No. 12 Oregon volleyball defeats No. 22 Washington State 3-2

Three days after a 3-1 victory over Oregon State, the No. 12 Oregon volleyball team (8-3) returned to action, defeating to the No. 22 Washington State Cougars (9-2) 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 15-12) Sunday.

Despite hitting .362 and only making 10 errors as a team on Thursday, the Ducks hit just .181 and made 32 errors against the Cougars.

Although Oregon won, it wasn’t pretty. The Ducks hit under .230 the first four sets, forcing an uphill battle to win. In set five the Ducks turned it around and hit .286.

“We were successful because they passed great in the fifth set and they were able to execute,” head coach Matt Ulmer said.

The fifth set perfectly summarized the rest of the match with a come-from-behind effort by the Ducks. Oregon trailed 8-5, but went on to win 15-12.

With the Ducks trailing 2-1 heading into set four, senior outside hitter Lindsey Vander Weide turned it on, recording nine kills and an ace. Overall, Vander Weide had 22 kills, 28 digs, two blocks and eight errors.

“I thought Lindsey really stepped up,” Ulmer said. “She’s been doing that for us for four years. It’s not always scoring. Her serve I thought was great. … She shut down their middles.

August Raskie assisted 16 times in the win-or-go-home fourth set (eight of them to Vander Weide), but none of them were bigger than the last one. With the score 24-23, Raskie assisted Brooke Van Sickle, who clinched the set with a kill and tied the match at two.

“I just kind of felt the groove,” Vander Weide said. “August was setting me really well in that set. … Everything was coming together.”

One set later, Van Sickle ended the match with her eighth kill.

Halfway through the second set, the Oregon offense found some life. The Ducks hit .094 in the set, but were able to manufacture the 25 necessary points thanks to Ronika Stone. Stone had five kills, an ace, a block and an assist heading in the second. Heading into the break, Stone was lone Duck hitting over .300. Overall, Stone had 16 kills

Freshman libero Brooke Nuneviller’s 35 digs were the most by a Duck since 2015.

Nuneviller and Vander Weide’s defensive performances saved the team and Ulmer thinks it kept the team in the match.

“Individually, I thought Lindsey and Brooke played great,” Ulmer said. “We needed every one of those digs.”

That was not the only milestone reached. In the third set, Oregon outside hitter Lindsey Vander Weide reached the 1,000 career digs club. Her 14th dig made her the first Duck since Liz Brenner to have 1,000 career digs, kills and points.

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]