At this point in the season, the selection committee is looking for separation of teams to decide who gets to go to the post season. After getting dominated in the first set, Oregon settled in and took the second.
"It's about winning the match, it's not about winning a set," said Coach Jim Moore "There's no such thing as moral victory. Winning a set means nothing. We're here to win matches and that was a winnable match."
Looking poised to take a set lead against the #6 team in the country, Oregon simply could not get out of their own way as they allowed unforced errors to swing the momentum of the match and allow Stanford to take control of the match and eventually win in four sets, 25-15, 20-25, 25-23, 25-15.
"I think we let the third game affect our fourth game." Said Ariana Williams
Moore added, "We had three balls that we got and we botched all three of them and you can't do that against a team that good. We have to be smarter hitting."
To that point, Canace Finley had a poor performance hitting at -.222 for the match, committing 9 errors while only tallying 3 kills for the Ducks.
Oregon doesn't have time to dwell on what could have been against the Cardinal as a quick turnaround brings the Cal Bears to town tomorrow night. For Williams though, she looks forward to it. "I would rather play a game than practice."
Oregon still has a shot of going to the post season. Winning a set against a top 10 program will show the committee they have what it takes to make an appearance in the tournament.
"If we play the way we know we can play, we'll definitely play well in the tournament. It's just smoothing out bumps along the road that we will have to fix," Said Williams.
It should not be mistaken. Stanford beat Oregon but the Ducks really let this one get away. When presented with the opportunity to close out a set, it has to be closed out. The Ducks let the Cardinal hang around and ultimately it was the Ducks errors that doomed them against the Cardinal.
They will have a chance to prove their mettle and rebound against the Bears tomorrow night. When the two clashed in Berkeley, Cal came out on top in a 5 set thriller and the rematch is a must win for the Ducks.