The Oregon Ducks volleyball team last played the Arizona schools a few weeks ago, and swept them both in Eugene. The Wildcats played the Ducks closer on their home court but eventually fell in four sets, 25-18, 19-25, 25-20, 26-24.
Setter Hannah Pukis returned from injury tonight, and her play was quite solid. Kiari Robey delivered the first point of the match, and three of her five kill came in the first set, helping Oregon to keep pace.
After falling behind 9-11, the Ducks came back on a 4-0 run behind some great defense. They traded points, again on the strength of their blocking to pull ahead 15-13.
After Arizona pulled to within two at 18-16, Oregon went on a 7-2 run to finish the set.
In the second set, the Ducks pulled to an early lead, capped by back-to-back aces by Mimi Colyer.
The lead was short-lived, however. A series of Oregon errors coupled with well placed kills by the Wildcats allowed Arizona to pull even, then pull ahead.
After the Ducks went up 15-14, Arizona went on an 11-4 run to put Oregon on the bench with a second set win, tying the match. The five service errors in the set did the Ducks no favors, but the attack errors lead to an abysmal -.065 hit percentage, and that won’t win sets for you.
Oregon bounced back in the third, keeping errors to a minimum and the Wildcats at bay before Arizona tied the set at 14-14. The Ducks went on a 4-0 run and were able to make it stick, ending the third in much better shape than the second, on .378 hitting for the set.
Arizona came roaring back in the fourth set, opening up with a pair of kills. Two kills in a row by Morgan Lewis evened the game and then the teams played even until the Ducks lept forward on a 4-0 run to advance their lead to 18-14 on a Mimi Colyer kill. The Wildcats tried to keep pace, only to have Oregon pull ahead on yet another Colyer kill.
Arizona still had some fight and held off three match points, and then the Ducks finally put the night to rest.
Hannah Pukis’ presence was definitely felt, and she scored a double-double with 46 assists and 12 digs. Mimi Colyer was the kills leader with 18, followed by Brooke Nuneviller with 13. Georgia Murphy added 19 digs on the night.
Oregon can’t help but be happy about a road win where they weren’t always on their best game, and yet prevailed. They’ll have a rest day before taking on the Arizona State Sun Devils on Sunday.