Top-20 Matchups Await in Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – It'll be a top-20 type of weekend with the Oregon volleyball team in the Gopher State for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge. The 18th-ranked Ducks is set for matches against host and third-ranked Minnesota and No. 20 Penn State. The four-team pod also features fellow Pac-12 mate Stanford, the No. 11 team in this week's AVCA poll.
2022 Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge | Minneapolis, Minn.
Fri, Sept. 9: #18 Oregon at #3 Minnesota, 5:30 p.m. (PT) – Watch | Live Stats
Sat, Sept. 10: #18 Oregon vs #20 Penn State, 2:30 p.m. (PT) – Watch | Live Stats
The Ducks enter the weekend off a five-set victory over Rice in the team's last outing. In the decisive frame, Oregon hit .458 and had six players with at least one kill. Brooke Nuneviller led the way with 20 kills and 15 digs, the 50th double-double of her career. Mimi Colyer and Colby Neal each put down 12 kills while setter Hannah Pukis dished out 52 assists with a career-high 24 digs.
For the second time in as many weeks, Colyer was rewarded for her play with Pac-12 Freshman of the Week accolades. The Lincoln, Calif., native averaged a team-high 4.13 kills per set during the Oregon Invitational, highlighted by a 21-kill performance—and .667 hitting percentage—against UC Davis in the home opener.
Nuneviller (4.00 k/s) and Colyer (3.88) are currently ranked fifth and ninth, respectively, in the Pac-12. Collectively, the Ducks are fifth in the conference with a .288 hitting percentage. Middle blocker Karson Bacon is third, individually, with a .467 hitting efficiency. Pukis (3.47 d/s) and libero Georgia Murphy (3.31) are both ranked among the top 10 in the league.
At last year's Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, hosted by the Ducks in Eugene, the team posted a 1-1 record with a sweep of then-No. 18 Penn State and a five-set loss to No. 13 Minnesota.
Friday's match will mark the 10th meeting in the all-time series with the Golden Gophers holding a slim 5-4 advantage. In their last trip to Minneapolis, the Ducks had a four-set win in the 2018 NCAA Regional semifinals. Nuneviller, then a freshman and libero, had 25 digs and nine assists in that match. Last year, UO swept Penn State to tie the all-time series at 3-3. Morgan Lewis and Gloria Mutiri combined for 15 kills while hitting .412 and seven blocks in the victory.
Following this weekend's Big Ten swing, the Ducks are back on the road for the Hurricane Invitational (Sept. 17-18) in Coral Gables, Fla. Oregon's next home match is Sunday, Sept. 25, against Stanford at 12 p.m. (PT). Click HERE for Oregon's complete schedule.
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