Ducks Open NCAA Tournament Play Thursday
The Pac-12 runner-up and winners of 12 of the last 14 matches, Oregon heads into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 10 overall national seed. As one of the top 16 national seeds, the Ducks earned a first-round bye in the 48-team tournament and will face the winner of Wednesday's match between Notre Dame and Army in the second round Thursday at 9 a.m. PT. The Ducks have never played Army and have matched up with Notre Dame just once - a win in 1985. Oregon's opening match will be streamed live on ESPN3.
When: Thursday, April 15
Opponent: Notre Dame or Army
Time: 9 a.m. PT
Where: Omaha, Neb. (CHI Health Center)
Live Stream: ESPN3 (PxP: Eric Frede)
Radio: KWVA 88.1 FM (PxP: Sean MacPherson)
Watch Online: https://www.espn.com/watch/
DID YOU KNOW?
Brooke Nuneviller is one of just five players nationally and the only one at a Power 5 school that averaged at least 3.50 kills and 3.80 digs per set during the regular season.
ONE FOR THE BOOKS
Oregon put together one of the best regular seasons in program history in the 2021 spring season. The Ducks finished 14-4 in the conference-only regular season, matching the program's highest-ever league finish by coming in second in the Pac-12. Oregon's 14 conference wins are also tied for the second most in a season in school history, matching the total from the 2011 season and behind only the 2012 season.
After missing the postseason last year, Oregon is back in the NCAA Tournament for the 16th time in school history and the 12th time in the last 14 seasons. The Ducks are 19-16 all-time in NCAA Tournament play and will look to advance to their seventh Sweet Sixteen with a win. Oregon is a top-10 national seed for the third time ever (2012, 2014).
Oregon finished the regular season as the only team in the Pac-12 to rank in the top four of the league in kills (3rd), digs (1st) and blocks per set (4th). Additionally, the Ducks ended the conference-only season inside the top four of the Pac-12 in assists per set (4th), hitting percentage (4th) and opponent hitting percentage (2nd).
DEFENSE STEPPING UP
Oregon finished the regular season among the Pac-12 leaders in three key defensive stat categories. The Ducks were one of two teams in the league to be in the top four of the conference in digs, blocks and opponent hitting percentage. The .162 opponent hitting percentage would also be the best in program history in the rally-scoring era.
FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS
After a relatively slow start to the season, the Oregon offense has found its stride in the last 12 matches. The Ducks are averaging 15.75 kills per set while hitting .259 in the last 12 times out while hitting over .300 in a match four times in that stretch. The Ducks have also put up single-match performances as a team that are among the best nationally this year. Oregon's 82 kills against Washington on March 7 are tied for the most in a match nationally this year while the 61 kills in a sweep of Colorado on Feb. 26 are the most in a three-set match this season nationally. Additionally, the 76 assists vs. the Huskies on March 7 are the second-most in the NCAA in a match this year.
BREAK OUT THE SPATULAS
Oregon ended the regular season as the only team in the Pac-12 to have two players averaging at least 3.50 digs per set. The Ducks are also one of three teams in the league to have three players averaging at least 2.60 digs per set. Brooke Nuneviller and Georgia Murphy are the only pair of Pac-12 teammates to finish the regular season in the top 10 of the league in digs with Nuneviller fourth in the league and Murphy in seventh.
DOING IT ALL
Brooke Nuneviller has established herself as one of the best all-around players in the country since the start of last season. She is one of only six players nationally - and the only one at a Power 5 school - averaging at least 3.50 kills and 3.80 digs per set. Last year she was the only Pac-12 player to average over 2.50 kills and 3.50 digs per set. Additionally, Nuneviller is the only player in the conference to lead her team in both kills and digs. She ended the regular season leading the Pac-12 with 15 double-doubles in 18 matches, four more than the player with the second most. Nuneviller also has double-figure kills in all but two matches and double-figure digs in all but one match.
In Oregon's match vs. Washington on March 7, Brooke Nuneviller turned in an unforgettable performance, putting down 35 kills on 65 swings with just one hitting error vs. Washington on March 7. She is the first Pac-12 player in the rally scoring era to have at least 35 kills in a match with one or fewer errors while her kills total ranks seventh all-time at Oregon and second in the rally scoring era. Nuneviller is also the only NCAA player since at least 2014 to have 35 kills and one error in a match.
Gloria Mutiri and Brooke Nuneviller each earned All-Pac-12 honors following the regular season while Karson Bacon and Georgia Murphy earned honorable mention recognition. Both Mutiri and Nuneviller earned all-conference team recoginition for the first time in their careers. Nuneviller was the only player in the conference to finish in the top 10 of the conference in both kills and digs in the regular season while leading the league in double-doubles with 15. Mutiri ended the year as one of just four players in the Pac-12 to hit at least .260 while averaging 2.50 klls per set. Bacon ended the regular season fourth in the league with a .349 hitting percentage while Murphy was seventh in the Pac-12 with 3.58 digs per set.