Ducks Beat Beavers In Four Sets
CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon's depth paid dividends Wednesday when redshirt freshman Reagan Hope provided a spark over the final two sets of the Ducks' 3-1 victory in their Pac-12 opener at Oregon State's Gill Coliseum.
The Ducks improved to 7-2 this season with their 25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 25-20 victory over the Beavers. Oregon has now won 29 of 33 matches in the rivalry dating back to 2006, and improved to 10-1 in the series under head coach Matt Ulmer.
Senior Brooke Nuneviller and freshman Mimi Colyer continued to pace the Ducks offensively Wednesday, leading Oregon with 16 kills apiece. Hope entered late in the second set when the Ducks were lagging and proceeded to rack up seven kills while contributing to four of Oregon's season-high 16 total blocks.
Nuneviller had four solo blocks to set a career high, and added 14 digs. Colyer hit .314 in her first career Pac-12 match, as the Ducks beat a rival in hostile territory.
"We experienced a really good crowd when we went to Minnesota," Colyer said. "So it was nice to kind of get that exposure early, and know how we compete in an environment like that. And I thought we played well. Definitely picked it up in the last two sets."
How It Happened: The Ducks hit .275 for the match and over .300 in each of the three sets they won, beginning with the first. An ace by Elise Agi gave Oregon an early 6-3 lead, before Oregon State rallied back to lead 12-11. Agi was on the serve again when the Ducks rallied back ahead, 14-12, on back-to-back kills by Nuneviller. OSU's last lead was 16-15, before a block by Nuneviller and Kiari Robey followed by a kill from Robey capped a UO run to lead 19-16. Colyer put the ball on the floor to set up set point, and Gloria Mutiri finished it off.
Oregon State scored four straight points three different times in the second set, to take leads of 6-4, 10-6 and 20-12. Hope came in for the first time in the match and ended the last run with her first kill of the night, but .103 hitting by Oregon allowed the Beavers to tie the match.
The Ducks were their most efficient in the third set, hitting .393. Colyer had two kills during a three-point run for a 5-2 lead, and a block by Hope with Hannah Pukis followed by an ace from Hope put the Ducks up 8-4. Hope had two big kills late, putting Oregon up 22-17 and then 24-18, answering the call when Ulmer looked to her for a spark.
"He looks at me and makes eye contact with me, and I'm running in there," Hope said. "You've just gotta figure it out, find a rhythm with your teammates,. They really over-communicate, and I think that's a big key to staying ready."
The Ducks had five blocks in the third set and another four in the fourth, when they finished off the match. Hope and Colyer each had two early kills as Oregon took a 5-3 lead, and Hope had two more points for the Ducks as the set went back and forth and the UO women maintained a 14-12 lead. Mutiri contributed to all three points during a UO run to lead 18-14, and Nuneviller had Oregon's final two kills of the night to finish off the match.
Notable: Mutiri recorded her 500th kill in an Oregon uniform on her way to six in the match. … Nuneviller's double-double was her seventh of the season, and her sixth in a row. … Karson Bacon assisted on a block for the 300th of her UO career.
Head coach Matt Ulmer
On the lift provided by Hope, personifying the strength of Oregon's depth
"That's a good problem to have, that you have a player like Reagan who hasn't played a ton this year. And all I've just been asking them to do is just be ready, because you don't know when your time is going to come. Trust me that I believe in you."
On the effectiveness of Oregon's block on Wednesday
"We've really been working hard on it. So it's nice to see practice pay off; that's a good thing. There's still positions that need to be better, but I thought overall we made some good reads, some nice moves, and put some pressure on them and made them change a few of their schemes."
Up Next: The Ducks host No. 5 Stanford in Matthew Knight Arena on Sunday (noon, Pac-12 Network).