With Palo Alto High grad Melanie Wade contributing to the efforts, the University of Washington women's volleyball team has taken over the nation's No. 1 ranking in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 poll.
Coming off a pair of road wins to start Pac-12 play, the Huskies moved from No. 2 to No. 1. It is the first time the Huskies have held the No. 1 ranking since the 2005 season.
Helping the Huskies reach the top spot was Wade, who had nine kills and 14 blocks combined in victories over Washington State and Oregon last week.
Wade hit .429 against the Cougars and .500 against the Ducks as the Huskies improved to 2-0 in the Pac-12 and 10-0 overall. A loss by former No. 1 Penn State last week also helped elevate Washington.
The Huskies have 38 of the 60 first place votes this week, though seven different teams are receiving at least one first place vote. Pac-12 rival USC is now No. 2 with 12 first place votes. Florida is ranked third, Texas comes in fourth, then Penn State at No. 5. The rest of the top 10 follows as No. 6 Hawaii, No. 7 Stanford, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 9 Michigan State, and No. 10 Nebraska.
In Wheaton, Ill., Palo Alto High grad Shelby Knowles helped Wheaton win four weekend matches without dropping a set and claim the 2013 Wheaton Invitational. It is Wheaton's first title at its own tournament since the 2010 season. The squad is now 14-5.
Wheaton defeated College of Mount St. Joseph in the final session on Saturday afternoon, 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-23). Wheaton topped Kalamazoo College 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-19) in Saturday's morning session.
Knowles had nine kills, eight digs and three aces in the title match. In the morning win against Kalamazoo, Knowles led Wheaton with nine kills. On Friday, Knowles had seven kills and eight digs in a 3-0 win over Rockfield before adding 13 kills, eight digs and hitting .357 in a sweep of UW-Platteville.
In Medford, Mass., sophomore Caroline Martin from Palo Alto High registered 20 kills and 32 digs Connecticut College during losses to Tufts and University of Massachusetts-Boston. Connecticut College moved to 6-6 for the season.