Oregon advances to second round of NCAA Tournament with sweep of Kennesaw State

The Ducks started out slow but eventually swept the Kennesaw State Owls 3-0 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Provo, Utah.

Taylor Agost led the Oregon (18-11) with 11 kills while Lindsey Vander Weide and Jolie Rasmussen each added seven. Ronika Stone had nine block assists which tied her career-high.

The match started with the Owls (21-5) outscoring the Ducks 11-4, with Oregon using two timeouts to try to right the ship. After a kill by Jolie Rasmussen, three straight Kennesaw State errors forced a timeout by the Owls. This trend would continue for the Owls.

With Oregon trailing 20-18, the Ducks regained the lead on three straight Owls errors. Later, Oregon had a chance to clinch the set, but two straight kills gave the Owls a match point opportunity. However, following a Lauren Page kill to tie, Anaiah Boyer of the Owls committed back-to-back errors to give Oregon the set one victory. The Owls committed 27 errors in the match, compared to just 12 for the Ducks.

The Ducks led the second set nearly throughout. Up 9-6, the Ducks created a little space with a 6-0 run which included four Owls’ errors to extend Oregon’s lead to nine. The Owls trimmed the lead to five but they couldn’t get any closer, as the teams traded points until Oregon won the second set 25-19.

Looking to put away the Owls in the third set, Oregon used a 6-1 run to take a 9-4 lead. The Owls battled back to pull within two at 11-9, but another 6-1 run regained Oregon’s cushion. The Owls didn’t get within four the rest of the way. The Ducks closed out the match with a 4-1 run to win the final set 25-18.

The Ducks now await the winner of No. 13 BYU and American University. Oregon will play the winner on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Follow Zak Laster on Twitter @zlast3445 

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Zak Laster

Zak Laster

Zak Laster is a sports writer for the Daily Emerald. He covers volleyball, women's basketball, golf and baseball. He can be reached at [email protected]