The No. 6 USC women’s volleyball team has already played 10 games against ranked teams this season, including seven against teams ranked in the top 10 and four against teams ranked in the top five. This comes as no surprise that the Women of Troy’s (24-4, 13-4) final game of the season would come against a team ranked ninth.
Not to mention, that team is UCLA.
The Women of Troy face off with the No. 9 Bruins (21-7, 11-6) Friday at 5 p.m. in Westwood. USC took the team’s first matchup of the season in four sets two months ago, capping a 12-0 run to open the season.
Now, the Women of Troy are on a similar tear. Though no longer undefeated, USC has lost just once since Oct. 16, and that was at then-No. 3 Stanford. In that time, the Women of Troy have defeated six ranked teams, including a road victory at the No. 2 California.
Most recently, the team is coming off back-to-back sweeps of the Washington and Oregon schools and still has an outside shot at winning the Pac-10.
“We’re getting better at the right time,” USC coach Mick Haley said.
The Women of Troy currently sit at third in the Pac-10, while UCLA is fourth. Cal tops the conference with a 14-2 record, and Stanford is second at 13-3. USC would need to beat UCLA and have both Cal and Stanford be swept by the Arizona schools to win the conference, but the possibility is still there.
Regardless, the Women of Troy are a shoo-in to reach the NCAA tournament for the 20th consecutive season, but they still treat every game as something to compete for.
“Any win … gets us closer to a very good bid in the NCAA tournament,” Haley said.