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Ducks Fall in Four at No. 3 Minnesota

Sep 9, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The No. 18 Oregon volleyball team suffered its first setback of the season Friday night at the hands of third-ranked Minnesota, a four-set loss (25-20, 25-22, 18-25, 27-25) inside Maturi Pavilion in front of 4,850 fans. The Ducks held a set point in the fourth to force a decisive frame but the Gophers won the final three points of the match.
 
With the result, Oregon drops to 4-1 this season. Senior outside hitter Brooke Nuneviller tallied 21 kills and 12 digs against Minnesota, good for her third double-double of the season. Libero Georgia Murphy picked up 15 digs to go along with seven assists in the four setter. In the middle, Kiari Robey had seven kills and a match-high seven blocks.
 
How It Happened
After dropping the opening set, the Ducks seemed to steady and traded points with Minnesota (4-1) through the first 20 points of game two. Sparked by two kills by Robey, Oregon had a five-point surge that gave the visitors a 15-10 advantage. However, the Golden Gophers responded with a 6-0 run of their own and led 17-16.
 
With the score tied at 19-all, UO got back-to-back kills from Gloria Mutiri and Mimi Colyer to go back ahead and force a Minnesota timeout. Out of the huddle, the Big Ten power put rattled off six of the final seven points of the set for the 2-0 match lead.
 
The Gophers, riding the high of the previous set, jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the third, forcing head coach Matt Ulmer to take an early timeout. Oregon answered the call with a run and after a tandem block by Robey and Morgan Lewis, the score was knotted at 6-all. From 9-9 in the third, the Ducks won eight of the next 10 points to claim a 17-11 lead, punctuating the surge with a service ace from Elise Ferreira.
 
The UO lead built to eight on a couple of occasions including 24-16 when Nuneviller had a kill for a handful of set points. On the team's third opportunity, Mutiri and Robey teamed up to get the set-winning block.
 
Like Minnesota to start the third, the Ducks carried the momentum into the fourth and seized a 7-2 advantage. The final 6-0 run was capped by a Nuneviller kill sandwiched between two Ferreira aces. Oregon pushed the lead to as high as seven points before Minnesota began to charge back. Karson Bacon gave the Ducks a 15-10 lead but the Gophers mounted a 5-0 run to tie things up.
 
Oregon regained its advantage and led 20-19 after a kill by Lewis but the home team won four of the next five points for a 23-21 lead. Once again, the Ducks answered with two in a row—a kill by Mutiri followed by another Mutiri-Robey block—to tie the score at 23-all.
 
Minnesota won the next point to give itself match point but Nuneviller delivered back-to-back kills to extend play and then give UO a set point of its own. The point was erased by a Ferreira service error, pulling the Gophers back even. Minnesota took the next two points to secure the four-set win.
 
Notable
Nuneviller's third match of the season with 20 or more kills…with an ace in the first set, Nuneviller moved into a tie for 10th place (106 aces) on the UO career list…Colyer established a new season high with 13 digs…Ferreira picked up her 500th-career dig with her second scoop of the night; finished the match with six digs…Penn State def. Stanford, 3-2, in the first match of the day in Minneapolis.
 
Up Next
The Ducks will close out the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge Saturday against No. 20 Penn State. First serve is set for 2:30 p.m. (PT) at Maturi Pavilion. The match will be streamed on Big Ten Plus. Click HERE for Oregon's full schedule.
 
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