- #16 Oregon def. Arizona 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 18-25, 25-9, 15-10)
- #16 Oregon improves to 12-5 (5-4, Pac-12); Arizona falls to 8-11 (2-8, Pac-12)
- Eugene, Oregon (Pac-12 Match)
- Attendance: 1,586
- Box Score
Eugene, Oregon – #16 Oregon came back from a 2-1 set hole to down Arizona in five sets in front of their home crowd. The win pushes Oregon to a winning record in conference while Arizona drops to 2-8 in Pac-12 play.
Oregon’s Ronika Stone led the way for the Ducks with a double-double that featured 10 kills and 10 blocks. She was one of four Ducks in double-digits for kills as Taylor Agost (14 kills, 15 digs, six blocks) had the most. Stone (.444) and Willow Johnson (12 kills, .360, four blocks) provided efficiency for the offense as well.
In the losing effort, Kendra Dahlke (16 kills, 11 digs), Julia Patterson (47 assists, 11 digs) and Paige Whipple (15 kills, 13 digs) all collected double-doubles for the Wildcats.
The opening set featured a tight one throughout, although it was one were the Ducks never relented as they led coast-to-coast for the 1-0 lead. Arizona responded on the road in similar fashion as after they pulled ahead 3-2, saw the match tied six times but never fell behind again to even things 1-1 in sets.
In a crucial third set, it was Arizona pulling ahead early and leading 18-10. From there, they held strong to win the set 25-18 for a 2-1 set lead in Eugene.
Using the home crowd to fuel them, the Ducks responded with the first six points of the fourth set. That hot start expanded throughout the set even as Oregon cruised to a 25-9 set victory to force a fifth.
In that winner-take-all set, Oregon carried there strong play over by scoring four of the first five to force an Arizona timeout. They even notched two more to lead 6-1. However, Arizona finally got back in sync in scoring the next four points to close the gap before the Ducks led 8-6 at the switch. Four more from Oregon, which finished off a 5-0 run, gave their advantage some distance. From there, Oregon finished things off, 15-10.
Overall, Oregon out-hit Arizona .256 to .153, had more digs (72-67) and blocks (15-11) while service aces were even at four, although the Ducks had one less serve error.
It’s a quick turnaround now for Oregon, who has the luxury of staying at home to face Arizona State. Arizona on the other hand heads back home after this was their second of the Oregon trip following a five-set loss at Oregon State on Wednesday.
Courtesy of Oregon:
EUGENE, Ore. – Playing in its third straight five-set match, the 15th-ranked Oregon volleyball team rallied back from a 2-1 deficit against Arizona on Friday night to beat the Wildcats, 25-22, 23-25, 18-25, 25-9, 15-10, in front of 1,586 in Matthew Knight Arena.
The Ducks (12-5, 5-4 Pac-12) employed a lineup change in the fourth set after falling down 2-1, and it paid off in spades as Oregon scored 40 of the final 59 points of the match to kick off a four-match home stand with a victory.
How it Happened: After a third set controlled from start to finish by Arizona (8-11, 2-8 Pac-12), head coach Matt Ulmer moved Taylor Agost from the outside back to the right side and put Jolie Rasmussen, in her first match back from injury, back at outside hitter. The move proved to be an effective one for Oregon, as the Ducks scored the first six points of the set to fuel a 15-5 lead. Oregon kept its foot on the gas and led by as much as 15 (23-8) as the Ducks dominated the fourth set and forced a fifth for the fifth time this season.
The Ducks maintained that energy into the decisive fifth set, taking control with a 6-1 lead. After Arizona rallied to within 6-5, the Ducks ripped off five straight points to take a six-point lead and then traded points the rest of the way to win the match, with Agost and Willow Johnson putting down the final two kills.
“We changed the lineup going into the fourth set,” Ulmer said, “and I was trying to minimize Jolie’s role, but we needed to make the change if we were going to survive. We were a completely different team after that.”
Oregon raced out to a 10-5 lead to open the match, hitting .750 early on with six kills on its first eight swings. Oregon’s lead was its largest of the set at 19-12 when Arizona began to mount a comeback, scoring four straight to make it 19-16 and then three straight to pull within two, 22-20. The Ducks regrouped out of a timeout, though, scoring three of the final five points to take a 1-0 match lead.
Arizona broke an 11-11 tie in the second with a 4-1 run, taking a 15-12 lead at the media timeout. The Wildcats maintained a slight lead before the Ducks scored three out of four to pull even, 21-21, but Arizona finished the set on a 4-2 run to pull the match even at intermission.
The Wildcats carried their momentum into the third set, jumping out to leads of 8-4 and 13-6 and forcing Oregon into both of its timeouts. The Ducks struggled to find their footing throughout the entire set, failing to get closer than five points as the Wildcats ran away with the set, 25-18, and took a 2-1 lead into the fourth.
Who Stood Out: Agost paced four Ducks in double-digit kills with 14 to go with a career-high 15 digs for her third double-double, and Ronika Stone secured the first double-double of her career with 10 kills (.444 hitting) and a career-high 10 blocks. Johnson finished with 12 kills, six in the final two sets, and Rasmussen had 10 in her first action since Sept. 22. August Raskie tallied her fifth double-double of the year with 22 assists and 10 digs, Maggie Scott led with 28 assists and Alex Hojnar paced the Ducks with 20 digs.
What it Means: Entering the week at No. 9 in the NCAA RPI rankings, the Ducks were looking to use this home stand as a jumping-off point to enter the postseason on a sustained upward trajectory, and got off to a good start with a victory. Oregon, now 4-1 in five-set matches this year, continues to show good resolve with its backs against the wall and will now try to carry tonight’s energy over to tomorrow’s match with a quick turnaround.
Quotable: Matt Ulmer, Head Coach
On tonight’s match…
“It was good and bad. Luckily it ended on good. We have this thing about starting well and ending well, but in the middle of the match we’re pretty consistent on dropping our focus. We need to get much better in that regard.”
Ronika Stone, Sophomore Middle Blocker
On having Jolie Rasmussen back…
“It feels good to have my fellow sophomore back on the court. I know that she never wants to be out. Seeing her on the court again makes us all happy and it steadies the team out. It’s a good balance for us.”
Notable: Oregon improves to 9-1 at home this season … The Ducks out-hit the Wildcats, .256 to .153 … The Ducks are now 12-1 this season when leading in attack percentage, 9-1 when leading in kills and 11-0 when their opponent hits worse than .200.
Up Next: The Ducks will have less than 24 hours before their next match with Arizona State coming to town for a 7 p.m. match on Saturday in MKA. The match will be streamed live at GoDucks.com/live. ?
Courtesy of Arizona:
EUGENE, Ore. — Arizona volleyball pushed No. 15 Oregon to the brink, but fell in five sets in Eugene (25-22, 23-25, 18-25, 25-9, 15-10) on Friday night.
Three different players had double-doubles for the Wildcats: Kendra Dahlke (16 kills, 11 digs), Paige Whipple (15 kills, 13 digs) and Julia Patterson (47 assists, 11 digs).
Dahlke’s 16 kills led the match with Whipple finishing just behind with 15. Candice Denny added eight while Devyn Crosshad seven kills on the night.
UA had 11 blocks in the match, marking the 12th time this season that UA had double-digit blocks. Freshman Katie Smootfinished with a career-high five to lead the Wildcats. Smoot had four kills and two aces to go along with her five blocks.
Five Wildcats had double-digit digs in the five-set match. Kimberly Gutierrez led UA with 15. Whipple had 13 while Dahlke and Patterson had 11 apiece. Redshirt sophomore Victoria Svorinic, who entered the match with seven total career digs, had 10 in the match.
The loss dropped the Wildcats to 8-11 (2-8 Pac-12) while Oregon improved to 12-5 (5-4 Pac-12).
In the first, a late 8-3 Wildcat run cut a seven-point Oregon lead to 22-20, but the Ducks closed out the frame, winning 25-22. Whipple had seven kills on just 10 swings in the set while Svorinic, who entered the match with a career-high of two digs, had five digs in the set.
The Cats responded with a 25-23 victory in the second set to even the match at intermission. Arizona had five blocks in the set to limit the Ducks to .133 hitting.
Arizona led wire-to-wire in the third set, winning convincingly 25-18 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Oregon returned the favor with a 25-9 victory in the fourth to force a fifth set.
The Ducks won the fifth, 15-10 to close out the match.
Up Next: After a week off, Arizona will begin the second half of conference play by welcoming California (Friday) and Stanford (Sunday) to McKale next week.
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