The Mustangs opened up an 8-3 lead before the Ducks could put their attack together, rallying to tie the match at eleven.
Senior outside hitter Taylor Agost and sophomore middle blocker Ronika Stone combined on a pair of kills to close out the first set.
Agost led the Ducks with 11 kills on 15 swings for a .733 attack percentage. Willow Johnson added ten to help the Ducks to a 43-38 advantage in kills and Oregon out-hit the Mustangs .289 to .147 on the night.
“Taylor Agost was amazing, they had no answer for her” said Oregon head coach Matt Ulmer.
“We’re so ready to go that we’re over-ready,” Ulmer said of the slow start. “We have to do a better job of starting out in our game plan right away by executing and calming down. I love that when we’re down, we come back. We’re coming back every time, which is a nice habit to have. I’d rather finish strong than start strong.”
Agost concurred, saying “We’ve started a lot of our matches down this season which obviously is not what we want but we do a great job of getting back in our groove and fighting.”
The Mustangs took an early 9-5 lead in the second set, but again the Ducks buckled down to score 12 of the next 15 points to take a 17-12 lead and then held on to take the second set.
In the third set, Oregon jumped to a 17-9 lead only to see the Mustangs close the gap to three at 22-19 before the Ducks could close out the set and pick up their fifth victory of the season.
The four team round robin tournament continues with three matches on Friday with Duquesne facing Wichita State at 11:00 am followed by Duquesne and Cal Poly beginning at 6:00 pm. Oregon will close out the day against Wichita State beginning at 8:00 pm.
Saturday’s final day will have the Ducks facing Duquesne at 7:00 pm.
~ Rick Morgan