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Oregon Ducks Volleyball: Ducks Attack Overpowers Bruins

Ducks defeat a spiraling Bruins squad in four sets before a match up with USC.

Coach Jim Moore's first comments after Oregon faced UCLA were very telling, "That was not pretty volleyball. It got exciting at the end but it was not pretty. Way too many errors." The Ducks responded from a tentative start in a first set loss to come away with a win against a ranked UCLA squad who has dropped each of its first 5 conference matches. Oregon had three hitters in double figures for kills as Liz Brenner, Ariana Williams and Canace Finley went for 19, 17, and 11 respectively. After dropping the first, the Ducks came back to win 17-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-23.

The same issue which has been plaguing the Ducks to this point in the season reared its ugly head again as the Ducks seemed to sleepwalk through the first set. Their attack was at .000 and one of the worst defensive teams in the conference dominated Oregon at the net with 6 blocks en route to a 25-17 UCLA set win. Oregon and UCLA were close early but the Bruins used a pair of runs 9-2 and 8-2 respectively to put Oregon in the hole at 22-10. Oregon tried to battle back but were simply too far behind as their comeback bid fell short.

Oregon would not make the same mistake in the second set as they kept it close throughout. Long rallies tied the set at 11and 14 respectively before the Ducks took a small lead. UCLA would recapture the lead though at 21-20 forcing an Oregon time out. The Ducks would respond as they scored the final five points of the set to knot the match at a set a piece going into half time.

Ariana Williams was on a mission coming out of the break at half as she fueled Oregon's attack to the tune of .542 as Oregon turned the tables in the third defeating UCLA 25-17. The attack was on point as the Ducks broke open what was a close set with a 10-4 run to push Oregon to a 23-14 lead.  The Ducks seemed to work out their errors at half time as it was UCLA who was looking a step behind at times as the ball found the floor time and time again for Oregon. Despite the fruits really showing in the third set, Moore felt the changes happened sooner for the Ducks. "We just realized after game 1 that we had to win every play. We were better once we started game 2 and it woke us up a little bit."

The fourth was a back and forth affair as the Ducks found themselves down by as many as 4 at 12-8 but answered the bell once again, battling back into the set and closed the match on a 5-1 run to seal the game for Oregon. In the fourth alone, Liz Brenner had 9 kills as Oregon's attack was just too much for the Bruins down the stretch.  Coach Moore stated Brenner did exactly what they hoped, "Liz supplied all the energy and certainly in game four, Liz did that. [It] was great on her part because to that point, she hadn't been doing that."

Despite getting down in the first set for two consecutive matches, Coach Moore was adamant that he did not want to start a set down against #1 USC who comes into town on Sunday for a 3 PM tilt. The win pushes Oregon to a 3-2 record in conference play and helps alleviate a bit of a swoon the Ducks found themselves in earlier in the season.