Ducks Rally Past UCLA in Five Sets
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Trailing two sets to one, the No. 17 Oregon volleyball team rallied for a five-set road win over UCLA Sunday afternoon inside Pauley Pavilion. The win snapped the Ducks' three-match skid and gave the program's its first road victory over UCLA since 2018. Oregon is now 11-5 this season with a 5-3 mark in Pac-12 play.
The UO offense generated a .309 hitting percentage—its ninth outing of the season at .300 or higher—behind a career-high 66 assists from Elise Ferreira. Facing a 2-1 match deficit, the Ducks posted a .477 hitting percentage over the last two sets.
For the third time this season, Mimi Colyer and Brooke Nuneviller each finished with at least 20 kills, putting down 23 and 22, respectively. Middle blocker Kiari Robey tallied a career-high 10 kills with no attack errors, good for a .526 hitting percentage.
Robey and Colyer registered eight and five blocks, respectively, to lead the Ducks' defensive efforts at the net. Libero Georgia Murphy picked up a match-high 17 digs while Nuneviller completed a double-double effort with 10 digs. The Ducks finished the match with 15.0 total team blocks, including four in the fifth.
How It Happened
In the decisive fifth set, the Ducks took a 6-4 lead with a kill by Nuneviller and forced UCLA into an early timeout. UCLA (9-8, 3-5) pulled to within one three times but from 8-7, Oregon used a quick three-point surge to create separation on the scoreboard and led 11-7 when the home team called its final timeout.
The Bruins scored the first point out of the huddle but UO rattled off another 3-0 run to arrive at match point, 14-8. Colyer and Colby Neal teamed up for a pair of blocks during the stretch. On a second chance to close out the match, Colyer posted one final kill on a UCLA net violation for the victory.
Colyer and Nuneviller each had three kills in the fifth and Morgan Lewis added two kills. She came off the bench to add seven kills and a .312 hitting percentage against the Bruins.
The Bruins jumped out to the 1-0 match lead and seemed poised to win the second, leading 24-22 but Oregon saved three set points—another with UCLA up 25-24—and pulled even on the scoreboard with the help of back-to-back UCLA attack errors at the end of the frame.
The home team won seven of the first 10 in the third set and led by as much as nine—19-10—before Oregon began to mount a charge. The Ducks went on an 8-1 run after facing a 22-14 deficit, a stretch that featured two aces by Elise Agi.
After an extended rally, Oregon seemed to have tied the set at 24-all but UCLA successfully challenged that there was a net violation by the Ducks during the play. The initial call was reversed, and after a re-challenge by the Ducks on a possible UCLA net violation during the same rally was unsuccessful, the set belonged to the Bruins.
The teams traded points through the early stages of the fourth but the Ducks took an 8-6 lead with a three-point push, capping the surge with a Lewis-Robey tandem block. Leading 14-13, Oregon made a decisive move by winning five of the next six points and went ahead 19-14 after consecutive kills from Colyer and Nuneviller.
After committing an error on the Ducks' first point, Nuneviller answered immediately with a kill to send the match to a fifth. Oregon improved to 3-3 in five setters this season.
With her 16th kill Sunday, Nuneviller moved into 10th place on the program's career kills list. She is now the fourth UO player in the top 10 for both career kills and career digs, joining the exclusive list that also features Teri Kramer (1984-87), Sonja Newcombe (2006-09) and Lindsey Vander Weide (2015-18).
After four-consecutive matches on the road, Oregon is back at Matthew Knight Arena this Friday, Oct. 21, to host Utah at 6 p.m. Click HERE for the Ducks' full schedule.
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