No. 14 Ducks Sweep Cal at MKA
EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 14 Oregon volleyball team opened their four-match home stand Friday night by sweeping its way past Cal in front of 1,825 fans at Matthew Knight Arena. With a 2-0 match lead in hand, the Ducks erased a five-point deficit late in the third and punctuated the win with consecutive aces from Gloria Mutiri.
Oregon improves to 13-2 overall with a 4-1 mark in Pac-12 play, and now turns its attention to Sunday's home match against No. 17 Stanford. First serve is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PT) on the Ducks' home floor.
Mutiri and Morgan Lewis combined for 17 kills with no attack errors against the visiting Bears. Lewis led the Ducks with nine kills coupled with a .643 hitting percentage while Mutiri hit .500 with eight kills. The UO offense committed just six attack errors in the match, posting a .319 hitting percentage in the win.
For the 13th time in 15 matches this season, Oregon held its opponent to a sub-.200 hitting percentage; Cal hit .157 on the night. The Ducks gave Cal its first straight-set loss in Pac-12 play this season.
The visitors jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead in the third, prompting UO head coach Matt Ulmer to use an early timeout. The Ducks began to chip away and pulled to within one after an attack error by the Bears. Cal (7-9, 0-5) responded immediately with four points in a row to take a 17-12 advantage.
The deficit was still five—Cal led 21-16—when Oregon put together a 6-0 run to take its first lead in the frame since 3-2. At 23-all, Mutiri put down a kill to bring the Ducks to match point. Cal held steady and won the next two points, taking a 25-24 lead of its own but it was erased with a service error to tie the score again.
That's when Mutiri went to the service line and produced back-to-back aces, the latter finding the back line for the match winner.
Friday's victory continued a recent dominance for the Ducks in their all-time series with Cal. Oregon has now won 14 of the last 16 meetings with the Bears with 12 sweeps in that stretch of time. The Ducks are also 8-1 against Cal under Ulmer.
Brooke Nuneviller picked up a match-high 11 digs to go along with eight kills and four total blocks. Abby Hansen, the Pac-12 leader in blocks, made her presence felt with a match-high six blocks including four in the third set alone. Murphy and Taylor Borup added nine and eight digs, respectively, against Cal.
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