No. 8 Oregon volleyball sweeps Oregon State to start Pac-12 play
No. 8 Oregon (8-1) opened Pac-12 play in similar fashion of their previous five match victories — clutching the match win in straight sets and adding to their win-streak.
Oregon took its Civil War rival, the Oregon State Beavers (10-3), with set scores of 25-14, 25-23 and 25-19 Tuesday night at at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon State put up strong fights in the second and third sets but the Ducks, led by Lindsey Vander Weide, who posted a double-double with 12 kills and 15 digs, took the match to get on the front foot in the Pac-12.
“The Pac-12 is brutal,” head coach Matt Ulmer said. “I’m excited to see how we would perform. We have a bigger crowd, a little more energy from everybody else and we have good teams.”
Set one of the match started with Oregon claiming the first point and grabbing a hold of an early lead. The Ducks would go on to keep the lead through a deficit of 11. The set concluded with an attack error on the Beavers, giving the Ducks the win of 25-14.
The Beavers put up a strong fight in set two, as they kept the score between back-to-back points, preventing either team from taking a lead bigger than two. Set point was reached by Oregon, as they would win the set with a service ace and a score of 25-23.
The aggressiveness of the second set left Oregon feeling discontent in allowing their opponent to keep up so closely.
“I think we have to know that we can’t ever let a team back in like that.” Vander Weide said. “We just knew we had to keep on them, teams like that can fight with us. We knew it was going to be point by point, that’s the fun part of it.”
Just like in the first, the Ducks would take hold of an early lead in the third set and never let it drop. The team gained as much as a ten-point deficit, before taking the win of 25-19. Vander Weide, alongside Jolie Rasmussen, would end the match leading the team in kills with 12 each.
“One of the keys we worked with Lindsey this week was just trying to find her some better looks,” Ulmer said. “She played great tonight. She had a couple great kills to start and all of a sudden she starts digging balls she hasn’t dug before. That was exciting to see her respond well for the whole match, not just a set or two, but the whole match.”
The Ducks will have another chance to increase their now seven-match winning streak when they play the No. 13 UCLA Bruins on Friday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. in Los Angeles.
“If we can continue to raise our game up against better competition we are going to be tough,” Ulmer said. “UCLA is going to present another great challenge, it will probably be our toughest match to date as far as hostility.”
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter @maggie_vanoni
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