Oregon Volleyball Downs Arkansas State In Season Opener

Aug. 31, 2001

ARLINGTON, Texas - The University of Oregon volleyball team opened the 2001 season at the UT Arlington Tournament and picked up a 30-19, 32-34, 30-19, 30-10 victory over Arkansas State in front of 125 fans. The Ducks play host Arlington tonight at 5 p.m. and wrap up tournament play tomorrow against North Carolina A&T State and Arkansas Little Rock.

'The hardest part about the first match of the season is interweaving newcomers with returners,' Oregon head coach Carl Ferreira said. 'After the first two games, we really began to establish a rhythm and got comfortable in our system.'

Oregon dominated throughout and finished the match with 58 kills, 10 service aces, 37 digs and nine team blocks. The Ducks committed just 20 errors and averaged a .311 hitting percentage over the four games. Arkansas State hit just .048 and had 45 kills, 34 digs and just two team blocks.

The Ducks got impressive play from junior transfer Lindsay Closs (Fresno St.), who led Oregon with 20 kills. Closs added seven digs, four blocks and one service ace. Senior outside hitter Monique Tobbagi had 17 kills, eight digs and two service aces while posting a .419 attack percentage.

'We were in sync by the third game and felt unstoppable,' Tobbagi said. 'We really got into our system and it was just set, kill. We had Stephanie [Martin] blocking everything and Lindsay [Closs] cranking out kills - we're really going to match up well in the Pac-10.'

The 2001 season marks a change in women's collegiate volleyball with rally scoring replacing the old side-out scoring system. A point is awarded on every play regardless of which team served, so tracking the number of points each player contributes will be a new area of interest. Closs' 20 kills, one service ace and three blocks accounted for 24 of Oregon's points, while Tobbagi's kills and aces totaled 19 points.

The first four games are played to 30 points, while a fifth game, if necessary, will be played to 15 points. The winning team still needs to have a two point advantage.

'We've given rally scoring a lot of attention all spring and in all of our preparations, so that part of the match today felt really comfortable,' Ferreira said. 'It really kept the game flowing and kept us focused.'

All 14 of Oregon's players saw action in the first match. Junior transfer Stephanie Martin, the 2000 National Junior College Player of the Year had eight kills and a match-high seven blocks in her Oregon debut.


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