2019.10.4.EMG.DLY.VB.UO.VS.STANFORD-9.jpg

Oregon Ducks defensive specialist Bea Wetton (2) gets up after laying out for a ball. Oregon Ducks Volleyball takes on Stanford in Matt Knight Arena on Oct. 4, 2019. (DL Young/Emerald)

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.

Follow Noah on Twitter @noah_boom23