After being outhit a night ago, the Ducks looked to play better on the defensive end in what amounted to a must win game for Oregon against the Arizona Wildcats. Oregon had four hitters in double figures, led by Liz Brenner with 28 as Oregon won a 5 set marathon 25-23, 23-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12. Featured amongst those kills also was Naya Crittenden who set a career high with 11 kills. Madi Kingdon showed why she is regarded as one of the conference's best as she put 20 kills down for the Wildcats in a losing effort.
"We were our own worst enemy tonight, but at least they fought through it," Coach Jim Moore said about the win. "Both teams were sort of ugly at times and at least we came out on top."
The first two sets were a back and forth affair as Oregon and Arizona would exchange runs through much of those sets. Between the two there 18 ties and 9 lead changes as the teams would exchange extensive scoring runs. Both the Ducks and the Wildcats managed to come away with a 25-23 set win to go away with a 1-1 tie going into the break.
Things wouldn't really settle down until the third set when Arizona took a commanding 23-18 lead late in the set. The Ducks would battle back and get within one at 24-23 but a timely kill by Madi Kingdon ended the Oregon comeback bid.
While the sides exchanged leads through three, Oregon come away with a wire to wire win in the fourth set. The Ducks turned the tables on the Cats withstanding a late bid to win the match and the Ducks were able to turn the Wildcats away and force a deciding 5th set.
Oregon remained in control as they once again never relinquished the lead en route to a 15-12 win to avenge their loss in Tucson. U of A would challenge late once again, tying the score three times and finally at 10, but Oregon would score 5 of the final 7 points to give Oregon the win.
As the season winds down, a win like this one will go a long way in deciding what Oregon's post season aspirations should be. Oregon now goes on the road to face off against the LA schools next weekend. Oregon managed a split with a win over UCLA, but USC is in a class all their own this season and getting a win against the Trojans will be a formidable task.