Oregon bounces back with sweep of No. 10 Washington State
Coming into the weekend, the Ducks volleyball team was understandably nervous as they were slated to face No. 11 Washington on Friday and No. 9 Washington State.
After losing in three sets to Washington on Saturday, snapping their undefeated streak at 11, Oregon redeemed themselves by defeating Washington State 3-0 Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.
“You can’t change the results; so you have to learn from it, grow from it,” Oregon junior Taylor Agost. “So we came out this game and did the best we could, and it went really well for us.”
Though undefeated Washington State looked more dangerous than Washington coming into the game, Oregon made easy work of the Huskies. The Cougars finished the game with 21 errors and a .056 hitting percentage. Though Washington’s defense was predictably strong, with 16 total blocks, Oregon’s offense was too much for them. The Ducks finished with 45 kills and a .386 hitting percentage. Taylor Agost and Jolie Rasmussen led the team with nine kills each.
“We have to learn to be a top team. We have to stop wanting to be the underdog,” Oregon Coach Jim Moore said. “We got to start accepting that we’re good, and people expect us to win.”
Oregon certainly looked like a top team. Oregon and Washington State began the first set neck and neck, fending each other off with strong defensive play and four blocks each. Halfway through the set, Oregon was able to pull ahead by going on a three-point streak, two of which were scored on attack errors by Washington State. The Cougars looked slightly discombobulated as they took their first timeout with Oregon leading by 18-15.
After the timeout, Oregon looked poised to run away with the set. Lindsey Vander Weide gave Oregon their fourth point in a row with her first kill of the match.
“We came out really aggressive; we were all over them,” Agost said. “We just really wanted this win.”
Washington State, however, made it difficult for Oregon to finish the set. Oregon held a 24-17 lead before the Cougars went on a four-point streak to stay in the game. But a service error by Tani Stephens gave Oregon the 25-21 win.
The Ducks continued their dominate play in the second set, establishing an early 9-4 lead after a three-point streak that sent Washington State to a timeout.
That lead increased to a commanding 20-7, with Washington State falling apart at the seams. They finished the set with eight errors and only seven kills, while Oregon had 13 kills and only two errors. To help Oregon win the set by a score of 25-10, August Raskie served two aces that were too hot for the Cougars to handle. She and Vander Weide finished the game with a team-leading two aces.
Oregon’s dominance couldn’t be stopped in the third set. A nine-point streak gave them a 15-9 lead halfway through the set. Four kills, two from Rasmussen and one from each Lauren Page and Taylor Agost, finished the streak.
At the end of the set, Oregon had a 23-14 lead. To win the game, they went on a three-point kill streak, with Johnson, Vander Weide, and Agost putting down kills.
Oregon will get visits from both No. 18 UCLA and USC next week, facing off against UCLA on Wednesday and USC on Friday.
“They’re UCLA; They’re going to be scrappy,” said Moore. “They’re going to make you beat them.”
Follow Hannah Bonnie on Twitter @hbonnie03
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