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NEW ORLEANS – The No. 16 University of Oregon volleyball team (12-0) polished off its third perfect non-conference slate under sixth-year head coach Jim Moore with its 3-1 win over Sam Houston State (6-9) Saturday in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic finale.
“This was a good experience for us,” Moore said. “We faced three teams that came after us, played hard and made us work and adjust. They are things we need to fix, but that’s the process of growing, especially with a team this young, and the future is indeed bright.”
UO jumped out to a 2-0 lead with 25-17 and 25-12 wins the first two sets, then shook off a 22-25 third-set loss with a hard-fought 25-20 fourth-set decision.
Three Ducks ended with +10 kills - sophomore Katherine Fischer (career high 19), along with sophomore outside hitter Alaina Bergsma (season high 16) and senior outside hitter Heather Meyers (10).
Bergsma hit .300 for the third time in the tourney (.351) and sixth time this season, while Fischer added her fifth double-double of the season and ninth of her career with her 14 digs.
Freshman middle blocker Ariana Williams just missed a fourth double-digit kill honor for the team with her nine kills, and added a .333 hitting mark and a team-high four blocks.
Freshman setter Lauren Plum racked up 49 assists, and just missed her third +50-assist total of the season. The Poway, Calif., native finished just four assists off her four-set season high from earlier in the morning, and not far off her overall season high of 55 in a five-setter early last week.
Among other category leaders, sophomore libero Haley Jacob led the digs column (16) for the 10th time in ’10; Fischer paced the team in hitting (.447) for the fourth time this year; Meyers led in aces (2) for the ninth time and moved into a tie for second all-time for UO career-wise (149); and Williams topped the blocks column for the fifth time.
Based on their tourney stats, four Ducks received All-Tourney awards - Bergsma (.378, 3.36 k/s), Fischer (.304, 4.18 k/s, 0.45 a/s, 3.00 d/s), Meyers (3.18 k/s, 0.73 a/s, 2.45 d/s) and Williams (2.73 k/s, .472, 0.82 b/s).
En route to its third tourney title this preseason, UO had earlier defeated a pair of NCAA returnees Florida International, 24-26, 25-22, 26-24, 25-23, on Saturday afternoon, and Tulane, 25-23, 25-21, 25-17, on Friday evening.
For the second time Saturday, the Ducks also reset their school longest winning streak record with their 12th straight victory after posting three, 10-0 runs under sixth-year head coach Jim Moore in 2006, ’07 and ‘09.
Looking ahead, UO returns home to McArthur Court to host Washington State and No. 9 Washington, Friday-Saturday, September 24-25 at McArthur Court. Both matches start at 7 pm
The WSU match is a ‘Bi-Mart Family Day’ and two adults and two children can get into the match for $12 if they show a Bi-Mart card at the ticket window that night. The Saturday night match vs. UW is a ‘Spike For the Cure’ night, and fans are asked to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness and research.
QUICK QUACKS: In his sixth season at the Oregon helm, head coach Jim Moore sports a 107-60 UO coaching mark and 458-216 overall record in his 22nd season overall. … UO is 63-3 in non-conference regular season action under Moore … Heather Meyers’ 13 kills Saturday gave her 1,138 career-wise, still ninth-most all-time for UO (eighth is 1,174) … … Oregon had a string of 14 straight sets won ended in the first set Saturday morning. … Oregon lost the first set of a match for the first time this season, and played past 25 points in a set vs. FIU for only the second and third times this year (the other came in the first set vs. Portland this week, a 27-25 win).
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