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Oregon Ducks Volleyball: Ducks Overcome Errors, Eagles

Oregon overcomes errors to come away with a win in the home opener

Oregon opened the season against Eastern Washington and the Eagles provided a worthy test for the Ducks. Martenne Bettendorf had a career high with 18 kills as Oregon won in straight sets 25-20, 25-14, 28-26. The Ducks overcame 11 service errors and didn't play particularly well but well enough to get by. Coach Moore overheard a conversation between Libero Amanda Benson and Lauren Plum and commented on the exchange, "We walked in between [sets] 2 and 3 and Lauren says ‘Don't worry, this happens. You get in your first game, you touch it and it feels like it's going 90 feet.' That's the nerve part."

Perhaps it was nerves; perhaps it was inexperience, but early on the Ducks serve was incredibly inaccurate. The Ducks would have to overcome 6 service errors and general sloppy play as they won a back and forth first set 25-20. The first set looked like it could go either way until the Ducks took a long point from the Eagles to give them a 19-17 lead when the attack went wide for the Eagles. The point seemed to energize the Ducks as they 4 of the last 5 points in the set to come away with the win. Oregon's attack was on point, committing only 3 errors and racking up a .405 hitting percentage.

Oregon seemed to get their serve under control in the second set but would face a difficulty they weren't used to early as Lauren Plum's typical dynamite set game seemed a little off. It did not take long to right the ship as Oregon blew open a tight second set, going on a 15-4 scoring run to put away the second set. It was a credit to Oregon's serve as Liz Brenner went back and took control, forcing the Eagles to react to tough serves which allowed the Ducks to put a lot of balls on the floor.

EWU came out of the break firing, putting Oregon in a hole early on. The Ducks fought back however, tying the score at 8 and then again at 16. Oregon's attack which had been consistent through the first two sets took a major step back attacking only at .209. The Ducks would take a small lead late but the fans would get extra volleyball in the third set. Once tied at 25, Oregon would never trail and eventually come away with a win in the final set 28-26.

"The lack of discipline, it has to get better. Charging in on balls, balls are landing that aren't supposed to be landing. We have to be better." Coach Moore was optimistic, however, stating "If we come out and light it up, then I'm nervous. We're going to have to get better as the year goes on, if we don't embrace that we are going to struggle all year."