2018.11.30.EMG.SEN.UO.VB.vs.Baylor.NCAA-13.jpg

Ducks middle blocker Ronika Stone (7) prepares to serve the ball. Oregon Ducks volleyball takes on Baylor University in the second round of the NCAA Championships on Nov. 30, 2018. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

No. 14 Oregon volleyball lost in four sets to St. John’s on Thursday evening in the first round of the Hofstra Invitational in Hempstead, N.Y.

In the first set, Oregon played the Red Storm close for much of the frame behind strong play from All-American Ronika Stone. The Ducks led 18-16 at one point, but a 5-0 St. John’s run put them back in front and they never relinquished the lead, taking the set 25-23.

Oregon jumped out to a quick lead in set two and forced an early Red Storm timeout. Stone picked up two more kills and an ace to power the Ducks’ start. After a back-and-forth few sets, Taylor Williams and Karson Bacon both put down kills to put Oregon on top 16-14; St. John’s answered with a run to go on top 20-17. However, the Ducks put together a run of their own to take a 23-22 lead. The Red Storm closed the gap, though, and eventually took the set by a 25-22 score.

In set three, Oregon found itself up 23-17 before a St. John’s run tightened the score at 24-22. This time, the Ducks fought off the Red Storm comeback bid and took the set 25-22 on a Stone kill to take their first set of the night.

Despite an early 8-4 lead in the fourth set, St. John’s came all the way back to go up 23-17. A late Oregon run wasn’t enough to keep the Ducks alive, and the Red Storm won the set 25-22 and the match 3-1.

For Oregon, it was their third loss in seven games.

The Ducks will be back in action on Friday against Duke at 10 a.m. and Hofstra at 4 p.m.

Brady Lim is a sports reporter, currently covering the beat for Ducks football and the Eugene Emeralds. Brady is originally from San Diego, California and is a senior at the University of Oregon.