Monday, 11 December 2023

NCAA Womens Volleyball

Ducks Hand Devils First Home Loss

Gonzales Swing

TEMPE, Ariz. — A matchup of two teams tied for second place in the Pac-12 standings saw No. 6 Oregon avenge one of its losses from earlier this season with a four-set win Friday over No. 18 Arizona State at Desert Financial Arena.

The Ducks (23-5, 13-4 Pac-12) took control early and won the first two sets, then bounced back from a one-sided third set to clinch a 25-18, 26-24, 10-25, 25-23 victory. The Sun Devils had handed Oregon a rare three-set loss at Matthew Knight Arena earlier this fall, but the Ducks turned the tables by handing ASU its first loss at home this season.

“I really liked us tonight,” UO coach Matt Ulmer said. “It was obviously a really good team, and this is a tough place to win. They did everything right and we did everything wrong in the third set, but other than that I thought our communication was great and we had a lot of poise. We just kept competing really hard, and we got great contributions from so many people.”

Morgan Lewis had a team-high 16 kills to reach 800 in her career, and Gabby Gonzales added 13 kills with 11 digs to hit career benchmarks of 1,500 kills and 1,200 digs. The double-double was her eighth of the season and the 39th of her career, and Hannah Pukis had another with 39 assists and 19 digs, her 21st double-double of the season and No. 71 in her career.

How It Happened: One of Mimi Colyer’s eight kills in the match capped an early three-point run that got the Ducks out to a 6-3 lead in the opening set. An ace by Georgia Murphy, who reached 1,900 career digs with 18 on Friday, capped another 3-0 run that gave Oregon a 13-8 lead. After ASU clawed back within 14-13, the Ducks used two kills from Gonzales to get back out to a 17-14 advantage. Lewis had two kills during a 5-0 run to set up set point, and two points later Karson Bacon finished it off.

“I thought everybody came in locked into the game plan,” Ulmer said. “From point one we were on our game plan, which, we have done a really poor job of that. So that was really exciting to see and I thought that put a lot of pressure on them. And then we just kind of played our ball.”

The Ducks carried momentum into the second, and a kill by Lewis capped a 4-0 run that made it 12-7. ASU scored four out of five points to get within 17-14, then did so again moments later to get within 21-20. Three times late in the set, Arizona State tied it, including at 24-24 to extend the set. But a successful challenge by Ulmer reversed a call for ASU and gave the Ducks another set…

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