The 20th ranked University of Oregon volleyball team settled for a split in their weekend series with the Arizona schools, falling to the Wildcats in five sets (25-27, 25-17, 25-21, 13-25, 11-15) on Friday then rebounded with a four set (25-21, 25-18, 27-29, 25-20) win over the Sun Devils on Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.
With the split the Ducks season record stands at 15-6 overall and at 8-4 in the Pac-12, tied with Stanford one game behind league leaders Washington and UCLA in the conference standings.
In Friday’s opener Arizona stormed back from an early Oregon at to take a 20-17 lead. The Ducks knotted the score at 24 but the Wildcats took the set on a pair of Oregon attack errors.
Sets two and three were more to Oregon’s favor, although they were forced to beat back an Arizona rally late in the third, taking a 2-1 lead.
The fourth set was a disaster for the Ducks with the Wildcats jumping to an early 9-2 lead and never allowing the Oregon attack to get in sync.
That momentum carried Arizona through the decisive fifth set. The Ducks hit .213 for the match with Taylor Agost, Lindsey Vander Weide and Jolie Rasmussen tied for the team lead with 13 kills each.
Oregon righted the ship on Sunday against the Sun Devils with Vander Weide leading the way, recording 19 kills.
“We definitely needed that,” the sophomore outside hitter said. “… we knew we needed to get this match today after Friday’s (loss)”.
After taking the first two sets, the Ducks “relaxed a little bit and that’s something we need to work on” in Vander Weide’s in dropping the third set.
A back-and-forth fourth set went to the Ducks thanks to a 6-1 closing run. Oregon hit .317 for the match while holding Arizona State to a .222 mark. Joining Vander Weide recording double digit kills was Rasmussen with a dozen and Willow Johnson with 10.
Attention now turns to the league leading Huskies for a Friday showdown in Seattle followed by Sunday’s match against Washington State in Pullman. Both matches will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
“The road teams have been winning a lot of matches,” said head coach Jim Moore. “We hope that will be the way it works out.”
Oregon returns to Matthew Knight Arena to host Utah and Colorado on back-to-back nights Wednesday, November 9th and Thursday, November 10th. Both matches are scheduled to start at 7:00 pm.