2013 Preview: Oregon volleyball
The Ducks saw a historic season last year as they finished second overall in the NCAA Tournament, the team's highest finish in school history. Along with a record-setting 30-win season and their best Pac-12 finish ever, Oregon recorded nine wins against top-25 schools and finished the season ranked second nationally. This year, head coach Jim Moore looks to carry the momentum from last season with four returning starters and a plethora of newcomers.
» The Ducks just wrapped up their best season in school history, and a national second-place finish is a monumental accomplishment that will give Oregon the confidence boost they need to continue their performance right from the beginning.
» AVCA All-American honorees SR S Lauren Plum and JR OH Liz Brenner return to a predominantly underclass team. Plum, the Pac-12 Setter of the Year in 2012, registered 1,618 assists on the season, which was first in the Conference. Brenner, a second-team All-American helped pace the Ducks offensively, with 466 kills (3.92 kps) and an average of 4.39 points per set.
» Also returning to the starting lineup are middle blockers SR Ariana Williams and SO Canace Finley. Williams and Finley joined up for 169 total blocks on the year of the team's 218.0 total.
» This year's recruiting class touts one of the nation's best prep liberos in Amanda Benson. Benson played for the USA Volleyball Junior National Team and one of two Senior Ace honorees alongside fellow recruit Haylee Roberts.
» The loss of Pac-12 Player of the Year Alaina Bergsma is a large hit to the Ducks squad. Oregon's scoring leader for the past two years, Bergsma was the team's first AVCA National and Pac-12 Player of the Year and her 572 kills far outpaced the rest of the roster. The Ducks have depth at the attack, but the majority of UO's outside hitters have limited prior experience. Coach Moore will have a tough job picking who will step up to fill Bergsma's role.
» Oregon's defense at the net was last in the Pac-12 in blocks, averaging only 1.77 blocks per set. Despite the experience of Williams and Finley, the two were the only players in the Conference to lead their team in blocks yet have less than 100 total blocks throughout the year.