Oregon volleyball sweeps Utah Valley and Long Beach State

Five days after a dominant 3-0 win over Portland State to kick off the home-campaign, the No. 18 Oregon volleyball team returned to action Friday, hosting Utah Valley and Long Beach State in the Oregon Classic.

The Ducks defeated Utah Valley 25-16, 25-23, 25-12 to clinch their first match of the Oregon Classic. Although the scoreboard showed Oregon defeated Utah Valley 3-0, it really didn’t do the Wolverines justice.

Utah Valley and Oregon were locked in quite the battle during the second set, which saw 15 ties. Neither team led by more than two points until Oregon took a 23-20 lead.

Following a timeout, the Wolverines were able to tie the set back up at 23 which led Oregon head coach Matt Ulmer to take a timeout of his own. The Ducks then took the next two points and the set.

The first and third sets were eerily similar with the Ducks and Wolverines trading points until about halfway through, where Oregon pulled away.

Leading the Ducks offensively were Willow Johnson with 14 kills, Taylor Borup with 11 kills and August Raskie with 38 assists.

Defensively, Brooke Nuneviller had 18 digs, Lindsey Vander Weide had 16 digs and Ronika Stone had seven blocks.

“The rest of [Vander Weide’s] game, other than passing is great,” Ulmer told reporters. “To be her size at 6’3 and to be able to do all the things she does around the floor … I think we have enough pieces around her offensively where she can focus on offense more.”

In the later match, Oregon had no problem dispatching Long Beach State, winning 3-0.

“I liked our emotional consistency tonight,” Ulmer said. “I thought it was the most engaged we were as a team. I thought everyone came prepared tonight. I didn’t think that earlier today.”

The Ducks dominated all three sets winning them 25-14, 25-17, 25-18.

Sumeet Gil had 12 kills and four blocks while Raskie added another 35 assists to bring her total on the day to 73.

“I think August and Sumeet are two of the best offensive middles in the country,” Ulmer said. “The threat of August dumping the ball really opens them up behind.”

This match meant a little more to Ulmer, who coached for the college from 2007-2013.

The Ducks will retake the court Saturday at 1 p.m. to take on Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack

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Maverick Pallack

Maverick Pallack

Maverick is an associate sports editor and reporter covering football, baseball, softball, track and field, women's tennis and men's tennis. You can follow him on Twitter @mavpallack or contact him at [email protected]