EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 8 Oregon volleyball team (2-1) had a bittersweet day, defeating Bryant (25-14, 25-14, 25-23) in straight sets before falling to Ohio (25-21, 25-22, 25-19) in the championship of the Oregon Classic, Saturday.
The Ducks came up on the wrong end to two tight sets to start the match against Ohio. Between the first two sets, the two teams went through 15 lead changes but both ended the same way, with the Bobcats narrowly pulling away at the end.
The third set was finished by a late Ohio run as well with the score reading 21-19 before Ohio rallied off four straight points to get the win.
“They played very well and at the end, the got loose,” head coach Jim Moore said. “We have to make sure that we execute when we’ve got opportunities. We didn’t do that very much tonight.”
Ariana Williams and Martenne Bettendorf each finished with 10 kills while Liz Brenner and Canace Finley tallied nine apiece.
Brenner was named to the Oregon Classic All-Tournament Team after notching 4.14 kills per set this weekend and she was joined by Lauren Plum who amassed 12.57 assists per set.
In the first match of the day Oregon cruised to victories in the first two sets, winning each 25-14. Senior-transfer Bethany Bair, who redshirted the 2012 season, led the team with 10 kills and finished one dig shy of a double-double. Bair only marked one kill in the first set but provided the Ducks some offense late in the match, notching five kills in the second set and four in the third.
The relatively smooth sailing disappeared in the third set. Oregon fell into a 10-4 hole early but was able to claw their way back to even at 17-17. The two stayed close until the end but a kill by Bair followed by a block by Shellsy Ashen and Serena Warner, one of eight on the match, finished the Bulldogs off.
Ashen saw a lot of time at setter for Oregon, resulting in a career-high 26-assist performance from the junior.
While players like Bair and Ashen were given time to impress, junior outside hitter Liz Brenner still left her mark on the game despite only playing the second set where she accrued seven kills on only eight attempts for a .875 mark.
The Ducks will be back in action, Tuesday when they face Portland State at 7 p.m., at Matthew Knight Arena. It will be the team’s first match on the Pac-12 Network this season.
MVP - Abby Gilleland, Ohio
Liz Brenner, Oregon
Kelly Lamberti, Ohio
Lauren Plum, Oregon
Claire Van Dyk, Bryant
Melissa Waelter, Eastern Washington