Skip to main content

Battle Of Ranked Foes Ends In Defeat

Oct 14, 2021

EUGENE, Ore. — The No. 13 Oregon volleyball team roared out to a two-set lead before dropping three straight in a loss to No. 10 Washington on Thursday evening in Matthew Knight Arena.

The Ducks (14-3, 5-2 Pac-12) fell 17-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21, 15-8 to lose at home for just the second time this fall. After falling behind early in each of the third and fourth sets, Oregon led early in the fifth — as late as 8-7 — before UW scored the final eight points of the night.

"We were playing a lot more like the first two sets, I thought, in the fifth," UO coach Matt Ulmer said. "And then we were up 8-7 and got stuck in a rotation where nobody was putting the ball down — forgot how to play for eight points. Very frustrating. Overall I thought we did a lot of nice things, but not disciplined enough."

How It Happened: On a night when the Ducks were looking for more production from the right side, Gloria Mutiri delivered. She had three kills as Oregon charged out to a 9-6 lead in the opening set, and another during a 5-0 run that put the Ducks up 18-9. The block was decisive as Oregon clinched the set, with Morgan Lewis and Karson Bacon teaming for a block that made it 23-15, and Lewis joining Hansen for a block on set point.

Oregon's right side was strong again in the second, with Mutiri and Lewis combining for five kills as the Ducks took a 12-10 lead. They combined for three more kills late in the set as Oregon staved off a UW comeback bid, with the block again helping clinch it — Hansen teamed up first with Robinson and then Brooke Nuneviller for blocks on two of Oregon's final three points.

The Ducks found it tougher to get into offensive rhythm as the night wore on. Washington jumped out to 5-1 leads in both the third and fourth sets, and had identical 18-14 leads in each as well. Consecutive kills by Lewis got Oregon within 20-18 in the fourth, and it was 23-21 before UW scored two straight to force the fifth set.

"They upped their service pressure, and we did not respond in kind," Ulmer said. "To me, that was the difference in the match."

A kill by Hansen and a block by Hansen and Mutiri got Oregon off to a strong start in the fifth, and the Ducks got a pair of kills from both Nuneviller and Bacon to lead 6-4. After UW fought into a 7-6 lead, Taylor Borup had a kill and Hansen followed with a block for an 8-7 UO lead. But those would be the final points of the night for the Ducks, as Washington finished on an 8-0 run.

"That's where we needed some leadership," Ulmer said. "We needed someone to put a ball down, get us moving. And we didn't get that."

Notable: Nuneviller had her ninth double-double of the season with 15 kills and 17 digs, and Borup did as well with 14 kills and 10 digs. Hansen nearly had a third, finishing with nine kills and nine blocks. … Oregon's .333 hitting in the first set was the Ducks' best of the night, while UW's .086 hitting in the first was the Huskies' worst of the match. … The Ducks came in allowing a Pac-12-leading .142 opponent hitting percentage, before allowing UW to hit .224 overall.

Up Next: The Ducks host Washington State on Sunday (noon, Pac-12 Washington).