Third time’s a charm, and that was the case for Oregon women’s beach volleyball.
The Ducks opened up the previous two Pac-12 Tournaments against the Utah Utes, but they have never secured a first round win.
Oregon continued its “year of firsts” narrative, as the Ducks won their first ever opening around of the Pac-12 tournament, 3-1. The Ducks advanced to play the No. 1 UCLA Bruins but were swept by the Bruins 3-0. The No. 9 Ducks, following the loss, moved to the contender’s bracket to face No. 5 Stanford, but were eventually swept, ending their season.
The Ducks got out to a fast start against the Utes. The No. 4 pair of Josie Cole and Ally Haden were first to hit the sand, taking on Phoebe Grace and Olivia Teerlink. Cole and Haden swept the first matchup of the day to quickly go up 1-0.
Freshman doublet of Elise Ferreira and Carly Wallace stepped up big against Keana Smalls and Kinga Windisch. The No. 5 duo secured a thrilling three set victory (21-19, 15-21, 15-12) to give Oregon a 2-0 lead over Utah.
Oregon’s fast start was halted when Kenzie Koerber and Megan Yett swept Oregon’s No. 2 pair of August Raskie and Maddy Silberger-Franek. Following the loss, Oregon led Utah 2-1 to only need one more win with their No. 1 pair due up next.
The No. 1 pair of Lindsey Vander Weide and Brooke Nuneviller won a three-set thriller (21-17, 15-21, 15-10) against the duo of Dani Drews and Tawnee Luafalemana. The win marked Oregon’s most in program history (5) and their first ever Pac-12 Tournament win, which also set them up to play No. 1 UCLA.
The Ducks got their second crack at the nations best after being swept earlier this season. Despite a big win earlier in the day UCLA got out to a fast start and never looked back, sweeping the Ducks 3-0.
Oregon moved from the winner’s bracket to the contender’s bracket to take on No. 5 Stanford for the night cap. Stanford proved to be too much for Oregon as they swept the Ducks, 3-0, ending their historic season.
Follow Gabriel on Twitter @gabe_ornelas