No. 12 Ducks top No.15 Utah 3-2
The No. 12 Ducks (9-2) fought hard to regained Pac-12 confidence as they began their road doubleheader with a 3-2 win over No. 15 Utah (11-3) Friday night in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Oregon easily took the first two matches against the Utes 25-13 and 25-16, respectively. Utah rallied and won the next two sets which caused the momentum to shift and pushed the match into a fifth set. Oregon took the final set 21-19 to seal head coach Matt Ulmer’s first conference road win.
Oregon junior Lindsey Vander Weide demonstrated her team-leading hitting ability once more by ending the match with a season bests of 19 kills, four assists, and 21 1/2 points. Willow Johnson followed closely behind Vander Weide, with a total of 17 kills and 18 points — both season-bests for the sophomore.
Set two began just the way set one ended — with Utah errors allowing the Ducks to grab an early lead. Utah never got back up as the Ducks took the set win of 25-13. Vander Weide dominated the set, closing it with the winning points for Oregon. Vander Weide ended the match with 19 kills and 10 digs, her team-best sixth double-double of the season. hitting at 0.529 alongside her three digs.
Utah came back from intermission fully charged and jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in set three. The Utes wouldn’t back down even though the Ducks evened the score at 11-11. But Oregon lost its momentum and Utah held on for the 25-16 win.
The fourth set had both teams wrestling to stay on top, as it started with back-to-back points. Oregon took the lead at 7-5, but was quickly met with a 7-1 run from Utah, allowing the Utes to reclaim the lead. Utah ended up taking the fourth set 25-17.
With the match win on the line, both teams fought hard against back-to-back points to start the fifth and final set. After battling seven match-point back-and-fourths, Johnson’s final two swings took home the set win of 21-19 for the Ducks.
Oregon will conclude its road trip tomorrow against the Colorado Buffs at the Coors Events Center in Boulder, Col. at 6 p.m.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter @maggie_vanoni
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.