all-time series 36-25, including each of the last eight meetings. Arizona’s last victory over Washington came on Nov. 20, 2010 when the Cats took down the Huskies in four sets in Tucson. Washington defeated Arizona in the first matchup this season in four sets.
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