No. 11 Ducks Sweep No. 18 Penn State
EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 11 Oregon volleyball team defended its home floor Friday night and improved to 6-0 with a straight-set victory over No. 18 Penn State (25-17, 25-21, 27-25) at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks, out of substitutions late in the third set, clinched the win on their fifth match point, courtesy of a solo block by Taylor Borup.
"I'm just really proud of our group," head coach Matt Ulmer said. "What a fight…our character showed through the whole way. It's the type of people we are and I'm really proud of them. That's a big win for us. I love to see our competiveness and continually battling adversity, and not backing down from it. It's a great sign."
Up Next: Oregon returns to its home floor Saturday evening to close out the showcase against No. 13 Minnesota. First serve between the Ducks and Golden Gophers is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PT). In the first match Friday, Minnesota recorded a 3-1 victory over No. 14 Stanford.
Brooke Nuneviller and Gloria Mutiri (.471) led the offensive charge with 10 and eight kills, respectively, while Borup and Morgan Lewis each put down seven kills against the Nittany Lions. Defensively, libero Georgia Murphy racked up a match-high 16 digs with Borup collecting 12 digs of her own. To go along with her offensive output, Mutiri got in on five total blocks.
The Ducks rode a sizzling offense to the first-set win, posting a .448 hitting percentage in the opening frame. Oregon scored seven of the first 10 points in the match but Penn State (5-2) pulled to within a point—UO led 14-13—after a block. The home team used a 7-2 run to re-establish control of play, and led 21-15 after a kill by Nuneviller.
The two UO middles, Karson Bacon and Abby Hansen, secured the opening set with consecutive kills.
The second set featured 11 ties and six lead changes, highlighting the back-and-forth start to the game. However, with the score tied at 11-all, the Nittany Lions pushed ahead and led by as much as four as late as 18-14. Oregon mounted a comeback and Nuneviller tied the score at 19-19 with her second ace of the set. The Ducks pulled ahead for a 21-20 lead after Hansen and Mutiri teamed up for a block.
On the team's second set point, Borup found the floor and gave Oregon the 2-0 match lead. The Ducks ended the second on an 11-3 run.
With two sets in hand, UO went out to an early 10-6 advantage after a PSU attack error. The Ducks held a lead throughout the final set but the fireworks were reserved for the end of the set and, subsequently, the match. Nuneviller put down her 10th and final kill of the night to give Oregon three match points at 24-21.
However, Penn State fought off all three and pulled even at 24-all with a block. A fourth UO match point at 25-24 was erased with another block by the visitors. At this point, the Ducks' front row consisted of Borup, setter Kylie Robinson and defensive specialist Becca Morse. Robinson won a joust against Penn State's Adanna Rollins to set up another match point.
On the next point, Borup went up against Jonni Parker and came down with the match-winning stuff. It was her first block of the match.
"I thought tonight's match was a really good team effort," Lewis said. "At the end, we ran out of subs and had to do some stuff we never practice before but I think we committed to our roles in that point. We just balled out as a team."
2021 Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge
Sept. 10-11 | Eugene, Ore.
Matthew Knight Arena
Friday, Sept. 10
Match 1: Minnesota def. Stanford, 3-1
Match 2: Oregon def. Penn State, 3-0
Saturday, Sept. 11
4 p.m. – Stanford vs Penn State
7 p.m. – Oregon vs Minnesota
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