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PORTLAND – The No. 19 University of Oregon volleyball team (6-0) wrapped its Pacific Northwest non-conference trip with another five-set thriller, and topped Portland State (3-4) by a 3-2 score at the Stotts Center Tuesday night.
UO followed the same formula as the night before at Seattle and won the first set, 25-15, dropped the second and third sets, 25-22 and 25-23, then won the final two sets, 25-16 and 15-13, respectively.
The Ducks hit .296 for the match, just ahead of PSU who totaled .260. In other comparisons, UO posted season highs in its advantages in kills (66-60), aces (17-6) and blocks (16-9), and PSU claimed four more digs (62-58).
Senior outside hitter Heather Meyers tied her season-high in kills for the third time this year (17), hit .317, and posted her second double-double of the season (and 15th of her career) with her 15 digs. The Temecula, Calif., native also logged a career-high six aces, and tied the fifth-best aces mark in school history after logging a then career-high (and Pac-10 season-leading) five aces in four matches last season.
“It’s always great to win,” Meyers said, “but these five-set matches are too stressful, especially on back-to-back nights. Good teams find ways to win, especially in the five-setters, so that’s a positive, but we need to fix a lot of things, especially before the Pac-10 matches. Our serve-receive was shaky at times, and we need to put balls on the floor better, but our blocking was better and our serving picked up.”
Meyers also climbed UO all-time career lists in points (third, 1,319.5) and aces (fourth-tied, 128) and jumped one and two positions, respectively.
Three other Ducks had double-digit kill tallies – sophomore outside hitters Katherine Fischer (16) and Alaina Bergsma (13) and freshman middle blocker Ariana Williams (11), and the latter player led in hitting (.348) for the fourth time in five matches.
Freshman setter Lauren Plum ended with a career high 55 assists – her second straight +50-assist match - and posted a career-high five aces to go along with five digs.
Sophomore outside hitter Jocelyn Levig led the Ducks in blocks (5) for the third straight match, and was tied for the team high with Fischer, Plum, Williams and junior middle blocker Rhiannon Tooker.
Also on defense, sophomore libero Haley Jacob posted 19 digs, and led UO in the category for the fifth straight match.
Breaking down the Duck leaders’ stats further, Meyers led UO in kills and points for the fourth and fifth times, respectively in ‘10; Fischer and Williams paced the team in blocks for the first time this campaign, and Meyers also bested the aces column for the fourth time in ’10.
“PSU played very well,” Oregon head coach Jim Moore said. “I knew they’d come to play, and when we started to play not to lose, that’s when they took advantage. When we play well, we’re good, but we’re very young and too inconsistent at times. Rhiannon (Tooker) did a great job for us and made a difference, and Heather’s serving was lights out the first set.”
For Portland State, match leaders included Whitney Phillips (26 kills, .309, 19 digs, 26 points), Garyn Schlatter (44 assists) and Lana Zielke (3 aces, 6 blocks).
Looking ahead, UO returns to McArthur Court for its second and third home matches of the season this weekend, and hosts American on Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m., then returns on Sunday, September 12 for a noon match vs. Siena.
Friday's match vs. American is 'Hulu Night' and fans that wear a Hawaiian shirt to the match can purchase general admission tickets for $2. Sunday's 'Youth Day' promotion means that kids 12 and under get in for only $1, and there will be a free post-game clinic and autograph session.
UO’s two weekend opponents will play Saturday, 13 at McArthur Court in a 5 p.m. match that will offer free admission to the public.
QUICK QUACKS: In his sixth season at the Oregon helm, head coach Jim Moore is 102-60 overall (and 454-216 in his 22nd season overall). … Moore’s Ducks have won 25 straight matches in regular season non-conference play, and UO is 60-3 altogether in non-conference regular season action under Moore … The Ducks are 3-1 vs. PSU under Moore with a pair of wins in 2009 (25-18, 22-25, 25-12, 25-15) and ’06 (30-26, 33-31, 30-32, 26-30, 15-11) and a loss in his first season (30-27, 23-30, 26-30, 23-30). . … Meyer’s 128 career aces is tops in the Pac-10 among active players, and she is only nine away from the third-best total in Duck history (Teri Kramer, 137, 1984-87). … Meyers passed former teammate Neticia Enesi (now fourth with 1315.5) in the career points category, and the latter player was in attendance Tuesday night.
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