No. 10 Ducks Sweep Cal in Berkeley
EUGENE, Ore. — After playing five sets in three of its last four matches, the No. 10 Oregon volleyball team picked up its 10th sweep of the season Wednesday afternoon at Cal. The Ducks tallied a season-high .470 hitting percentage—the seventh-best figure in UO history—and posted 10.0 blocks in the three-set triumph.
With the result, Oregon extends its winning streak to 12 in a row and improves its record to 22-5 this season with a 16-3 mark in Pac-12 play.
Brooke Nuneviller and Mimi Colyer led the Ducks with 13 and 12 kills, respectively, and in the middle, Karson Bacon and Kiari Robey combined for 11 kills on 18 swings with no attack errors. Nuneviller hit .522 against Cal on her way to a seventh outing of the year with 10+ kills coupled with just one attack error.
In running the offensive show, setter Hannah Pukis dished out 34 assists to go along with 10 digs to complete her 11th double-double of the year. She and Nuneviller each had three aces in the victory.
Wednesday marked the team's seventh match of the year with a .400 or higher hitting percentage, establishing a new program record against a Pac-12 opponent. The Ducks committed just five attack errors in 83 swings against Cal; UO put down 44 kills in three sets.
Bacon, along with her five kills, recorded a match-high five blocks for the Ducks followed closely by Robey and Gloria Mutiri with four each. Colyer had three blocks in the win.
How It Happened: Nuneviller opened the match with back-to-back aces, setting the standard for the next 75 minutes of play. The Ducks never trailed in either of the first two sets. With a tandem block by Bacon and Colyer, Oregon took a 15-8 lead into the media timeout. Two points later, the team had its largest lead of nine at 17-8 after another block, this one featuring Bacon and Mutiri.
Mutiri and Robey combined for a block, the Ducks' fourth of the opening set, and a 24-16 lead, and just as she started it, Nuneviller delivered an ace on the next point to secure the 1-0 match lead.
From a 5-4 advantage early in the second, Oregon rattled off five of the next six points for a 10-5 lead to force a timeout by Cal. The surge continued with three in a row out of the huddle, and the lead was 13-5 after back-to-back blocks featuring Robey.
The Ducks' first double-digit lead of the match—17-7 in the second—came courtesy of a Bacon-Mutiri block. Cal never got closer than nine for the remainder of the frame. Robey, who started the second with a kill, put away the final ball of the set and Oregon led the Golden Bears, 2-0.
The home team won the first point of the third and after consecutive blocks took a 4-2 lead. Cal (7-22, 0-19) led through the early stages of the set but never by more than two. Facing a 9-7 hole, Oregon reeled off five in a row for a 12-9 lead. It was the only lead change of the entire match.
Cal stayed close and pulled to within one with UO leading 15-14 but the Ducks put together a 6-0 run, a surge highlighted by Pukis' three aces. Oregon arrived at match point—24-16—with the help of an error by Cal and on the team's second chance to close it out, Bacon found the floor to put a bow on the three-set victory.
Notable: With her fifth kill, Nuneviller moved past former teammate Lindsey Vander Weide (2015-18) for sole possession of sixth place on the UO all-time kills list. Nuneviller now has 1,456 career kills.
Up Next: The Ducks close out the regular season Friday, Nov. 25, with Senior Day against Oregon State at Matthew Knight Arena. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. (PT). Oregon will recognize Bacon, Mutiri and Nuneviller and team manager Bethany Kepner in a pre-match ceremony with an additional video presentation following the match.
The Ducks will find out its postseason path Sunday, Nov. 27, with the NCAA Selection Show (4:30 p.m.) on ESPNU. Click HERE for the Ducks' full schedule.
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