No. 13 VB Sweeps American in D.C. Finale
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Securing its third win in a span of 27 hours, the No. 13 Oregon volleyball team swept its way past American Friday night in the nation's capital. Gloria Mutiri continued her standout play in D.C. with a match-high 10 kills and a .304 hitting percentage in the win. The Ducks' defensive efforts limited American to a -.060 team efficiency.
With the result—coupled with the day's earlier win over Harvard—Oregon heads back to the Pacific Northwest with a 9-1 record heading into Pac-12 play. In the team's first match Friday, UO took a 2-0 lead over Harvard and then had to fight off a match point in a five-set victory.
Up Next: The Ducks are back home Wednesday, Sept. 22, to host Oregon State in the Pac-12 opener. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PT) at Matthew Knight Arena.
Combining her efforts in both matches Friday, Mutiri totaled 29 kills to go along with a .439 hitting percentage. She established a career-high with 19 kills in the win over Harvard. In three matches this weekend, Mutiri put down 3.27 kills per set and hit .464 in the process.
Collectively, the Ducks posted a .444 hitting percentage over five sets in their win over Harvard and followed with a .314 mark in the finale against American.
Thursday, Sept. 16 def. Howard, 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-22)
Friday, Sept. 17 def. Harvard, 3-2 (25-14, 25-19, 23-25, 23-25, 16-14)
Friday, Sept. 17 def. American, 3-0 (25-11, 25-23, 25-11)
Oregon seized control early against American (5-5), winning 10 of the first 12 points and eventually building a double-digit lead at 15-5 after a solo block by Abby Hansen. The Ducks maintained a wide margin and led 22-9 after consecutive kills by Karson Bacon. On set point, a Kylie Robinson dig went back over the net but Hansen was there to defend the AU attack.
In a reverse of the first set, the home team jumped out to a 9-4 lead to force an early timeout by the Ducks. American built a lead as high as eight points—15-7—before Oregon began to chip away to the tune of an 11-2 run that saw UO take its first lead of the set at 18-17 after a kill by Mutiri.
The Ducks went on to grab a 24-21 lead but American won the next two points to pull to within one. Out of a timeout called by head coach Matt Ulmer, Oregon turned to Nuneviller who found the floor with a tip over the AU block to give her team the 2-0 lead.
After a back-and-forth start to the third set, the Ducks snapped off 11 of 12 points to take an 18-7 lead. Nuneviller had three kills during the run. The lead never dipped below 10 points and on the team's second match point, Morgan Lewis put down the final kill to clinch the sweep.
Oregon 3, Harvard 2
In the fifth set, the Ducks took an 8-6 lead into the media timeout and used a three-point push to go ahead 11-7 to force Harvard (1-6) to use a timeout. After the two teams traded points, the Crimson rattled off the next five points to take a 13-12 lead.
Harvard had match point at 14-13 but the Ducks turned to Mutiri who delivered with a kill to extend play. An attack error by Harvard gave Oregon its first match point, and in a similar result, Mutiri put down the final kill of the match to help UO avoid the upset.
Oregon's offense opened the match clicking on all cylinders and generated a .652 hitting percentage in the first set. The Ducks ended the frame on a 7-0 run with Hansen at the service line for the final six points. During the run, Hansen had three assists and an ace.
Harvard led 12-11 in the second set but Oregon responded by winning 10 of the next 11 points to go ahead, 21-13. The Ducks maintained a lead of at least five points the rest of the way, and on their second set point, Bacon and Lewis teamed up for a block and the 2-0 match lead.
With a 15-14 advantage in the third, the Ducks won six of the next eight points with the help of service aces from Borup and Kylie Robinson. Oregon led 21-16 after the push but Harvard put together a 9-2 surge to rally past the Ducks and force a fourth set.
Looking for another chance to close out the match, Oregon used an 8-1 run in the middle of the fourth to take an 15-11 but Harvard scored four in a row to pull even at 15-all. From that point, the set was tied seven more times but the Crimson never pushed ahead until 24-23 after a UO service error. Harvard put down a kill on the next rally to extend the match to five.
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