After dropping a pair of tough matches to #3-ranked Texas and #2-ranked Nebraska in Lincoln to open the 2018 season, the Ducks took half of the first set to settle down, then blitzed the Vikings to improve to 1-2 on the year.
Portland State matched the Ducks point for point until Ronika Stone snapped a 13-13 tie with a kill that jump started the Oregon attack.
The Ducks rattled off six straight points then closed out the first set with a 6-2 run.
It was more of the same in the second set with the Ducks hitting on all cylinders as they took a 17-2 lead and never looked back.
“They won 25 matches last year,” said Oregon coach Matt Ulmer of the Viks. “They are a good team.”
Perhaps, but the Ducks never let them up for air, erasing a 3-5 deficit early in the third set with a 12-3 and took it home from there.
Stone led the Ducks with 15 kills. Lindsey Vander Weide added 11 as the Ducks fashioned a 52-22 advantage for the match.
Oregon hit .431 and held the Vikings to .184.
Redshirt sophomore Brooke Van Sickle was deadly for the Ducks from the service line with nine service aces, the second most recorded in a match for the U of O.
“Brooke is just such an athlete,” said Ulmer. ” … she looked pretty comfortable back there.”
The Ducks host the Oregon Classic on Friday and Saturday with Utah Valley Oregon’s first opponent at 1:00 pm on Friday, then will face Long Beach State at 8:00 Friday evening. The four team, two-day affair will conclude on Saturday with the Ducks facing off against Arkansas Pine-Bluff at 1:00 pm.
~ Rick Morgan