Oregon Ducks Volleyball: Oregon Out-duels Over-matched Vikings

JF Trochez

Despite a rocky second set, the Ducks came away with a straight sets victory in their final tune up before going to Michigan.

Oregon came into tonight's match with the Portland State Vikings needing to bounce back from a bad loss against the Ohio Bobcats. They responded to defeat well, overcoming the Vikings in straight sets 25-10, 28-26, 25-14. Oregon dominated the first set before struggling in the second. According to Coach Jim Moore, "Game two is our issue. It's going to be our issue all year until we fix that, to think that you can relax or you don't have to focus as much. The moment we do that we're in trouble." Canace Finley had a career high with 11 kills and Liz Brenner added 14 as the Ducks attacked well in the first and final sets to come away with a win.

The Vikings had no answer for the steady attack of Liz Brenner and Canace Finley who combined for 12 of Oregon's 19 kills in the first set. Oregon committed only two errors in the first set as they used a big run to blow the game open from 9-8 to win the set at 25-10. The service errors still plagued the Ducks early on but they seemed to cut down on them exponentially. Oregon stayed on the attack and hit at a very solid .447 which fueled the Oregon blow out in the first set.

The Vikings would not go away quietly in the second set, capitalizing on Oregon's attack errors. As solid as Oregon was on the attack in the first set, they seemed to regress greatly in the second, committing 13 errors on the attack. Portland State was able to capitalize on the Oregon miscues opening up a 5 point lead late in the set at 22-17 but Oregon would fight their way back into the set, tying it at 23. Oregon and PSU would go back and forth until the Ducks took control and outlasted the Vikings in the second 28-26.

Oregon's resiliency paid off in the third set. Going into the break up 2-0 instead of 1-1 was big for Canace Finley, "That's when Oregon is at its best. When we need to get it done, we get it done." Oregon let PSU hang around getting as close as 12-10. However, Oregon was all business from there, winning out in one a long volley to put them up 15-10 and then 10 of the next 14 point to close the match out, taking it in straight sets. After their 13 errors in the second, Oregon played a clean third set on the attack, not committing a single error while hitting at .567 to run away from the Vikings.

Overall, Coach Moore was pleased with how his team bounced back, saying "They responded well. How you respond to adversity is what's important in sport and in life. They've responded well so far." Oregon may have to respond to adversity this weekend as they make a tough road trip to play against Michigan and Michigan State. Coming into the match-ups, both Michigan squads are ranked in the top 25 and Oregon will have to be on their best game to come away with victories there.

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