EUGENE - Welcoming back one of its most talented and experienced rosters ever, the University of Oregon volleyball team will get a jump on the 2012 fall campaign with four scrimmages the next month vs. various area rivals.
Oregon will first play three away dates in the state of Oregon before it returns for its spring home finale at Matthew Knight Arena. A list of various events follow, and several of the start times will be released later.
Saturday, April 7 - at Oregon State. Corvallis, Ore., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Saturday, April 21 - at Portland State, Portland, Ore.
Saturday, April 28 - vs. Western Washington, Beaverton, Ore. (Nike Campus)
Friday, May 4 - vs. Oregon State, Eugene (Matthew Knight Arena)
Among the Ducks to watch for this spring are a pair of returning All-Pac-12 and All-Region picks in redshirt senior outside hitter Alaina Bergsma and junior setter Lauren Plum.
Bergsma became the Ducks' fifth All-American last fall after the the third-team pick ranked 12th and 14th nationally in kills and points (4.51 / 5.12 per set), and third in the Pac-12 in kills and fourth in points and aces (0.26 p/s).
Plum, an honorable mention All-American in '11, ranked 10th nationally in assists (11.67), and last summer started six matches for the U.S. team in the FIVB World Junior Championships that matched its best-ever finish (fourth).
Oregon returns five other starters from last year in All-Pac-12 Freshman Team choice and outside hitter Liz Brenner, the senior trio of outside hitter Katherine Fischer, libero Haley Jacob and defensive specialist Kellie Kawasaki, and junior middle blocker Ariana Williams.
Brenner tied the league regular season high in kills (31) in a five-set win at Stanford, and her team season high .651 hitting mark was the Pac-12’s best with 20 or more kills.
Fischer is Oregon's active leader in career points with its sixth-best mark ever (1,057), and also paces returnees in career kills (900), aces (82) and double-doubles (28).
Jacob logged the fourth- and sixth-best digs (500) and digs per set season totals (4.39) in the team record books in '11. The recent A2 National Team pick ranks first among league returnees in '12 in career digs (1,052) and eighth all-time for UO.
Williams led the squad in hitting (.307) last year with the eighth-best mark in school history, and was tabbed an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention.
Team-wise, their play helped UO ranked top 15 nationally in kills (12th, 14.44 per set) and assists (15th, 13.32 p/s).
In 2011, Moore led the Ducks (21-10, Pac-12: 14-8 (sixth)) to their fifth postseason trip in the last six years. The team ended the regular season ranked No. 13 nationally after it scored its third, league upper-division finish in his tenure.
Oregon owned a 10-8 mark against its 12 opponents that made the NCAA tourney, including its first-ever upsets of top-ranked foes.
The August win at the then-four-time defending Nittany Lions ended their NCAA record 94-match home winning streak, while its November comeback from an 0-2 deficit at home to the Bruins was barely a month before UCLA won the NCAA title.
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