USC spoils Oregon’s senior day with 3-1 win over Ducks
Oregon seniors Maggie Scott, Taylor Agost, Alex Hojnar and Marine Hall-Poirier stood on the court as their teammates sat below them.
A video on the big screen showed highlights from each senior as head coach Matt Ulmer individually thanked each one for their hard work and dedication.
“Taylor has powers like a superhero…Marine is the glue…Alex the rock…and Maggie the bolts.”
The video ended with three words on the screen, “Thank you, seniors,” as the crowd erupted into cheers and the four women hugged.
The senior-day match for the Ducks ended in a four-set loss, but Ulmer couldn’t be prouder of the team’s senior class.
“It’s a great group,” Ulmer said. “You’d want all four of them on any team you are ever going to be on. They are just really good people, they are great teammates, they are really selfless and caring. I could go on and on, but I just think they are wonderful and we are really going to miss them.”
No. 24 Oregon (16-11, 9-10) fell to No. 13 USC (22-6, 14-5) Wednesday afternoon at Matthew Knight Arena, 25-19, 25-16, 19-25 and 25-17. The Ducks have now lost four straight.
All four seniors started in Oregon’s lineup and three ended the match leading in stats.
Agost led the team in kills with 19, Hojnar led in digs with 14, and Scott in assists with 24. Scott also finished with 12 digs for her seventh double-double this season.
“It’s been awesome,” Agost said. “Coming here and finishing the way I finished and being not just a different player, but a different person, I feel like I’ve grown so much and that’s the best part.”
In team’s final home-court match this season, the third set ended in favor of the Ducks. With two kills in a row from Willow Johnson, the Ducks took a three-point lead at 17-14.
Jolie Rasmussen closed the set for the Ducks as her back-to-back kills got Oregon through a run of five unanswered points, leading by five. A kill from Agost for set point was followed by a final kill from Rasmussen to give Oregon the set win, 25-19.
Oregon couldn’t keep up with the Trojans in set two, as they ended nine below USC, 25-16.
“I really liked the way we responded after set two,” Ulmer said. “I feel like a lot of my job right now is trying to motivate and trying to get us to play hard… I really liked our effort in the third set, but that has to be how we play all the time and until we find that we’re just going to keep struggling and it’s going to be really frustrating.”
USC came into the final fourth set beginning with a 5-1 run. The Ducks lost the set 17-25, losing the match to the Trojans 3-1.
“I’m hoping come Friday that we won’t worry about making mistakes,” Agost said. “Because like Matt says ‘Mistakes will happen either way but you have to be aggressive.’ So hopefully, Friday we can come out with that mindset and make sure we get that fearlessness all the way through the match and carry that on post-season.”
Oregon will close out their regular season by playing the Oregon State Beavers Friday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in Corvallis.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter @maggie_vanoni
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