Ducks outside hitter Brooke Van Sickle (3) and middle blocker Ronika Stone (7) both dive to save the ball. Oregon Ducks volleyball takes on Baylor University in the second round of the NCAA Championships on Nov. 30, 2018. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

The No. 10 Oregon volleyball team lost its first top-10 road match of the season to No. 6 Pittsburgh, 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22). 

The first set was a back-and-forth set. The set included 19 ties and eight lead changes. Oregon went on an early 6-1 run to go up 6-4 early in the set. The set eventually led to a 22-22 tie, but Pittsburgh rattled off three straight points to win the set and go up 1-0 in the match. 

After dropping the first set, Oregon was able to rally and win the second set. The Ducks, despite taking an early 11-6 lead, found themselves down by just one when the set went to 18-17. The Panthers eventually took a 23-22 lead, but the Ducks scored three straight points to take the second set and tie the match at 1 a piece. 

Pittsburgh was able to capitalize on Oregon’s mistakes and take set three. The Ducks were able to get close in the second set, but the Panthers responded with a 4-0 run to win the set and take a 2-1 lead in the match. 

Oregon, despite holding a late lead, lost the fourth set to suffer its first loss of the season. The Ducks were leading 22-21 in the set, but another late 4-0 run gave the Panthers the match win and moved their record to 7-0. 

Willow Johnson led the ducks with 13 kills, 10 digs and two aces to earn her second straight double-double. Johnson had a strong night until she left with a late injury in the fourth set. Ronika Stone contributed with 13 kills on a .450 hitting clip along with seven digs and five blocks. Brooke Nuneviller notched a double-double with 10 kills and 16 digs. 

The Ducks will take on No. 8 Minnesota, which is a 2018 Sweet Sixteen rematch, for the beginning of the Big Ten/Pac-12 challenge at Rec Hall in University Park, Pa.

Follow Gabriel on Twitter @gabe_ornelas


Gabriel Ornelas is the Sports editor. Previously, he was a sports reporter covering everything from football to women's beach volleyball. Ornelas is a senior from Bakersfield, California, and is pursuing a journalism degree.