Texas Defeats Oregon in Four to Kick Off the VERT Challenge

  0 Julie Haake | August 24th, 2018 | Big 12, College - Women's Indoor, Pac 12


#6 TEXAS DEF. #13 OREGON 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-18)

LINCOLN — The sixth ranked Texas Longhorns defeated the #13 Oregon Ducks Friday afternoon in the VERT Challenge in Lincoln, Nebraska. Texas is now 5-1 all-time when facing Oregon.

Texas hit .321 on the match, with 58 kills and 14 errors, while holding Oregon to a .205 clip. Oregon totaled 62 kills, but more than doubled in attacking errors with 29. The Longhorns out-blocked the Ducks 3-2.

Longhorn setter, Ashley Shook, totaled 50 assists, eight digs, two kills, and two aces. Her opponent, August Raskie, notched 54 assists, seven digs, and three kills.

Three Texas players posted double-figure kills in Katarina Luketic with 14 kills on a .333 clip, and Logan Eggleston with 13 kills and a .400 clip, and Micaya White, alsowith 13 kills on the night.

Oregon also had three players post double figure kills, led by Willow Johnson. She put away 17 kills with only two errors recording a .517 hitting percentage. Lindsey Vander Weide recorded a double-double with 14 kills and 14 digs and Ronika Stone added in 10 kills of her own.

The VERT Challenge will continue with Nebraska and Florida at 7 p.m.

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

LINCOLN, Neb.—No. 3 Texas defeated No. 18 Oregon, 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-18) to open its regular season on the road in Lincoln, Neb. on Friday afternoon.

Freshman Katarina Luketic led the Longhorns with 14 kills (.333) and three blocks, while junior Micaya White posted 13 kills (.238), nine digs, and three blocks. Freshman Logan Eggleston added 13 kills (.400) and four digs, while senior Morgan Johnson posted nine kills (.421) and three blocks.

Freshman Sydney Petersen led Texas with 14 digs, sophomore Ashley Shook recorded 50 assists, eight digs, and two aces, and juniors Autumn Rounsaville and Claire Hahn added eight and seven digs, respectively.

The Longhorns will have a quick turnaround before facing No. 7 Florida on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 3:30 p.m.

Key Statistics:

– All five players with six or more kills hit .238 or better

– Texas now leads the all-time series with Oregon, 5-1

Courtesy of Oregon Athletics

LINCOLN, Neb. – The No. 18 ranked Oregon volleyball team put up a terrific fight in its season opener on Friday against No. 3 Texas, but the Longhorns came away with a four-set victory, 25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-18, in the opening match of the VERT Challenge at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

The Ducks (0-1) were right with the Longhorns (1-0) throughout the entirety of the match, but struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities late in sets, particularly the second game in which Oregon led 21-15 before Texas closed on a 10-2 run to take a 2-0 match lead.

“Texas is a good team, but I thought we had our chances tonight,” said second-year head coach Matt Ulmer. “I’m disappointed with sets one and two, mostly. Up 21-15 in set two, you can’t let that one get away from you.

“I want to see us win those close games, and even if we don’t win those close games I want to see us get after it at the end, and I just thought we were too cautious tonight.”

How it Happened: Oregon took an 8-7 lead to open the match before the Longhorns used a few scoring runs to move ahead, 15-12, at the media timeout. The Ducks scored three in a row and six out of eight to pull within a point, 20-19, but three Texas kills and a pair of UO errors gave the Longhorns the opening set victory. Junior right-side Willow Johnson came out swinging for the Ducks, putting down five kills on .714 hitting in the opening game.

2018 Vert ChallengeTexas vs OregonOregon VolleyballLincoln, NebraskaGame Start Time: 3:30 PMGame Date: August 24, 2018Photo by Scott Bruhn/NU Communications

The Ducks started out hot in the second set, taking a 7-5 lead before mounting a 4-0 run to go up by four, 11-7. The two teams traded points before a 3-0 Oregon run made it 21-15, but the Longhorns ripped off eight consecutive points, with four coming on UO errors, to move ahead before trading points the rest of the way to take a 2-0 lead into intermission.

Texas jumped out to leads of 5-2 and 10-6 in the third before the Ducks found their rhythm offensively, scoring six out of seven and 11 out of 14 to earn a 17-13 advantage. The Longhorns began to mount another late-set rally, moving within one at 22-21, but back-to-back kills by Johnson and senior Lindsey Vander Weide gave Oregon set-point, and Johnson sent the match to a fourth frame with her 16th kill of the night.

The Longhorns opened up a 13-8 lead to start the fourth, but a Vander Weide kill and two UT errors brought the Ducks back within two, 13-11. Texas extended its lead to six, 18-12, before back-to-back points by Ronika Stone and kills from seniors Lauren Page and Sumeet Gill cut the deficit to three, but the Longhorns scored six of the final eight points to secure the victory.

Who Stood Out: Johnson was terrific on the attack for the Ducks, leading all players and tying her career-high with 17 kills while hitting an impressive .517. Vander Weide was second with 14 kills but had 11 errors, and Stone reached double-digits with 10 kills and a team-best two aces. Senior August Raskie shattered her career-high with 54 assists in her first match running UO’s new 5-1 offense, and freshman libero Brooke Nuneviller impressed with a match-high 18 digs in her collegiate debut. Page had nine total kills, with six coming in the second set.

2018 Vert ChallengeTexas vs OregonOregon VolleyballLincoln, NebraskaGame Start Time: 3:30 PMGame Date: August 24, 2018Photo by Scott Bruhn/NU Communications

Quotable: Head Coach Matt Ulmer
On his message to the team…
“I’m just challenging our upperclassmen, ‘Are we ready to break through and become a top team?’ Because if so, you have to win those games when you’re up 21-15.”

On Johnson…
“Willow right now is really confident and August and her have a great connection. (Texas) knew the ball was going to Willow a lot of the time, and she still found a way. She’s got a great arm and right now she’s really starting to understand the vision piece of the game. But again, that 21-15 in the second set, that’s when she didn’t come through, and we have to if we want to be great.”

Junior Right-Side Hitter Willow Johnson
On the team’s play late in sets…
“We just emotionally and mentally kind of drag off towards the end of games, and we need to learn how to stay emotionally stable throughout the whole game and not let up at the end of sets.”

On her performance…
“I feel good. Last year, I feel like I contributed, but not as much as I wanted. This year I hope to contribute a lot more mentally, emotionally and physically, and just giving back to my team the entire time.”

Notable: Vander Weide earned the Ducks’ first double-double of the season with 14 kills and 14 digs, and she also led the team with four total blocks … Freshman Camryn Tasted also made her collegiate debut, recording six digs and an assist … Brooke Van Sickle had three kills and seven digs in her return after medically redshirting in 2017 … The Longhorns out-hit the Ducks, .321 to .205, but Oregon finished with more kills (62-58) and digs (60-55).

Up Next: Oregon will be tasked with controlling one of the nation’s loudest and most passionate fan bases on Saturday night, as the Ducks will take on No. 2 ranked and defending national champions Nebraska on its home floor at 4 p.m. PT (Big Ten Plus).

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