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Ducks Remain Perfect At Home

Oct 21, 2022

EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon remained perfect at home this season with a four-set win Friday over Utah at Matthew Knight Arena.

Mimi Colyer had 18 kills, Brooke Nuneviller added 15 and Gloria Mutiri finished with 14 kills on .480 hitting plus six blocks as the No. 20 Ducks beat the Utes, 25-17, 25-20, 24-26, 25-20. The UO women improved to 6-0 at home this season, and have won back-to-back matches entering Sunday's visit by Colorado.

"It was a really massive win for us," said UO setter Elise Ferreira, who started her fifth straight match. "We came off two really hard road trips, and I think we really needed this."

The Ducks (12-5, 6-3 Pac-12) hit .305 as a team Friday, improving to 9-1 this season when they hit at least .300. The Utes hit .193, dropping the match despite an impressive effort from Madelyn Robinson, who hit .311 on her way to a match-high 28 kills.

"Robinson from their team is really, really good," UO coach Matt Ulmer said. "We had a hard time stopping her. But I'm really proud of our effort, and it's good to get a win against a good team."

How It Happened: The Ducks broke open the first set with a Nuneviller kill followed by consecutive blocks from the tandem of Mutiri and Kiari Robey for a 9-4 lead. Colyer got the serve back to Oregon with a kill at 11-6, and Elise Agi took over from there, serving two aces during a run that put Oregon up 14-6. Nuneviller had two more kills during a three-point run to a 22-14 lead, on the way to a 25-17 win in the set.

"(Agi) can get some really nasty movement on the ball; her ball was dropping tonight," Ulmer said. "She was trying to serve them deep and they just kept dropping down, and that was really tough for them to read. I thought she set the tone for us in the first set with her serving."

The Ducks hit .472 in the first set and they kept it up in the second, hitting .406. Despite that, Utah led as late as 14-13 before the Ducks took the lead for good at 17-15 on kills by Mutiri and Colyer. It remained back and forth, until kills by Colyer and Mutiri and then yet another block by Mutiri and Robey gave Oregon the set, 25-20.

The third set went to the Utes, with Oregon playing from behind most of the set — despite getting out to a 4-0 lead on another service run by Agi. Down 23-19, the Ducks scored four straight points to knot it up before Utah won 26-24. Oregon hit .079 in that set, with the Utes clinching it on a UO error.

"The third set that we dropped, I thought it was really evident that it was our errors," Ferreira said. "There's so much empowerment in that, that it was our side, that we needed to make changes to be successful — and we did that. And I think that was proven in the fourth set."

Another ace by Agi helped the Ducks get out to a 4-2 lead in the fourth set, and this time they retained control. Colyer had an ace of her own during a five-point run to lead 10-7, and Ferreira had one of her four kills on the night during a four-point run to lead 19-13. After another run of three points that included a Colyer ace, Oregon led 22-15, at which point Utah rallied to within 23-20. But Ulmer held off on calling timeout, trusting his team to hold on, and they did to win 25-20.

"Sometimes you really need his voice, but sometimes you're like, no, we got this," Ferreira said. "We are confident in ourselves and we're confident in our play calls and we're confident in each other. And I think that having that confidence on the court is so amazing."

Notable: Nuneviller had 12 digs to go along with her 15 kills, giving her double-doubles in five straight matches and 13 overall this season. … Colyer had 13 digs for her seventh double-double this season. … Robey and Colby Neal combined for 10 kills and eight blocks in the middle, while Georgia Murphy and Daley McClellan combined for 17 digs and had just two combined errors on 53 serves received.


Junior setter Elise Ferriera, on leading the Ducks to a .305 hitting percentage
"That's huge because hitting .300, that's our goal. We have that on the board in our locker room — that's a team goal. And being able to hit that throughout the match consistently was huge for us. If we can do that on a consistent basis, we're going to be really, really good. It was just amazing being able to do that from so many different pieces and not having to rely on one single part of our game."

Head coach Matt Ulmer, on the scoring threat Ferreira presented with four kills
"I really liked that she called her own number a couple of times tonight, which she hadn't done in the past and I'd been kind of begging her to do. And she made some great reads and choices of when to do that. That's just another thing that they've got to worry about. People are going to want to key on Mimi and Brooke, and if she can do some of those things, that's not quite as easy for them."

Ulmer ,on the back-row play from Nuneviller and Georgia Murphy
"Georgia and Brooke were just phenomenal tonight. We asked them to pass two-person against a very good serving team that I thought were serving really tough. And they just kept us in rhythm."

Up Next: The Ducks host Colorado on Sunday at noon.