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No. 17 Ducks Rally Past Colorado at MKA

Oct 31, 2021

EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 17 Oregon volleyball team saved three match points Sunday afternoon before rallying past Colorado in five sets (20-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-16, 19-17) Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena. Brooke Nuneviller recorded a match-high 25 kills including 13 in the final two sets. With the victory, the Ducks improve to 16-6 overall with a 7-5 record in Pac-12 play.
Oregon is now 5-2 in five setters with successful rallies the past two Sundays. Last weekend, the Ducks were down two sets before posting a reverse sweep against USC on the road.
"I thought were a lot more aggressive today (than Friday vs Utah)," head coach Matt Ulmer said. "Good or bad, I thought we were dictating the points a lot more. I thought we were serving aggressively and attacking aggressively. That's what I'm asking them to do. Our default button when things are going so well is to get easy with the serve and start tipping the ball around, and that's not the team we want to be."
In the decisive fifth set, the Ducks took an early 6-3 advantage and went on to lead 9-6 after a kill from Nuneviller—one of six kills in the final frame. Colorado (13-8, 4-8), out of its second timeout of the set, went on a 4-1 run to tie the score at 10-all. After splitting the next four points, the score was tied again but the Buffs won the next two points—14-12—to arrive at match point.
Oregon saved both with kills from Nuneviller and then grabbed its first of three match points with kills from Taylor Williams and Morgan Lewis. The visitors extended play and then saved a second with UO ahead 17-16. Lewis put down her fourth kill of the set for an 18-17 lead and a third chance to close out the match.
Nuneviller made it stick with a kill out of the back row.
"It's not just the big moments," Ulmer said of Nuneviller. "It's all the time. Her personality is something we desperately need. She's just a fighter. I was really proud of her for just staying aggressive and setting the tone for the group. She came out right away and did that which important, and she also didn't back down from it, which I also thought was important.
"Even when she was making more errors than she normally would with 10, she kept going and it paid off because at the end when everyone knows the ball is going to her, it didn't matter because she was going in to score. You could see it in her eyes. She had 25 kills and we needed every single one of them."

Along with her 25 kills, Nuneviller completed her team-leading 12th double-double of the season with 12 digs. For the weekend, the Chandler, Ariz., native averaged 4.75 kills per set and 4.00 digs per set.
Lewis and Karson Bacon finished Sunday's win in double figures with 13 and 12 kills, respectively. Lewis hit .600 (6-0-10) in the final two sets against the Buffs. Gloria Mutiri registered nine kills and Kiara Robey came in off the bench to add eight kills and four total blocks. She posted a .538 hitting percentage on 13 swings.
Over the final two sets, the Ducks' offense came to life with UO hitting .375 to aid in the comeback. The team generated just a .193 efficiency through the first three sets of Sunday's win.
Defensively, libero Georgia Murphy led all players with 20 digs, good for her fourth match of the year with at least 20 digs. In two matches against CU this season, Murphy averaged 4.70 digs per set. Bacon and Robey each had four total blocks against the Buffaloes.
For the fourth time this season, Becca Morse had two service aces. She was one of five UO players with an ace, along with Murphy, Elise Ferreira, Daley McClellan and Kylie Robinson.
Needing to win the fourth to extend the match, the Ducks won a long rally on the first point of the set and outside of a tie at 5-all, led for the entire game. Holding on to a 10-8 lead, Oregon rattled off five of the next six points to establish complete control. The lead grew to as high as nine at 21-12 after an ace by Ferreira. Colorado scored three in a row but on UO's second set point, Bacon put down her 11th kill to secure the fourth and send the match to five.

Up Next: The Ducks are on the road next weekend with matches at Stanford (Nov. 4) and Cal (Nov. 7). Oregon's next home match is Friday, Nov. 12, when the team hosts USC at Matthew Knight Arena.
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