The No. 25 Oregon volleyball team fell in four sets to the No. 3 Stanford Cardinal on Friday evening.
The Cardinal improved to 8-3 on the season, including an outstanding 6-0 record on the road. The Ducks had a clean home record coming in, winning all three of their matches in Matthew Knight Arena until tonight.
The first set was a game of runs, as the Cardinal scored five unanswered to take a 10-8 lead. Oregon then responded with a five-point run of its own. An attack error by Stanford gave the Ducks a 19-15 advantage late in the set. Stanford’s sloppy attacking led to it conceding the first set to the Ducks 25-21. Oregon has a 4-2 record when it wins the first set.
A hot start helped the Cardinal open the second set on a 4-0 run. Stanford continued to dominate and took a 13-3 lead. Oregon couldn’t curb the Stanford momentum and dropped the second set 25-11.
Oregon managed to keep within striking distance in the third set, but Stanford maintained the lead. In a crucial third set, senior Willow Johnson strategically placed a kill into the back corner to bring Oregon back within four, 22-18. Oregon squandered the third set 25-19, and gave the overall lead back to Stanford.
In a potentially game-deciding series, a sweet setup by Kylie Robinson to Brooke Nuneviller gave Oregon its first lead since the opening set. Back-to-back kills by Johnson gave the Ducks a 7-6 lead. The lead was short-lived, however, as Stanford scored five straight points and forced an Oregon timeout by head coach Matt Ulmer. Consecutive kills by Ronika Stone tied the set at 13-13. The Ducks’ night ended early as Stanford took the fourth and final set 25-19.
“We stopped executing, and that fourth set got away from us,” Ulmer said after a touch replay review went Stanford’s way late in the series.
Oregon’s next game will feature the No. 19 California Golden Bears on Sunday Oct. 6 at 1 p.m.
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