Needing a win following a 3 of 4 skid, Oregon faced off against the Seattle Redhawks. Ariana Williams set a career best in hitting percentage at .733 and tallied 11 kills as Oregon routed the Redhawks in straight sets, 25-19, 25-12, 25-16. Oregon also tied their season best 8 blocks on the match and coach Jim Moore credits the front line's footwork, "If we can continue to have our footwork be like that, we will block a lot more balls. Once you start getting your feet there, then your hands will go over and a lot of good things will happen."
Oregon got out of the gates fast, using their superior attack to create separation from an overmatched Seattle squad. The Redhawks missed the presence in the middle of Martina Samadan who did not travel with the team. Oregon jumped out to a 19-9 lead in the set. The Ducks would seem to relax a bit in the set, letting Seattle back into the game, getting within four at 23-19 before closing out the set with two straight points. Oregon's hitting slumped down to just .278 after hitting above .400 for most of the set. Oregon also allowed 10 kills but managed to hold SU to a mere .121 in the first. What was encouraging is seeing Crittenden getting in the act early, getting 3 kills making the most of her first start in Matthew Knight.
After surrendering the first point in the set, Oregon would go on a tear, scoring 12 of the next 14 points to blow the set open early. Seattle was not able to hang around with the Ducks in the second as they jumped on them early and for the most part, kept the Redhawks down. Oregon's hitting swelled to .357 as their block held the Hawks, allowing an astonishing -.100. The only problem which marred the otherwise dominant set for the Ducks was a continuing issue with the serve. Coach Moore agreed, "The missed serves allowed it to not be 25-9. That's a little bit of focus. You can't miss five serves in a set, that's not okay."
The third set was also over, early as the Ducks used another big run, taking a tied game at 5-5 and getting out to a 12-7 lead. After 5-5 the Redhawks would get no closer to than two points for the remainder of the match. Oregon continued to up the ante with their hitting, going for .519 on the attack, committing only three errors despite having the most kills of any of the sets at 17.
One of Moore's concerns from last week seemed to be addressed as Liz Brenner got fewer swings than the 44 she saw against Portland State as she, Williams and Canace Finley formed a balanced attack for the Ducks. They are going to need that balance as the season moves forward and gets to the Pac-12 season. Oregon now goes off to Fresno for a tournament before taking a week off and opening conference play. The move was planned by Coach Moore and hopes the team can continue to gel as a unit. They open conference play against Oregon State in Corvallis on the 25th.
JF Trochez 2013