The Ducks come out flat and fall short against the Golden Bears in five sets to drop to 20-2 on the season.
After Tuesday's practice, Head Coach Jim Moore was against the notion of Oregon's Friday match against the California Golden Bears being any sort of a trap game. The subsequent loss in five sets (17-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22, 13-15) to the Bears left Moore shaking his head.
"It's a little disappointing, Moore said. "It's obviously a lack of focus. It caught me by surprise. We didn't show it all week in practice...We didn't have the focus coming out, and that's very disappointing."
As Cal rolled to an early lead behind their stellar defense, compounded by the Ducks hitting a measly .129 in the first set, Oregon looked shell-shocked and the crowd of 2,011 was dumbfounded as they watched Cal win the first set 25-17.
"We just didn't do the things we should have done on a consistent basis," Moore said. "We weren't playing defense, weren't disciplined, we just didn't do the things you're supposed to."
The second set provided much of the same, with Cal providing an efficient attack and Oregon continually shooting their feet- having an error for every two kills won't win many matches. After losing the second set 25-21, both Ariana Williams and Canace Finley had a negative hit percentage at -.111 and -.333 respectively and the Ducks needed a wake up call at the break.
"We didn't make a whole lot of adjustments, we just had to play every play," Moore said. "We weren't playing hard and weren't doing the things we're supposed to."
Oregon came out on fire in the third set on their way to recording a error-less 25-22 victory. The fourth set proved much closer - at one point the Ducks and Golden Bears were tied at 18 apiece - but Oregon rode the crowd and an astonishing .692 mark to a 25-22 win, knotting the match and electrifying the arena.
The fifth set was the Liz Brenner show for the Ducks as she scored nearly half of Oregon's 13 points in the set, remarking after the match that after the first set that she felt she needed to step up and wake the team up. Alas, it was not to be, as Cal would end the match on a 3-0 run to spoil Oregon's hopes of a comeback, 15-13. Still, the team knows that they have an opportunity to rebound hard on Sunday.
"Well, Nebraska lost to (unranked) Indiana and then turned around and beat (top ranked) Penn State," senior Alaina Bergsma said. "So I guess that's our plan."