EUGENE – Coming off a record-breaking 2012 campaign, the University of Oregon volleyball team will give fans a preview of its '13 squad in four scrimmages the next month vs. various Northwest rivals.
This Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m., the Ducks will play their first of two home dates at Matthew Knight Arena, and admission is free for both.
The other two scrimmages are road dates, and a complete list of tentative dates and start times follow:
- Fri. (4/12) - Oregon State. Eugene, Ore., 6 p.m. (Matthew Knight Arena)
- Sat. (4/20) - vs. Western Washington, Beaverton, Ore., 10 a.m.
- Sat. (5/4) - Portland State, Eugene, Ore. (Matthew Knight Arena Practice Gym), Time TBA
- Sat. (5/11) - at Oregon State, Corvallis (Gill Coliseum), Time TBA
Among the Ducks to watch for this spring are a pair of All-America returnees – senior-to-be setter Lauren Plum and junior-to-be outside hitter Liz Brenner.
Last fall, Plum led the nation in assists (13.37 per set), and directed UO to the nation's top kills per set team average (15.95) and a .289 hitting mark that tied the school record and stood ninth nationally.
Brenner stood top 70 nationally in both kills (69th, 3.92 per set) and points (70th, 4.39 p/s) in 2012, and ninth and eighth the Pac-12, respectively.
The Ducks also welcome back two starting middle blockers – senior-to-be Ariana Williams and sophomore-to-be Canace Finley.
The two-time All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention Williams logged career-high averages for points (2.49 per set) and hitting (.334) in ’12, and the latter total ranked fifth-best all-time for UO, seventh in the Pac-12 and 84th nationally.
Finley started 28 matches, paced the team in blocks per set average (0.77), and logged a team-season high six blocks in the four-set NCAA semifinal win over No.1 Penn State and three-set win at Portland State.
The team also returns a pair of sophomore outside hitters in Under Armour Prep All-American Martenne Bettendorf and PrepVolleyball Senior Ace 150 pick Maddie Magee.
Other Duck returnees include redshirt senior-to-be outside hitter Bethany Bair, junior-to-be setter Shellsy Ashen and libero Natalie Bookout Gonzalez, and sophomore-to-be libero Tatum Norton.
The Ducks come off program-best NCAA and Pac-12 runner-up finishes and a year-end No. 2 national ranking in ’12.
Head Coach Jim Moore looks ahead to his ninth season at the helm in 2013. The returning Volleyball Magazine National Coach of the Year sports a 166-86 mark with the Ducks after last fall’s program-best 30-5 mark.
The Ducks said farewell last fall to four starters – the outside hitter pair of AVCA and Honda National Player of the Year Alaina Bergmsa and Katherine Fischer, libero and USA A2 National Team member Haley Jacob, and defensive specialist Kellie Kawasaki.
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