After being swept at home by unranked Arizona State, the Oregon volleyball team heads to Los Angeles to face a pair of top 20 teams.
The Ducks dropped eight spots to No. 20 in the coaches poll following losses to Arizona and Arizona State.
“We played poorly, and this year Arizona State is a top 50 team,” UO coach Matt Ulmer said. “You can’t just play poorly in our conference and get away with it, either home or away.”
The Ducks (9-5) visit 17th-ranked UCLA (7-4) at 7 p.m. Friday and play at No. 12 USC (11-4) at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“We have to take care of business this weekend, it’s two big matches for us,” UO junior Willow Johnson said. “I think if we all do our jobs on the court and bring our own energy since it is an away game, we can do this.”
Oregon had a four-game winning streak snapped in a five-set loss to Arizona before falling in three sets to ASU.
“For some reason, last weekend we didn’t trust each other,” junior Ronika Stone said. “There was a lot of hesitation plays and we can’t have that happen. I don’t have an answer for why that was the case and it took too long for us to get out of it.”
Added Johnson: “The game goes so fast, you don’t have time to fix your errors.”
All six sets the Ducks dropped last weekend were by three points or less.
“All year, every game is so close,” Ulmer said. “I know that means we are good, but it also means we have so much to get better at.”
UCLA is tied with the Ducks for sixth place in the conference at 2-2 while USC is tied for second at 3-1.
“I think this will be a good learning opportunity for us,” Ulmer said. “How do you handle disappointment and how do you bounce back? I am excited to see how we do.”