EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 22 Oregon volleyball team (10-6, 3-3) fell to No. 1 USC, Sunday, 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 26-24) despite taking the Trojans to the wire in both the first and third sets.
Oregon led 22-21 in the opening frame before USC charged back with a 4-1 run to win 25-23, and the Ducks were serving set point in the third, 24-23 but the Trojans once again had just enough to squeeze out a 26-24 win.
Ariana Williams led all players with 13 kills and hit .310. Williams was the team’s top offensive threat this weekend, combining for 30 kills and hitting .400 during the two matches. The senior also led the team with six blocks, Sunday.
Amanda Benson was solid for Oregon once again with 21 digs, matching the most by a Pac-12 player in a three-set match this season. Benson also had 21 digs in three sets against Portland State.
Head coach Jim Moore noted that the quality of play was better, Sunday, compared to the team’s win UCLA despite playing what he called “not pretty volleyball.”
“We needed a little bit more production at times, but that wasn’t ugly volleyball,” head coach Jim Moore said. “They blocked us when we became predictable, but that kind of thing is going to happen against a team that’s that big and good.”
Even after a heartbreaking loss in the first set, Oregon was neck-and-neck with USC and trailed by only one point in the second set at 16-17. From there, the Trojans broke away with a n 8-2 run to take the set 25-18.
The Ducks were in a hole at 13-21 in the third set but a 9-0 run sparked the team, as well as the 2,000-plus fans at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon had a 24-23 lead serving for the set to force a fourth, but USC came alive just in time to take back the lead, and finish off the match, 26-24.
The late run showed the fight of a Duck team with its back to the wall, something Jim Moore applauded after the match.
“We can get better but I think everyone’s happy with the level we played at and the effort they put forward,” Moore said.
Oregon will be back in action at home against Colorado, Friday at 7 p.m., and Utah, Sunday at noon.
The Automated ScoreBook
Portland State vs #12 Oregon
(Sep 03, 2013 at Eugene, Ore.)
|TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 5.0|
|TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 7.0|
| Site: Eugene, Ore. (Matthew Knight Arena)
Date: Sep 03, 2013 Attend: 683 Time: 1:24
Referees: Jason Olson, Lydia Godshall