Volleyball 2-0 After First Day Of Preseason Tournament
Aug. 30, 2002
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The University of Oregon volleyball team opened the preseason with a 30-18, 28-30, 30-10, victory over North Carolina A&T and improved to 2-0 on the season with a dominating 30-27, 30-25, 30-10, win over San Francisco at the Fremont Loan and Investment Tournament in Northridge, Calif. With the victory over North Carolina A&T in their first match, the Ducks improve to 24-6 all time in season openers and 3-0 in season openers under head coach Carl Ferreira.
'It was fun to get out there and play someone from another school,' said Ferreira. 'I think a team improves between the first and second match, the first and second day and the first and second week, so we are going to steadily improve as we move along.'
Senior middle blocker Lindsay Closs led all attackers with 34 kills and nine blocks on the day. Sophomore Lauren Westendorf had career highs in kills (10) and digs (11) to post the first double double of her career versus North Carolina A&T.
With Oregon junior outside hitter Heather Gilmore unable to make the trip for personal reasons and senior Amanda Porter sidelined with an ankle injury, it was up to Oregon's newcomers to step up. At times, the Ducks played with just one upperclassman on the court, but Ferreira's three freshman stepped up early as he had hoped. Fab-50 setter Jodi Bell led the Ducks to an impressive sweep over the Dons, putting up 38 assists while helping the team to hit .433 for the match. Bell also contributed 19 assists versus the Aggies and had 14 digs on the day.
Freshman Kelly Russell (Vancouver, Wash.) did not start against North Carolina A&T, but came in for the injured Porter, who had nine kills prior to sustaining a sprained ankle, and had seven kills in her first match. Russell came back against San Francisco and had13 kills and a .458 hitting percentage.
'The advantage of having Jodi and Kelly is that they've played together for four years,' Ferreira said. 'They look very poised out there and have a great feel for each other. They are very comfortable when they work together and all of our freshman are very talented.'
The Ducks' third freshman to see substantial playing time Friday, was Jaclyn Jones (Fort St. John, B.C.). Jones finished the day with 11 kills and three blocks.
Sophomore Katie O'Neil assumed the Libero role for the Ducks this season and defensively had 10 and seven digs, respectively.
Oregon resumes tournament action Saturday, facing Kent State at 2 p.m. before playing host Northridge at 7 p.m. The Ducks are looking for their third consecutive opening tournament championship under Ferreira.