The last time Oregon battled the BYU Cougars was in Sweet 16 round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Ducks won, 3-1, and saw a run to the national title match.
Five years later, on their home-court, the Cougars got their redemption.
No. 13-seed BYU (30-2) beat the Ducks (18-12) in a three-set sweep with scores of 25-20, 25-21 and 25-19 in the Round of 32 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament on Saturday. The Cougars earned a spot in the Sweet 16 for the fifth straight season and brought Oregon’s season to an end.
It’s the second straight year that Oregon has lost in the Round of 32.
The match began with strong but short-lived pressure from Oregon as they scored the first two points. BYU quickly took the reins and went on a 4-0 run to claim a lead that would see them through the set. Leading as much as seven at 20-13, the Cougars won set one, 25-20.
The second set started the same way as the first, with an unanswered two-point run by Oregon followed by a mirrored four-point run from BYU. The set quickly went into back-to-back points. Oregon held a four-point lead at one point but was overtaken by a 5-0 BYU run that put the Cougars up 16-15. After another stretch of back-and-forth points, the Cougars finished the set on a 14-6 run and took the set, 25-21.
With the match-win on the line for the Cougars, the Ducks fought hard to keep up in set three. After a brief tie at 7-7, Oregon brought down a five-point deficit to two at 18-20. BYU stepped up the pressure and 5-1 run secured them the match win and the Sweet 16 advancement.
Taylor Agost led the Ducks with 18 kills, Ronika Stone and Jolie Rasmussen followed with seven each. Maggie Scott and August Raskie ended the match with 18 assists each.
BYU will play the No. 4 seed Kentucky (28-3) in the Sweet 16 in a match hosted by the Wildcats next week.
With the end of Oregon’s 15th NCAA Tournament appearance, its 2017 season officially comes to a close. The team will look to regroup in the spring for Beach Volleyball, before prepping in the summer for the 2018 season.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter @maggie_vanoni