Rain, wind and water pools of grassy mud aren't exactly beach volleyball conditions.
Despite mother nature not being on the side of Oregon, the Ducks were poised to make history.
The Ducks (3-8) won their first ever home match in the history of the program since its inception of the program back in 2014 against the Portland Pilots (2-7), 4-1, on Saturday at Amazon park.
“This is such a big deal for Oregon,” first ever beach only coach Janice Harrer said. “I’m passionate about being a part of building this program and putting Oregon on the map for beach volleyball.”
The first tandem of the day for Oregon was the duo of sophomore Josie Cole and freshman Ally Haden who had a dominant sweep in two sets (21-9, 21-13) to start the day.
Cole, whos dream school was Oregon since the fifth grade, secured the first ever point on home soil for the Ducks
“That was awesome, it’s huge for the program,” Cole said. “Its really cool to come out and win, just especially at home because that's really special.”
As the weather continued worsen the Ducks continued to get better, Oregon wasn't phased as they have been practicing in these conditions on the same courts all season long.
The freshman couple of Carly Wallace and Elise Ferreira secured Oregon’s second point of the day with close sweep (24-22, 21-16) over Kellie Hughes and Jessie Brigham.
Ferreira, who graduated high school only a few months ago, left her hometown of Bakersfield, CA, early to come and train for indoor season. With the Ducks losing some players to injury, Ferreira was asked to join the team and she obliged.
“We practice here all the time, so it's really cool to see everything come together. A epsical moment for the seniors too,” Ferreira said.
Along with the first ever home match, the Ducks also celebrated senior day as well.
The first senior to hit the sand was Maddy Silberger-Franek along with her freshman partner Emily Mattoon. Silberger-Franek and Mattoon, despite a late push in the third set, suffered the lone loss of the day (12-21, 21-19, 15-9) against the doublet of Katie Barker and Carey Williams.
Silberger-Franek, who was a walk-on her freshman year, has sometimes been the lone beach only player, now welcomes six beach-only players as the program tries to transition.
“I’ve seen a lot of growth in the program,” Silberger-Franek said. “I’m just excited to watch all of the freshman who came in and watch what they do with the program.”
Harrer added: “Maddie is just a pleasure to have out here on the team. She’s a big asset to the team because she has the beach deminor.”
The top pair of senior Lindsey Vander Weide and freshman Brooke Nuneviller clinched Oregon’s third victory of the season with the third point of the day, which ties an all-time season high in wins, with a sweep (21-16, 21-14) over Shayla Hoeft and Morgan Robinson.
“It’s just awesome just to see how our program is growing,” Vander Weide said. “It's good for me to leave this year because now we have a solid base of what the program is supposed to be.”
The senior tandem of August Raskie and Lauren Page closed the day with a 23-21, 21-17 victory closed out a day of many firsts as the rain began to stop and the sun peeked out behind the clouds for the first time all day.
Follow Gabriel on Twitter @gabe_ornelas