Oregon Earns First Sweet 16 Berth Since 2014 with 5-Set Win Over Baylor

  0 volleymob | December 01st, 2018 | Big 12, College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12

Oregon def. Baylor 3-2 (25-18, 13-25, 25-17, 22-25, 15-13)

  • Oregon moves to 21-10; Baylor ends the season at 20-8
  • Oregon advances to Sweet 16
  • Eugene, Oregon
  • Box Score

Courtesy: Oregon Athletics

EUGENE, Ore. — Just two weeks ago, the Oregon volleyball team walked off the court in Matthew Knight Arena wiping away tears and forcing smiles for the team’s traditional post-match autograph session.

That was the Ducks’ Senior Day, on Nov. 16, and it was a five-set loss to Colorado. At the time, it seemed to end all hopes that Oregon might host postseason play. Lindsey Vander Weide and her fellows seniors were forced to swallow a bitter pill in their last home appearance.

But fortune smiled on the Ducks, who did end up hosting NCAA Tournament play at MKA. And it provided a memory Vander Weide and her teammates will never forget, when Ronika Stone spiked home the final point in a five-set victory Friday over Baylor that advanced the UO volleyball team to the regional round of NCAA Tournament play for the first time since 2014.

“It’s awesome,” said Vander Weide, who led the Ducks with 21 kills on a mind-boggling 60 swings. “I’m probably not going to be able to sleep tonight for a while. This is just great, especially with this team — I couldn’t have asked to do it with anyone else.

Fresh off a four-set win over New Mexico State in the opening round — and less than 24 hours after Baylor endured a five-set war with Hawaii — Oregon blazed out of the gates to a dominant win in the opening set Friday. The Bears stabilized themselves in the second set, Oregon won the third, Baylor answered again and the Ducks fought off another rally late in the fifth to secure a 25-18, 13-25, 25-17, 22-25, 15-13 victory.

Oregon advances to the regional round next weekend, most likely at No. 2 Minnesota. The Gophers, who were No. 1 when the Ducks beat them back on Sept. 7 at Stanford, need to win their second-round match Saturday to secure hosting rights for regionals.

With their second-round opponent not yet certain, then, the Ducks could only bask in the joy of their victory Friday, after two straight years of seeing their season end in the second round.

“It’s the greatest feeling, just for our state, and our university and our seniors, to be able to continue to fight for them,” Stone said. “… It just shows where our program is heading. It’s only up from here.

The fifth set was a microcosm of the match, with Oregon jumping out to an early lead, 5-2. The Ducks scored three straight points to go up 8-4, and another three straight for an 11-5 lead. But Baylor didn’t let its season end without a fight, clawing back within 14-13 before Stone slammed home the final point to clinch the match.

The game-within-the-game was a stirring battle of all-Americans, with Vander Weide going swing-for-swing with Baylor’s Yossiana Pressley. Vander Weide led the match with 23 points, posting four block assists along with her 21 kills, and Pressley had 18 points, with 17 kills and two block assists.

No match comes down to a single point, of course. But one in particular loomed large Friday — when Oregon took that 5-2 lead in the fifth set, on a block of Pressley by Vander Weide, with help from Stone. If Baylor gets that points, it’s 4-3, and the Bears have a chance to seize moment. Vander Weide didn’t allow that, denying her counterpart from Baylor.

“I just think stuff blocks are the best feeling in the world,” Vander Weide said. “I hate getting stuff blocked, so just shutting someone down is a great feeling.

The Bears had some success against Vander Weide too, limiting her to a .183 hitting average. But she was dominant at times, particularly in Oregon’s third-set win, when Vander Weide was in on another block of Pressley that put the Ducks up 11-6, and had three more kills later in the set.

“When our block was relevant, we had a shot to keep it going,” Baylor coach Ryan McGuyre said. “When our block was not relevant, she was bouncing some balls pretty good. …

“In these type of games, your all-American players have got to play like all-Americans, or they’re not really all-Americans. Five sets, that’s the thrill of it. It’s a fight. Those girls loved playing volleyball out there.”

Friday’s post-match press conference featured the rare case of two teams proud of their effort, neither hanging its head after what McGuyre described as an “epic, five-set battle.” Neither left anything back out on the court.

“Baylor played well, and we were able to beat them,” UO coach Matt Ulmer said. “That’s a big deal to us. I just thought we played with a lot of pride. We were going to do everything we could to come out of here with a win.”

The Ducks, after all, had experienced the sting of losing in what they thought was their last home match of this season. In a rare chance to right that wrong, they came through in unforgettable fashion Friday.

Courtesy: Baylor Athletics

EUGENE, Ore. – No. 25 Baylor volleyball (20-9) forced a fifth set for the second-straight night but ultimately couldn’t overcome a late deficit in a five-set loss to No. 14 and 15th-seeded Oregon (22-10) Friday night at Matthew Knight Arena, 25-18, 13-25, 25-17, 22-25, 15-13.

Baylor concluded its season in the NCAA Second Round for the third-straight year under head coach Ryan McGuyre.

Yossiana Pressley led the Bears with 17 kills on a .208 hitting efficiency while Shelly Fanning and Aniah Philo scored in double digits with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Philo recorded her 14th double-double of the season and 34th of her career after she added 12 digs.

Despite the loss, the Bears had more service aces (9-6) and digs (70-61) than the Ducks. Oregon’s Lindsey Vander Wiede led all players with 21 kills while Ronika Stone added 11.

BU fell flat in the opening frame and couldn’t find its rhythm, falling down 15-5 after an attack error. After being down 21-11, the Bears chipped away and ended the set on a 7-4 run before Oregon used a kill to take the opener, 25-18.

Baylor came firing back in the second set and used a Fanning service ace to go up 13-7. BU didn’t let up and used four kills down the stretch to hit .458 and even up the match, 25-13.

The third set saw Baylor playing from behind the entire time. When a Pressley kill cut the deficit to four, Oregon took six of the last eight points to go up 2-1 in the match, 25-17.

Down 14-10 and 19-15 in the fourth frame, the Bears fought back and went on a 7-2 run to take the lead at 22-21. Hannah Lockin put down a service ace before Pressley tallied the final point to send the match to a fifth set, 25-22.

Baylor fell behind 5-2 after an Oregon block, but a kill from Fanning and Gia Milana brought the Bears within one. Oregon went into the changeover with an 8-4 lead and set up match point at 14-11. BU wasn’t done yet and used a kill and a block to pull within one at 14-13. Oregon ultimately got the final kill to end the match, 15-13.

• The Bears finish in the NCAA Second Round for the third consecutive season.
• Baylor forced a fifth set for the second-straight match in the NCAA Tournament, moving to 4-1 in five-set matches in the postseason.
Aniah Philo finished her Baylor career by posting her 34th double-double with 10 kills and 12 digs.
• Philo is the first player in Baylor history to record three double-doubles in the NCAA Tournament.
Yossiana Pressley posted her 26th double-digit match with 17 kills on a .208 hitting efficiency.
Tara Wulf posted her 25th double-digit match of the season with a match-high 22 digs.
Hannah Lockin posted a career-high four service aces against the Ducks.
• Baylor is now 3-3 in NCAA tournament matches under Ryan McGuyre.
• Baylor finished 1-5 against ranked opponents in 2018.
• Baylor finished 7-4 in road matches in 2018.
• Baylor finished 14-8 as a ranked team in 2018 and is 23-11 as a ranked team under McGuyre.

3 – the program-best double-double count by senior Aniah Philo in the NCAA Tournament.

Head coach Ryan McGuyre
On the match…
“Congratulations to Oregon. What a fun, hard‐fought battle and a great atmosphere. The administration and support staff here is awesome; they ran a first‐class event. Wish we were hosting, but having not hosted and being here, we were treated phenomenally well. On top of that the Ducks played really hard from the start. They kind of punched us in the face in that first set, but we were able to come back and it turned into a fun, epic five‐set battle. I think multiple points in each set could have turned the tide and both teams played hard.”

Head coach Ryan McGuyre
On facing Oregon…
“I think when our block was relevant, we had a shot to stop (Lindsey Vander Weide) and when our block when our block wasn’t there, she was bouncing some balls. We had a couple of missed assignments and we ran a lineup we hadn’t run all season, so maybe that was a factor in what happened in that first set. But I really felt like that gave us the best chance to win. For us it was really a rhythm issue, but in these types of games, your All‐American players really have to play like All‐Americans, so that’s the thrill of it.”

The Bears conclude the 2018 season with a 20-9 record for their third-straight 20-win season under head coach Ryan McGuyre.

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