Ducks realize tonight is behind them, now shift focus to Texas
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For the first time in program history, the Oregon Ducks volleyball team is headed to the NCAA National Championship.
Coming off an impressive 3-1 victory over top-seeded Big 10 Champion Penn State, the Ducks have earned the right to battle the Texas Longhorns on Saturday night at the KFC Yum! Center with the winner crowned national champion.
In the first semifinal of the night, the Longhorns battled Michigan, the Cinderella of the tournament, and eventually defeated them in five sets behind strong performances from Bailey Webster and Haley Eckerman, even overcoming a 2-1 deficit.
Prior to knocking off the Wolverines, Texas successfully defeated USC in the Elite Eight and Florida in the Sweet Sixteen to advance to Louisville.
Oregon head coach Jim Moore took in a majority of the Texas v. Michigan match and when asked about what he thought Michigan did well to push the Longhorns to five sets, he brought up their aggressive play and ability to dig the ball.
He also reinforced the fact that on Saturday when the two teams square off, none of the previous games or points they have played this season really matter.
“It doesn’t matter,” Moore said. “It’s another volleyball match. That’s what I told them going into this; you’re just playing volleyball. And that’s how we have to look at it Saturday night.”
The championship game will begin at 4 p.m. PST and will be televised on ESPN2.