Oregon volleyball falls to No. 10 Florida late in fourth set

Oregon volleyball was not favored in its match on Saturday night against No. 10 Florida in the final match of the Vert Challenge. The Ducks gave the Gators a late-match scare, but ultimately fell late in the fourth set.

After losing in four sets on Friday to No. 2 Texas in what was Oregon’s opening match of the regular season, the Ducks looked to take more than a set against their SEC opponents. At the conclusion of the first set, it did not look like the match was headed Oregon’s way, but the second set proved to be a change of pace for the home side.

“We were just trying to side-out, which we did well at the beginning… but they were playing incredible defense,” Oregon freshman Jolie Rasmussen said.

The Ducks came out to a flying start in the second set as they quickly took a 5-0 lead. That lead was reduced by the end of the set, but Oregon still managed to hold on to take the second set 25-19.

Throughout the match, Oregon’s Lindsey Vander Weide and Rasmussen found space to get points with the duo completing 29 kills combined.

The third set played out in similar fashion to the first with the Gators taking complete control to win the set 25-16. Oregon could not find a rhythm while Florida proved its ranking.

“[We were good] on this side of the net and we were horrible on that side of the net,” Oregon head coach Jim Moore said following the defeat.

In the do-or-die fourth set for the Ducks, an early advantage was required; and Oregon earned that advantage. The Ducks jumped into a 5-1 lead to start the set but Florida reduced the margin to 12-11, forcing Moore to call a timeout to get the Ducks back on track.

The first timeout did not help as Moore watched his team lose an 11-8 lead and begin to trail 15-12. A second timeout aided a push-back from the Ducks that saw Oregon get three set points that they failed to hold onto. Florida fought back and flipped the 24-21 Ducks lead into a 26-24 Gator victory.

“I don’t know what you want me to say to that,” Moore said. “We made a lot of mistakes in a row.”

The Ducks continue their regular season play against Murray State on Sept. 2 at Matthew Knight Arena. The early experience playing against two top-10 opponents to begin the Ducks’ regular season should prove to be valuable practice for a growing Oregon team.

“It’s about learning and about making things happen,” Moore said. “[We’ve] got to take the lessons that we can and go from there.”

Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow

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Shawn Medow

Shawn Medow

Shawn is an associate sports editor and reporter for the Emerald covering football, men's basketball, women's basketball, acrobatics and tumbling, track and field/cross-country and softball. He also hosts several podcasts, including a soccer podcast, on the Emerald Podcast Network. You can contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @ShawnMedow.