Sweep Sends Ducks to Sweet Sixteen
OMAHA, Neb. – Oregon got its NCAA Tournament run off to a dominant start, knocking off Notre Dame in straight sets, 25-17, 25-22, 25-13, to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the seventh time in school history.
The Ducks were back on the floor for the first time in nearly two weeks, but did not skip a beat on either side of the ball, hitting .362 as a team while holding the Fighting Irish to a .170 hitting percentage while recording 58 digs.
"We had our best practices by a mile this whole week," said head coach Matt Ulmer. "I felt like we were pretty prepared and I think our offense looks much improved, and that's a really big thing because our defense has been so good all year."
How It Happened: The Ducks got off to a roaring start, opening up a big lead early in the opening set on the way to a 25-17 game one win. Tied 3-3, Oregon went on a 7-0 run with Elise Ferreira on serve and Morgan Lewis providing the firepower with three kills and a pair of blocks during the run. The Ducks coasted the rest of the way thanks to hitting .355 as a team in the opening set.
Oregon had to play from behind for most of the second set, but used a run late in the set to take a 2-0 lead in the match. Down 19-17, the Ducks went on a 6-0 run keyed by the serving of Georgia Murphy and a couple of big kills by Karson Bacon to make it 23-19. The teams traded points the rest of the way with Lewis putting away the set for a 25-22 win.
From there, the Ducks dominated the third set, winning 25-13 to finish the sweep. Oregon started the set on a 4-0 run and never looked back, hitting .441 in the third while recording 17 kills and holding the Fighting Irish to a .143 hitting percentage.
Notable: The win was Oregon's 20th all-time NCAA Tournament win … Ulmer improved to 5-2 in his career in NCAA Tournament play and has won at least one match all three years he has taken the Ducks to the postseason … The .362 team hitting percentage is the fourth-best in Oregon NCAA Tournament history … Lewis set an Oregon NCAA Tournament record for hitting percentage, hitting .684 with 13 kills on 19 swings and no errors … Brooke Nuneviller recorded her 16th double-double, finishing with 11 kills and 21 digs … The Ducks' eight service aces are a season-high and third-most in a NCAA Tournament match in school history … Becca Morse served up a season-high three aces, becoming just the 10th Duck ever to have at least three aces in a tournament match.
Up Next: Oregon will play the winner of Purdue and High Point in the Sweet Sixteen on Sunday. Match times will be announced at the end of play today.