EUGENE, Ore. – Martenne Bettendorf tallied a career-high 18 kills as No. 8 Oregon (1-0) defeated Eastern Washington (0-1) in straight sets, 25-20, 25-14, 28-26 as part of the Oregon Classic, Friday at Matt Knight Arena.
While Bettendorf was off to a hot start early with seven kills in the first set, Oregon was forced to battle through a hard-fought first frame which saw nine ties and five lead changes. With the score at 20-19, the Ducks found some offensive firepower away from Bettendorf in the form of Liz Brenner who capped a 5-1 run with the set’s final three kills, totaling six for the set.
It was more of the same early in second with the two teams staying close but the Ducks were able to put their run together a little earlier by scoring eight-consecutive points to make the score 22-12 before closing it out at 25-14.
“At first, we were trying to figure out what they were doing,” Bettendorf said after the match. “We’d never seen them play and hadn’t watched any film on them yet. I think we did a good job figuring it out after the first set.”
Oregon hit well in the first and second sets with marks of .405 and .424, respectively compared to EWU’s .206 and .156 but the Eagles were able to stay close due to some unforced errors, something Jim Moore attributed to the nerves of playing in the first contest of the season.
The third set was tightest of the match. The Eagles jumped out to a 7-2 lead but Oregon responded with five-straight points of their own to tie the score at 7-7. From there, the two were never separated by more than three points. The Ducks held a slight edge in the last portion of the match which ended on the fifth match point with an All-American connection from Lauren Plum to Brenner.
On top of her 42 assists, Plum also led the team with 14 digs to notch the 28th double-double of her career.
Brenner finished the night with 13 kills and seven digs followed by Ariana Williams who put up eight kills while hitting .471.
The win continued a trend of hot starts for the Ducks who have now won their last 10 season-openers and move to 34-7 in first matches all-time.
The Oregon Classic will continue with four matches, Saturday with the Ducks bookending the action. Oregon will take on Bryant at 11 a.m., and will face Ohio at 7 p.m.
Ohio swept Bryant in three sets during the first match of the tournament, Friday.