This Week: The Oregon volleyball team (17-11, 10-8 Pac-12) looks to continue its winning streak heading into the postseason during its final week of the regular season with matches at Washington State, Wednesday and home against Oregon State, Friday. Wednesday’s match will begin at 7 p.m. while the busy day of Oregon athletics will be capped with an 8 p.m. start, and will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks.
About the Cougars: Washington State is 18-3 this season but only 5-13 in conference matches after going undefeated during its nonconference slate (13-0). The Cougars have seen more success at home with a 10-6 record compared to their 4-7 mark on the road. Freshman Kyra Holt leads the team with a 3.94 kills/set clip and is also a standout defensive player with 2.57 digs/set.
About the Beavers: Oregon State is still searching for its first conference victory of the season and is 9-20 overall. The Beavers have struggled offensively with a .177 team hitting mark which ranks last in the Pac-12. Lila Toner leads the team with 2.78 kills/set with libero Becky Defoe putting up 4.55 digs/set. In the first meeting between the two teams, Oregon left Corvallis with a 3-0 sweep, holding the Beavers to less than 20 points in each set.
Conference/National Rankings: Oregon is receiving votes in the latest AVCA Coaches’ Poll Monday, Nov. 25, and would be ranked 26th if the poll was extended.
As of the Nov. 25, rankings Liz Brenner ranks second in the Pac-12 with a kills per set average of 4.57, a tally that ranks 10th in the nation and best in the conference.
As a team, Oregon leads the conference in assists/set (13.89), is second in digs/set (16.93) and third in kills/set (14.63). The assists/set mark ranks sixth and nation while the team is 11th in kills and 21st in digs.
Brenner Leading the Pac: While Liz Brenner is one of the nation’s leaders in kills/set, her average is even higher while playing in one of the nation’s toughest conferences. Brenner is averaging 4.94 kills/set and 5.26 points/set in Pac-12 matches.
Ducks Don’t Look Back: Oregon is 14-0 when they win the first set of matches this season. In 11 of those matches, the Ducks won in straight sets.
Double-Double Machine: Liz Brenner’s 14 tying Katherine Fischer’s tally during the 2010 season. The 14 this season is third-most in the conference. Brenner has made the double-double a habit as of late, accomplishing the feat in nine of the last 10 matches.
Digging Gold: Freshman Amanda Benson made her debut in Oregon’s single-season record book and now holds the freshman record for digs in a season with 449 passing Katie Swoboda who dug 448 attack attempts in 2005. Benson’s mark is the eighth-highest by any player in Oregon history, only three digs away from jumping to sixth (Teri Kramer – 452).
Williams’ Block Party: Ariana Williams recorded a career high 11 blocks Nov. 22 at Utah, making her the first Oregon player since Kristen Bitter (2003) to have two matches with double-digit blocks in the same season. Williams had 10 blocks earlier in the season against Arizona. Williams added 13 kills in the match and is the first player to earn a double-double in blocks and kills since Neticia Enesi, Oct. 31, 2008.
Playing When It Counts: Oregon has made the NCAA Tournament six of the last seven seasons and compiled a 10-6 record in those appearances. Part of that success has been due to Oregon’s momentum late in the season. The Ducks have finished the second half of the conference schedule with a 7-3 record that past two seasons and have a chance to do the same in 2013.
Big Three: Plum (51 assists-10 digs), Williams (13 kills-11 blocks) and Brenner (25 kills – 18 digs) each recorded double-doubles against Utah in different ways, Nov. 22.
Defensive Player of the Week: Ariana Williams was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, Nov. 25 for her 16-block weekend at Utah and Colorado. It was the first weekly award by an Oregon player this season and the first of Williams’ career.
Oregon Vs. Ranked Opponents: Oregon is 3-7 against ranked opponents this season, playing some of the nation’s finest. The Ducks most recently defeated No. 20 California in straight sets, Nov. 15 in Eugene.
In all, 10 of the 21 schools on Oregon’s schedule this season have been ranked in the AVCA top 25 at some point this season.
1,000 Kills for Brenner: Liz Brenner surpassed 1,000 kills during her last match against Utah. The junior now has 1,197 kills, with the next landmark of breaking into Oregon’s career top 10 (1,235).
High-Scoring Duo: Liz Brenner eclipsed teammate Ariana Williams on the career points list this season. Brenner (1,309.5) is currently seventh all time, six points behind Neticia Enesi in sixth. Williams (1,294.5) is eighth.
Killing by Committee: Five different players have served as kills leaders in matches for Oregon this season and four Ducks are currently averaging more than 2.00 kills/set this season.
What’s Next: Oregon will see its postseason fate decided Sunday during the selection show at 6:30 p.m. PT aired live on ESPNU.