Conference Win Streak Now Seven
EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon's streak of 10 consecutive games won ended Sunday morning, but the UO volleyball team quickly recovered to win its seventh straight match in four sets over visiting Colorado in Matthew Knight Arena.
The Buffaloes won the opening set before Oregon used a balanced offensive attack and devastating block to come back and win, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-17. Brooke Nuneviller had her ninth double-double in 10 matches to lead four Ducks will double figures in kills, and Abby Hansen was in on a career-high 10 of Oregon's 15 blocks in the match.
Oregon's seven-match win streak in conference play is a program record for a single season.
"The growth of this group, it's as a group and not as individuals," UO coach Matt Ulmer said. "Everybody's flying in the right direction."
How It Happened: The Ducks (8-2) outhit the Buffs in all four games, but they committed eight errors to Colorado's two in the opening game to lose a game for the first time since Feb. 7. The game was tight throughout, and Oregon led as late as 18-17. Colorado won a long rally to go up 23-21 before a block by Karson Bacon and Gloria Mutiri. But Oregon's eighth and final attack error of the game titled momentum back to the visitors, and Colorado took the opening game, 25-23.
"They had lineup changes due to an injury, and I think it took us a little while to pick up on their new tendencies," Ulmer said.
That process continued into game two, which Colorado led 11-7 to force an Oregon timeout. Nuneviller came through on the other side of the timeout to get the Ducks going, and Hansen and Mutiri combined on a block one point later. Trailing 12-10, the Ducks then won two long rallies, on a kill by Mutiri and a Colorado error, and they didn't trail again in the game. Bacon found the floor to give Oregon the lead for good at 16-15, and Nuneviller followed with a kill. Morgan Lewis earned a sideout for Oregon to make it 19-17, and then Kylie Robinson served the Ducks to three more points in a row, including a block by Hansen and Mutiri, and a kill by Taylor Williams. The Ducks went on to even the match at a game apiece by winning, 25-20.
Game three tilted Oregon's win in remarkably similar fashion. Lewis earned a sideout for the Ducks to put them up 8-7, Robinson took over serve and Oregon again went on a run, with a kill by Nuneviller and a block by Hansen making it 10-7. After a service error by each side, Nuneviller took over serve for Oregon, and the Ducks went on another extended run featuring two Nuneviller kills and a block by Lewis and Mutiri to lead 16-8. The sides went back and forth, with Oregon holding Colorado at bay, and Mutiri had a kill for a 23-15 lead. Hansen made it 24-16, and after Colorado fought through three game points, Mutiri ended it for Oregon, 25-19.
Momentum was firmly on Oregon's side at that point, and the Ducks never trailed in game four. Williams had a kill to cap a 3-0 run that opened the game, and the Ducks scored three straight again to take the lead for good at 9-6, capped by a block from Hansen and Lewis. Nuneviller had a kill and then an ace to make it 12-9, and Hansen served the Ducks into a 17-10 lead with help from two kills by Mutiri and one by Williams. Lewis took something off the ball to put Oregon up 19-14, then followed with a rocket to the floor for a 20-14 lead. Williams served three straight points for a 24-16 advantage, and a Colorado error clinched the game and the match for the Ducks, 25-17.
Who Stood Out: Nuneviller finished with 15 kills and 17 digs, Williams added 13 kills with eight digs, and Lewis and Mutiri had 10 kills apiece, plus eight combined blocks. Hansen had three kills to go along with her 10 blocks, Bacon had five kills and five blocks and the Ducks got double-doubles in assists and digs from Robinson (20-23), Elise Ferreira (18-11) and Georgia Murphy (12-11).
"A lot of Colorado's offense was going toward the setters," Robinson said. "Going in, Elise and I knew that. We had our digging-balls caps on today. We knew we were going to get a lot of balls towards us."
Notable: The Ducks swept the weekend series with Colorado despite playing without mainstay Taylor Borup and freshman Becca Morse, due to COVID-19 protocols … Oregon's seven-match winning streak is its longest in conference play overall since a span between the 2013 and 2014 seasons … The winning streak is the longest overall for the Ducks since 2017 … Robinson shattered her previous career-high with her 23 digs while dishing out 20 assists … She's recorded a double-double in back-to-back games and has five on the year now … Nuneviller turned in a double-double for the ninth time in 10 matches … Four Oregon players finished with double-digits in kills for the second straight match.
Up Next: The Ducks host Washington on Friday at 1 p.m.