SALT LAKE CITY – Oregon’s defense dismantled the Utah attack as the Ducks recorded 17 team blocks in its 3-1 win over the Utes 25-23, 21-25, 25-15, 25-15, Friday at Crimson Court.
The stout Oregon (16-11, 9-8 Pac-12) defense was headed by Ariana Williams who was involved in a career-high 11 of those 17 blocks, notching her second match with double-digit blocks this season after stopping 10 attacks at Arizona State.
Williams was working on the offensive end as well, putting down 13 kills for a double-double, nine of which came in the final two sets. The senior is the first player in Oregon history to achieve a double-double with kills and blocks since Neticia Enesi did so Oct. 31, 2008.
Williams’ performance is one for the record books, one that may be overshadowed by Liz Brenner’s eye-popping stat line of 25 kills, 18 digs and a career-high five blocks while hitting .357. The junior All-American has surpassed 20 kills seven times this season and has 13 double-doubles.
Fellow All-American Lauren Plum was not to be left out, marking the third Duck to receive a double-double in the third different way, assisting 51 times and digging 10 balls.
The defense was spread throughout the roster as Amanda Benson and Tatum Norton dug 18 and 17 Utah attacks, respectively. In addition to the 17 blocks, Oregon out-dug Utah 79-55 on a night where it was much needed to hide some of the Ducks’ offensive inefficiencies. Oregon only hit .196 as a team, but they were able to hold the Utes to a mark of .100.
Oregon won a hard-fought first set where the Ducks pulled away from Utah with a 6-0 run to make it 14-8 but Utah took momentum out of a timeout and eventually grabbed a lead of its own late in the set at 22-21. Both teams made hitting errors thanks to matching lines of seven blocks apiece, but Oregon’s final four points came error-free as the Ducks rallied to win 25-23.
Utah responded by taking the second set 25-21, finding the edge with a 5-0 run to go up 22-17.
Though drawing even heading into the intermission may have given a struggling Utes team confidence, that confidence did not translate into points as Oregon dominated the final two sets with Brenner and Williams proving to be unstoppable forces.
Oregon methodically pulled away in the third frame to win 25-15, then jumped all over Utah in final set with nine of the first 11 points to all put secure the win.
The Ducks will attempt to sweep its second weekend series in conference play this season when they head to Boulder, Colo., to face Colorado (16-11, 8-9), Sunday at 11 a.m. MT. The match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
- Ariana Williams has recorded 10-or-more blocks in two matches this season, No Oregon player has done that since at least the 2007 season.
- Ariana Williams’s 11 blocks is a career high and the most since Neticia Enesi recorded 12 on Oct. 31, 2008.
- Liz Brenner’s 25 kills is the most in four sets among any Pac-12 player this season.
- Liz Brenner tied her career high with five blocks on the night.
- Liz Brenner has recorded 13 double doubles this season, the most since Katherine Fischer (14) in 2010
- Liz Brenner passed 20 kills for the seventh time this season
- Liz Brenner eclipsed Ariana Williams for seventh on the career points list with 1,289 career points
- Amanda Benson passed Amy McNeel (1995) for ninth place on the Oregon season digs list. Benson has 431 digs this year and is 17 away from passing Katie Swoboda’s 2005 mark.
- Three players recorded double-doubles, each in different ways. An Oregon team has not done that since at least the 2007 season.
- Oregon moved to 13-0 after winning the first set in matches this season
The Automated ScoreBook
Oregon vs UTAH
(Nov 22, 2013 at Salt Lake City, Utah)
|TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 17.0|
|TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 12.5|
| Site: Salt Lake City, Utah (Crimson Court)
Date: Nov 22, 2013 Attend: 1058 Time: 1:46
Referees: Allan Chinn, Virginia Hays