EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 22 Oregon volleyball team rallied once again to defeat No. 23 UCLA in four sets at Matthew Knight Arena, Friday, 17-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-23.
The Ducks had three players with double digit kills, led by junior All-American Liz Brenner who finished with 19. Brenner was not in top form for a majority of the match, entering the fourth set with 10 kills and hitting .152, but the Portland, Ore., native was big when it counted, tallying nine kills in the final set including the Ducks’ last four, which was part of a 5-1 run to end the match.
Ariana Williams posted a career-high 17 kills on 26 attempts, hitting .500 on the night. Williams did not miss a beat with new setter, Shellsy Ashen as the two worked the slide all night. The precision was nothing different than what Oregon fans have seen from the senior all season, as it is the ninth time she has hit over .400.
Ashen also had a career night with 51 assists and said she felt comfortable taking the starting role heading into the match.
“Obviously, we don’t want Lauren to be hurt but I felt prepared and the team had my back. It was definitely a team effort and I felt really comfortable on the court,” Ashen said.
UCLA took control of the match early against Oregon, dominating the first set 25-17 and holding Oregon to nine kills in the set and a .000 team hitting mark.
Just as they did last week at Arizona State, the Ducks bounced back in the second set with a 25-21 win. Oregon was down 21-20 before head coach Jim Moore called timeout, out of which the Ducks jetted to a 5-0 run ended by a Liz Brenner ace.
The third set was all Oregon as the Green and Yellow created a large gap in the middle of the set thanks to a 5-1 run, making the score 18-11 and held their ground the rest of the way to finish up 25-17. The Ducks were scoring at will during the frame and hit .542 as a team converting on 66 percent of their attack attempts (16-for-24).
The final set was a stage for the Ducks’ four-sport athlete, Brenner, who had nine of the team’s 19 kills. After going up 4-3 early on, Oregon never saw the lead again until the late charge put it up 24-23, and was capped on the first match point.
Canace Finley accounted for 11 kills and three blocks, playing a steady role in the offense throughout the night.
While Martenne Bettendorf, who is averaging 3.11 kills/set this season, finished under her average with eight, she had a major role in the Ducks’ ability to keep points alive, coming in with a career-high 18 assists.
Oregon will host on No. 1 USC, Sunday at 3 p.m. Though the Ducks are 3-18 all-time against top-ranked opponents, they have taken down a No. 1 in each of the past two seasons.
“USC is the number one team in the country,” Moore said. “It’s about winning the play in front of us. That’s the only way you can win it, and that’s who we are.”
The Automated ScoreBook
#23 UCLA vs #22 Oregon
(Oct 11, 2013 at Eugene, Ore.)
|TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 10.0|
|TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 5.0|
| Site: Eugene, Ore. (Matthew Knight Arena)
Date: Oct 11, 2013 Attend: 2250 Time: 1:55
Referees: Lara Donaldson, Margie Ray