BERKELEY, Calif. – It was a dramatic finish in Oregon’s first five-set match of the season but the Ducks were edged out by California, Friday at Haas Pavilion, 25-13, 27-29, 20-25, 25-20, 15-13.
Oregon (12-8, 5-5) received strong performances from a number of players, with the top of list being Liz Brenner who finished with 18 kills as well as a career-high 22 digs.
But it was a youth movement which may have overshadowed the All-American’s performance.
After setting a career high for kills (four) against Stanford, Friday, freshman Kacey Nady topped that on Sunday with seven kills and 10 blocks, equaling Ariana Williams’ 10 blocks from earlier this season. Nady is the only freshman in the Pac-12 to reach double-digit blocks this season.
Fellow freshman Naya Crittenden, an opposite-side hitter set a career high with 10 kills while also putting up two blocks.
Amanda Benson rounded out the freshmen trio with a career-high 31 digs, the most by any Oregon player this season. The mark is also the third-most by a Pac-12 player this season, only Behind Becky Defoe of Oregon State (35).
The first set was one Oregon would like to forget as the Green and Yellow conceded the first five points before scoring one of their own. The run set the tone for the remainder of the set as California was able to continuously extend their lead throughout, to a 25-13 victory. The Bears finished with a .351 hitting percentage and five first-frame blocks, holding the Ducks to a negative hitting mark.
It looked as if Cal would continue to roll in the second set after it scored the first three points, but Oregon was able to stabilize and surge, as a 4-0 run put Oregon up 8-6. From there, the two teams traded scores all the way through four Oregon set points. It was the fourth block of the set, coming from and Shellsy Ashen, on the fourth Oregon set point, which finally gave Oregon the two-point edge at 29-27.
The third set was all about the future of Oregon volleyball. Nady went on a tear with six blocks in the set while Crittenden was a nice offensive alternative for the Ducks with five kills. After the score was tied at 17-17, a 5-0 run put the Ducks up 22-17, and the Ducks finished it off, 25-20.
A 6-0 run in the fourth set put Cal up 9-5. The Bears were able to fight off a few Oregon charges, keeping the Ducks at a safe distance throughout the remainder of the set, winning 25-20.
The fifth set was close the whole way. Oregon had an 11-9 advantage but Cal rallied back with a 5-1 run to go up 14-12. It was a kill from the hand of Joan Caloiaro that finished the Ducks, 15-13.
Ashen and Lauren Plum split the setting duties for the night as Plum is gradually seeing more court time while recovering from a foot injury. Ashen finished 28 assists while Plum tallied 30. Both ended up with double-doubles, each recording 10 digs.
The Ducks will be at home next weekend to host Arizona schools. They will face Arizona State, Friday at 6 p.m., and No. 25 Arizona, Saturday at 7 p.m. Oregon split the two schools on the road, taking down Arizona State.
The Automated ScoreBook
Oregon vs CALIFORNIA
(Oct 25, 2013 at Berkeley, Calif.)
|TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 14.0|
|TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 14.0|
| Site: Berkeley, Calif. (Haas Pavilion)
Date: Oct 25, 2013 Attend: 728 Time: 2:29