Oregon suffers first Pac-12 road loss in 3-1 defeat to UCLA
After winning four of five games to put the team in contention to win a Pac-12 championship, No. 19 Oregon (18-8, 11-6) took a step back with a 3-1 loss to No. 9 UCLA (23-5, 14-4) in Los Angeles, California, on Friday night.
The Ducks struggled by giving up long scoring runs in their first Pac-12 road loss of the season.
Freshman Ronika Stone led the team with 12 kills and Lindsey Vander Weide had eight kills. In her return from an injury suffered against Washington State that forced her to miss two matches, Jolie Rasmussen had six kills and an ace.
Despite taking a 6-4 lead to take set one, the Ducks surrendered a 13-2 run giving UCLA control of the set and coasting to a 25-16 set win. The Ducks were unable to get closer than seven in the set.
The second set began much like the first. The Ducks jumped out to a 9-4 lead but UCLA scored six out of seven points in the set to tie it at 11. The teams were again tied at 18 before UCLA went on a 7-2 run.
Needing to mount a comeback, the Ducks raced out to a 15-9 lead in the third set, forcing UCLA to call a timeout. The Bruins utilized their timeout by going on a 6-2 run. Oregon’s lead was down to two. The Ducks clinched the set with a 8-3 run to win the set 25-18.
Needing a strong set to force a deciding fifth set in the pivotal Pac-12 matchup, the Ducks surrendered a 6-0 run to take a 15-8 lead. UCLA later followed it up with a 6-1 run to push its lead to 21-10. The Ducks were defeated in the fourth set 25-13 to clinch the match for the Bruins.
The Ducks play USC on Saturday night at 7 p.m. If the Ducks lose, they will be eliminated from contention for the Pac-12 title.
Follow Zak Laster on Twitter @zlast3445
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