Pac-12 Road Queens #19 Utah Knock Off #16 Oregon in Eugene

  0 Braden Keith | November 10th, 2016 | College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12

Match Stats

The #19 Utah Utes are this year’s supreme national road-warriors. On Wednesday evening, they tied a school record with a 6th win over a top 25 opponent (the second time in the last two seasons they’ve pulled off that many), but this year’s tally has a twist: all 6 have been on the road.

Utah junior Adora Anae led the team, as she oft does, with 15 kills in 46 swings for a .174 average. The really clutch performer on Wednesday, however, was junior outside hitter Carly Trueman. She had 11 kills in the game, making double digits for her in 4 of the last 5 games, but most importantly had 4 kills in the 4th and decisive set to cement the win.

Oregon actually had a statistical edge early in the game, and out-hit the Utes in each of the first two. Utah came on strong to close, swinging at .462 and .423 averages in the 3rd and 4th sets to wind up at .223 overall hitting for the game.

Oregon ultimately out-paced Utah in total kills (60-53), assists (57-48), and digs (76-75); but a 7-1 margin aces and 21-13 margin in blocks carried the day for the road team – including 2 aces and 6 blocks from sophomore middle blocker Berkeley Oblad. Oregon, meanwhile, had 27 hitting errors to just 18 for Utah.

Oregon had 4 players with double figure kills. Lindsey Vander Weide leading the team in both kills (15) and hitting percentage (.269).


Press Releases

Courtesy Utah Athletics:

EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 19-ranked Utah volleyball team knocked off another top-25 opponent with a 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 25-15) Pac-12 Conference win over the No. 16-ranked Oregon Ducks Wednesday night at Matthew Knight Arena.

The Utes (18-8, 9-6) matched a school record with its sixth win over a ranked opponent in a single-season with its victory over the Ducks (17-7, 10-5). Utah matched the six wins it collected over ranked opponents back in 2014. All six wins over ranked opponents this season have come on the road.

Junior Adora Anae paced Utah with 15 kills, but fellow junior Carly Trueman registered four of her 11 kills in the fourth set to help the Utes put the match away. Sophomore Berkeley Oblad had two of Utah’s match-high seven service aces and led the team at the net with six total blocks. Utah went on to out-block the Ducks, 11.0 to 7.0 in total team blocks.

Obald did it all in the first set, registering a pair of kills, two service aces and a block to help lead the Utes to a 25-22 win. The Utes hit just .091 in the frame, but Utah countered with four total service aces and Oregon tallied five service errors to make up the difference.

Oregon led by as many five points midway through the second set, up 15-10, but Utah managed to chip its way back into the frame and got back within two points of the Ducks following a pair of kills from Anae. Trueman added a kill and made it a 22-21 game, which forced Oregon to call a timeout. The timeout proved to be an added boost for the Ducks as the home squad scored the final three points to take the set 25-21.

Trueman put down three straight kills and then added block to give Utah a 10-7 lead midway into the third set, but Oregon countered with an 8-2 run to go up 15-12. Utah climbed its way back though and following a kill from junior Eliza Katoa Utah had notched things back up at 22-22. Oregon and Utah traded points to a 24-24 tie, but Utah closed out the set with a kill from Anae and quick dump kill from sophomore Jessie Openshaw to take the frame 26-24 and a 2-1 lead in the match.

The Utes jumped out to an early 8-4 lead thanks to another three straight kills from Trueman and Oregon was forced to call a quick timeout. The Ducks rallied with a 4-1 run to tie things at 9-all, but Trueman put the Utes back on top with her fourth kill of the set. Oregon would tie the set up at 11-11 a few points later, but Utah ran away with the set following a 9-1 run, which gave Utah a 21-12 lead. Oregon would put down three more points, but it wasn’t enough and Trueman’s 11th kill of the night gave Utah the set, 25-15, and the match 3-1.

Oregon tallied more kills (60-53) and more assists (57-48) in the match, and for the majority of the evening was out-hitting the Utes by a large margin after the first two sets. Utah came up big on the offensive side of the net in the final two sets though, registering hitting percentages of .462 in the third set and .423 in the fourth set, respectively, on the way to out-hitting the Ducks overall, .223 to .183.

Utah collected more digs on the evening, 76-75, behind Anae’s team-high 23 digs and Brianna Doehrmann’s career-high 20 digs on the evening. Openshaw posted her third straight double-double after recording 24 assists and adding 13 digs in the victory.

Sophomore Emma Kirst recorded a season-high eight kills on .316 hitting and added a pair of blocks at the net. Junior Tawnee Luafalemana was a force at the net as well, collecting five total blocks on the night.

Utah splits the season series with Oregon for the second straight season and third time overall since joining the Pac-12 back in 2011.

The Utes have now recorded nine wins in Pac-12 play, tying the program’s most conference win total as a member of the league. Utah won nine conference matches in 2013 and 2014.

The Utes will make the quick trip over to Corvallis, Ore., to take on the Oregon Ducks tomorrow (Thursday) night. First serve is set for 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT.

Courtesy Oregon Athletics:

EUGENE, Ore. – No. 16 Oregon volleyball suffered a tough loss in its pursuit of a Pac-12 title, falling to No. 19 Utah in four sets, 25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 25-15, on Wednesday night at Matthew Knight Arena.

How It Happened: Oregon (17-7, 10-5 Pac-12) seemed to be a bit out of sorts from the start of the match, struggling with errors on both sides of the serving game. Utah (18-8, 9-6 Pac-12) came out energized and took the first set, and then outlasted the Ducks in a tight third set to take a 2-1 lead before running away with the fourth to win the match and set Oregon back in the race atop the Pac-12 standings. The Ducks had entered the match in a four-way tie for first place in the conference.

Lindsey Vander Weide led the way for the Ducks on the offensive end with 15 kills and added 12 digs for her 10th double-double of the season, and Amanda Benson was strong defensively with a season-high 28 digs. Brooke Van Sickle added 12 kills filling in on the outside for the injured Jolie Rasmussen, and Taylor Agost (11) and Willow Johnson (10) also finished in double figures. August Raskie dished out 27 assists with 10 digs for her fifth double-double. The Ducks hit just .183 in the loss with 10 service errors and seven receiving errors.

Set 1: It was a bit of a sluggish start for the Ducks, as they suffered through four service errors and four receiving errors and allowed the Utes to build some momentum. After an initial 4-2 Oregon lead, Utah rattled off an 11-2 run to go up 13-6. The Ducks started to creep back into it with four straight points to get to 18-15 and then later 24-22 after fighting off two set points, but Utah was able to come away with a 25-22 opening set win. Vander Weide led the Ducks with five kills, and Johnson and Van Sickle each added three.

Set 2: After Utah went up 4-2, the Ducks found a rhythm with four straight points. The Utes took the lead back at 9-8 with four points in five rallies, but Oregon responded with six in a row to go up 15-10. The two teams traded points until the Utes got within one, 22-21, but the Ducks were able to close the set out with three straight points to win, 25-21, and draw even in the match at intermission. Vander Weide fueled the offense once again with six kills while also digging eight balls, and Benson totaled an astounding 15 digs to pace the defense. The Ducks once again struggled on the serve, racking up five errors.

Set 3: With both teams looking to gain an advantage in the match, the third set opened with an early 6-6 tie. Utah scored four in a row a couple points later, but the Ducks responded with three straight to pull the set even again, 10-10. Oregon was able to start to pull away, taking a 20-17 lead, but Utah responded with four points in five rallies to tie the set, 21-21. After the next few rallies went back and forth en route to a 24-24 tie, the Utes were able to put down consecutive kills to win the set, 26-24, and take a 2-1 advantage in the match. Van Sickle led the offense in kills with five during the third set while three different players added three, Benson dug six balls and Stone added an ace. The Utes hit an impressive .462 in the set after being held below .100 in each of the first two.

Set 4: Oregon came out energized to start the fourth set, playing to a 9-9 tie, but Utah quickly took control of both the set and the match. Runs of 3-0 and 6-0 helped the Utes build a commanding 21-12 lead, and scored four of the final six points to win the set, 25-15. Johnson led the Ducks in kills with three, but Oregon hit just .081 as a team.

What It Means: Entering the weekend in a four-way tie with Washington, Stanford and UCLA for first place in the Pac-12, this loss is a bump in the road for an Oregon team chasing its first-ever Pac-12 title and a chance to host in the NCAA tournament. With five matches to play and sitting at No. 20 in the NCAA RPI rankings, the Ducks will need a particularly strong finish to reach the lofty goals that they set for themselves this season. The Ducks had won five of their last six entering the match, but have now lost four of their last five home matches.

Benson Carrying Ducks’ Defense: The night before getting honored on Senior Night for her incredible career as a Duck, Benson was solid once again on the back line of defense. Her season-high 28 digs moved her career total to 2,033, putting her 165 back of Katie Swoboda’s (2005-08) program record of 2,198. Benson and Swoboda are the only two players in program history to surpass 2,000 career digs.

Jim Moore, Head Coach
On tonight’s overall performance…
“Lindsey (Vander Weide) was great. I don’t know what to say, I don’t want to say this with any excuses. With Jolie (Rasmussen) out, it changed the chemistry and the chemistry was so good Friday and even into Sunday.”

On Utah…
“They aced us four times. We have four missed serves with no aces, that’s eight points right there, and we gave them nine points off errors. It’s a disappointing effort in terms of focus and the level in which we are capable of playing.”

Amanda Benson, Senior Libero

On struggling on their home court…
“I don’t know, I can’t speak for the entire conference about that, why everyone is struggling at home. We were a little bit uncomfortable; obviously Jolie wasn’t in there. I think at home we have a little bit more distraction, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse to why we lost tonight.”

On tonight’s loss vs. Utah…
“Our defense was great but we were not transitioning very well and putting balls away. Sets were a little high, not as much tempo tonight, I think we just need to work on transitioning and putting balls away and getting more kills.”

On a quick turnaround with a match against Colorado tomorrow…
“You can take with it what you want. It forces you not to think about tonight and you have to think about tomorrow.”

Up Next: The Ducks will host Colorado on Thursday at 7 p.m. at MKA in their final home match of the regular season. Benson will be honored along with fellow senior Kacey Nady prior to the match, which will be streamed live on Twitter (@OregonVB) through Pac-12 Plus.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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