Ducks top Golden Bears in straight sets to win ninth straight
The Oregon Ducks won their ninth match in a row on Friday night against the California Golden Bears with a 3-0 victory, but Coach Jim Moore was not pleased with his team’s performance.
He attributes part of his displeasure to Oregon’s obvious fatigue as they were coming off of a victory against Oregon State the night before. He felt like the team wasn’t fighting enough and was allowing too many balls to go out-of-bounds.
“This is as angry as I’ve ever been after a win ever,” Moore said. “Really disappointed in how we came out. I’m disappointed in the execution that we had. The focus was not good.”
At the beginning of the first set, the teams were neck-and-neck. Whenever one would score, the other would answer with a point of their own. Oregon wasn’t able to break out into a commanding lead like they did Thursday night against the Beavers. However, halfway through the set, Oregon scored four unanswered points, bringing the score to 12-8 and forcing Cal into taking a timeout.
Yet, Moore was unimpressed. “We just relied on our athleticism and our talent, rather than doing the things you’re supposed to do.”
The rest of set was so closely contested that the score was 21-20 with Oregon in the lead as they took their first timeout. But then, sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Vander Weide recorded her eighth kill to give Oregon the match point. On the next play, Willow Johnson blocked Cal’s shot for the point, giving Oregon the 25-21 win.
Oregon finished the set with 18 kills and Vander Weide recorded twice as many kills as any other Oregon player.
“All together, I thought we played well as a team and that’s why I got those kills,” said Vander Weide. “Tonight was just a really good night. Everyone was clicking; everything was clicking.”
The second set began in a similar fashion, with the teams neck-and-neck until Oregon pulled into a 11-5 lead by scoring three unanswered points. From there, Oregon dominated play for the most part as they steamrolled into a decisive 25-17 win.
Vander Weide scored even more kills in the second set, bringing her total to 17. She had only two less kills than Cal’s entire team had in the second set. Not only was her offensive game strong, Vander Weide also tallied 11 of the team’s 45 digs. Only senior libero Amanda Benson had more at 14.
Oregon and Cal continued fighting in the third set as the Ducks seemed to be wearing down. However, midway through the set, they pulled into a 13-6 lead. After that, they kept Cal at bay even though the Bears attempted to make a comeback later in the set, narrowing the gap to three points with Oregon leading 22-19. From there, Oregon scored three unanswered points for the 25-19 victory.
Vander Weide tallied eight more kills, bringing her final total up to a career-high 25. Junior outside hitter Taylor Agost had the second most on the team with six kills. The team’s total was 57, while Cal had 36. Yet, Moore felt that even after Vander Weide had cooled down, the rest of the team was still feeding her the ball.
“If someone gets hot, you should feed them,” Moore said. “But (Vander Weide) wasn’t hot in the third set but we just kept setting her.”
“(Moore) does like to mix it up a lot,” Vander Weide said. “He likes everyone to have sets so that the other team’s defense doesn’t know what’s coming at them”
The Ducks will play again next Friday when they travel to Arizona State.
Follow Hannah Bonnie on Twitter @hbonnie03
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