For the second match in a row, the Ducks played a match that went the full five sets. This time the Ducks came away victorious, beating the Washington State Cougars in Pullman, Washington, Friday night.
With the win, No. 15 Oregon improved its record to 11-5 overall and 4-4 in the Pac-12. The Cougars fell to 10-6 overall and 3-5 in the Pac-12.
Oregon took an 11-9 lead on a kill by Ronika Stone in the fifth set, but the Cougars responded with back-to-back points to force an Oregon timeout. Out of the timeout, after each team scored twice, Willow Johnson won the match for the Ducks with back-to-back kills.
Washington State jumped on the Ducks with seven points in a row to start the match. Later, the Ducks scored three straight to tie the match at 17. For the rest of the match, neither team led by more than two until a kill by Washington State’s Taylor Mims gave the Cougars a 3-point set one win.
In the second set, with the Ducks holding a three-point lead, Washington State scored five-of-six to take a 21-20 lead. However, Oregon put together a strong finish, scoring five-of-seven to win the set by two points.
Oregon held a 7-4 lead in the third set before the Cougars scored seven in a row to take a four-point lead. After that it was nearly all Oregon. The Ducks used streaks of eight points and five points to win the third set 25-16 and put the Cougars on the brink of defeat.
In the fourth set, with both teams tied at 11, it was the Cougars that went on a big run to control the set. They scored 12-of-14 points to take a commanding 10-point lead. Washington State won the set 25-17 to ensure the deciding fifth set.
The Ducks return home on Friday, Oct. 20, against the Arizona Wildcats, the beginning of a four-match stretch at Matthew Knight Arena.
Follow Zak Laster on Twitter: @zlast3445