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Five-Set Victory in Season Opener

Aug 27, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon volleyball team saved four match points on its way to a five-set win over Long Beach State Saturday afternoon at the Rose City Showdown. Returning senior All-American Brooke Nuneviller led all players with 28 kills while freshman Mimi Colyer and senior Karson Bacon put down 16 and 11 kills, respectively.
 
How It Happened
In the decisive fifth, the teams traded points until Long Beach State (2-1) put together two in a row for a 9-7 lead. Back-to-back kills from setter Hannah Pukis and Nuneviller brought Oregon back even at 9-all, but LBSU never gave up the lead and arrived at its first match point at 14-12.
 
Nuneviller responded with a kill out of the back row to extend play and after a Long Beach attack error, the score was tied again. Facing a third match point, the Ducks turned to Nuneviller again and she came through with her final kill of the day. The Beach got a kill out of the middle to grab a fourth match point. This time, it was Morgan Lewis with the answer to knot the score at 16-all.
 
Lewis finished the afternoon with nine kills and four total blocks.
 
An attack error by Long Beach's Morgan Chacon gave Oregon the 17-16 advantage, its first lead of the set. In a back-and-forth with Nuneviller, Chacon led LBSU with 26 kills. Colyer stepped back to the line and delivered a serve that trickled over the net and found the floor to clinch the season-opening victory. It was her second ace of the day.
 
The Ducks won the first and third sets Saturday and had a match point in the fourth—ahead 24-23—but Long Beach rallied to force Oregon to its first season-opening five setter since 1997.
 
Nuneviller registered the 49th double-double of her career, adding 12 digs to her offensive output. The Chandler, Ariz., native hit .312 against Long Beach State to go along with a pair of service aces. She was one of three Ducks with a double-double, joining Colyer (16 kills, 12 digs) and Pukis (44 assists, 13 digs).
 
On the heels of setting the program's single-season record for hitting percentage, Bacon picked right up where she left off in 2021 with a .500 figure (11-2-18) against LBSU—and sister Kameron, a sophomore middle blocker for Long Beach.
 
Notable…
Redshirt freshman Colby Neal made her UO debut Saturday with seven kills (.357), six digs and two total blocks…with 21 assists, Elise Ferreira moved into seventh (1,576) on the UO top-10 list for career assists during the rally era…team committed just 10 attack errors in the final three sets (.343) against 18 in the first two sets Saturday…libero Georgia Murphy reached 1,100 career digs; finished with 12 digs, three assists and two aces.
 
…and Quotable
"We've been practicing against ourselves for a little while now so this early competition is important," head coach Matt Ulmer said. "It's just different. Your mindset is different. Can you control your nerves? Can you execute when the pressure's on? I thought we were wanting to play too pretty at times and we needed to be a lot tougher.
 
"I think Long Beach State played really well and were out-hustling us for the first few sets which was really disappointing but we made some adjustments and started playing a better brand of volleyball. Down the stretch, we were down needing points and kept trying to execute. I thought we did a really good job and stayed tough and gave ourselves a shot to win."
 
Up Next
The Ducks take on host Portland State Sunday at 1 p.m. (PT) to close out their season-opening weekend at the Rose City Showdown. The match will streamed live on ESPN+ and through the ESPN app.
 
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