Oregon volleyball tops No. 20 Utah 3-2 to snap losing streak
Ranked No. 23 and No. 20, Oregon (12-5) and Utah (14-5) had similar resumes entering a matchup in Salt Lake City on Friday.
So, it was no surprise that the match had to be settled in five sets as Oregon snapped its two-game losing streak with a 3-2 win to remain undefeated on the road.
It was a hard-fought ordeal, with both teams putting down a massive number of kills. Oregon finished with 71 kills, while Utah finished with 73. Seven players, three Ducks and four Utes, tallied kills in the double digits.
For Oregon, the leader was outside hitter Lindsey Vander Weide with 20 kills, followed by middle blocker Ronika Stone with 15. As if Vander Weide’s kill count wasn’t impressive enough, it is coupled with a .500 hitting percentage.
Coming into the fifth set, Utah was hitting .220 in the match, which could have been an ominous sign for the Ducks, as they are 0-5 when opponents hit above .200.
Oregon’s ability to string points together gave them an early 10-6 lead. Though Utah tried to fight back, Vander Weide’s last kill gave Oregon a 14-11 lead and set up match point for the Ducks, forcing Utah to take a panicked timeout.
The Ducks’ block came up strong in the set, tallying five of the 15 points, including the-game winner. They finished the game with 12 blocks. This is surprising seeing as Oregon looked a little sluggish in the first set, particularly their block. The team failed to tally a single block in the set, while Utah had three.
It was a similar story in the third set, when Utah tallied their second win. The Ducks looked tired and a bit sloppy. After compiling 18 and 17 kills in the first and second sets, Oregon only managed to put down 13 with six errors. Utah went on the win the set 25-22, after three errors gave the Utes a 24-20 lead late in the set.
With the win, the Ducks gained a little bit of breathing room in the Pac-12 standings. Oregon is 6-3 conference play and sits in a tie for third with USC and UCLA. The Ducks will face Colorado in Boulder on Saturday.
Follow Hannah Bonnie on Twitter @hbonnie03
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