Buffs Rally To Upset No. 22 Oregon
Gabby Simpson | Alexis Austin | Cierra Simpson | Nicole Edelman | Anna Pfefferle | Naghede Abu | Aidan Lea | Joslyn Hayes | Alexis Austin on Pac-12 Network | Pac-12 Network Recap vs. Oregon | Boxscore
EUGENE, Ore. — With its back to the wall, the University of Colorado volleyball team dug deep to overcome a 2-0 deficit to upset No. 22 Oregon 3-2 (20-25, 22-25, 27-25, 25-23, 15-12) on Friday night at Matthew Knight Arena.
The win is CU’s first ever in Eugene and snaps an eight-match losing streak to the Ducks (7-5, 1-2 Pac-12). Prior to tonight’s win, CU had only beaten UO twice, with both wins coming in Boulder.
The Buffs (9-6, 1-2 Pac-12) posted a season-high 18.0 blocks and were led by sophomore Anna Pfefferle’s nine block assists, one shy of her season-best (10). Freshman Naghede Abu added a career-best seven block assists, while seniors Alexis Austin and Nicole Edelman, as well as sophomore Gabby Simpson, each posted four block assists. Austin also put up one solo block. Redshirt sophomore Joslyn Hayes also got in on the block party with one block solo and three block assists. Freshman Aidan Lea round out CU’s blocking performance with one block assist. In total, the Buffs have two block solos and 32 block assists.
Austin also had a huge night offensively for the Buffs, leading both teams with 22 kills. She hit .283 and was one dig short of a double-double. Simpson hammered 18 kills and Pfefferle added 10 kills. Abu hit a team-best .467 with eight kills and just one error on 15 attacks. Edelman handed out a season-high 53 assists while added three kills of her own.
The Buffs hit .221 with 63 kills and 23 errors on 181 attacks, while the Ducks hit .206 with 71 kills and 32 errors on 189 swings.
Colorado picked up 71 digs in the five-set thriller. Junior Cierra Simpson recorded a career-best 29 digs, while freshman Abbie D’Agosta added 12 digs. Gabby Simpson had 11 digs to pick up her fifth double-double of the season.
The Ducks were led by Lindsey Vander Weide’s 19 kills. Martenne Bettendorf recorded 18 kills and Taylor Agost added 17 for UO. Vande Weide had a double-double with 16 digs. Amanda Benson picked up a team-best 25 digs.
CU led 9-6 in the first set when the Ducks recorded four straight points to take a 10-9 lead. The Buffs tied it up on the following point with a kill from Pfefferle and went back ahead on the following point, a D’Agosta ace, before UO put together a 5-0 run to take a 15-11 lead. The Buffs took the next two points with kills from Edelman and Gabby Simpson to get within two points (15-13), but again the Ducks pulled away, this time going up 18-13 before CU used a timeout.
The Buffs took the first two points out of the break (a kill from Austin and an UO error), but Oregon sided-out on the following point (19-15). CU was able to get within three points a few times in the game, including at 23-20, but were unable to close the gap as the Ducks took the frame 25-20.
The Buffs lead 11-7 in the second set after three straight CU points from an Oregon error, a kill from Abu and a block by Austin, causing UO to spend a timeout. CU went up 15-10 a short while later, thanks in part to CU’s block which posted three points. The Ducks took another timeout, but Abu answered with a kill to give CU a six-point advantage (16-10).
The Ducks took the following three points, bringing the score to 16-13 and forcing CU to call a timeout. The Buffs stayed ahead of UO, holding a two-point lead late in the frame (19-17) before a Taylor Agost kill brought UO within one. The Ducks tied the set up on the next point (19-19). The two teams traded off the next four points before UO went up 23-21, causing CU to use another timeout. Austin answered with a kill (23-22), but the Ducks went on to finish the set 25-22.
The third set was tied 5-5 before Oregon recorded three straight points (8-5), forcing the Buffs to take a timeout. UO took the first two points out of the break before the Buffs sided-out (10-6). CU recorded a 4-1 run to get within a point (11-10) and were within a point again at 14-13, but both time the Ducks pulled ahead.
The Buffs evened the set up at 16-16 a short time later after two blocks by Pfefferle and Edelman, and went ahead after an Oregon attack error (17-16), causing the Ducks to call for a timeout. The Buffs increased their lead to 19-17 after the break with kills by Pfefferle and Austin, but the Ducks weren’t going away. CU had set point at 24-22, but UO fought off two straight points to even the score. The score would be tied again at 25-25 when Austin hammered a kill to give CU another set point. The Buffs won the set on the following point with an UO error (27-25).
Oregon had a 9-5 advantage in the fourth set when the Buffs called a timeout. The Buffs rallied back with four straight points to tie the set at 9-9. After an Oregon timeout, the Ducks went ahead with a kill from Agost (11-10) and increased the lead to 12-10. The Buffs stayed close and tied the game back up at 15-15. The score would be tied again at 17-17 and CU went ahead on the next point with a kill from Austin, forcing the Ducks to take a timeout.
UO tied the set up on the next point (18-18) and the score would be even again at 19-19 and 20-20 before the Ducks would take a two-point lead at 22-20. The Buffs took a quick timeout, but the Ducks recorded a kill out of the break (23-20). That would be the last point for UO as CU stampeded back with five straight points to take the set 25-20.
Colorado called a timeout after UO went up 4-1 in set five. The break worked and the Buffs stormed back within one at 5-4. CU would even the game at 6-6 a few points later off a kill from Gabby Simpson. The Ducks then scored three straight points to go back up by three (9-6) and again the Buffs answered, tying up the frame at 10-10. CU took the next three points to take a 13-10 lead and finished the set and the match with a kill from Austin.
The Buffs wrap up their four-match road trip on Sunday against Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. The contest is set for a 12 p.m. MT start and will be televised on Pac-12 Network.