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Oregon Volleyball: 2022 Preseason Preview

Ducks volleyball is ready to get going in 2022

Oregon v American Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
Oregon v American Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Coaching Going Into 2022 -

Oregon Ducks volleyball head coach Matt Ulmer enters his sixth season as the head coach in 2022, and his eighth season coaching for the Ducks, having served for two years as an assistant coach in 2016-2017. During his tenure as head coach, Oregon has reached post-season play four times. That includes appearances in the Elite Eight in 2018 and the Sweet 16 in the 2021 spring season. His successes and routine post-season appearances earned a contract extension through 2025, which was announced this last January.

Also in January, it was announced that assistant coach Erika Dillard was promoted to assistant head coach after serving as an assistant coach since 2018. Dillard spent her college career at Long Beach State University between 2001-2005. After two years as an assistant graduate coach at the University of LaVerne, Dillard returned to LBSU as an assistant coach, and she and coach Ulmer served as assistants there between 2009-2013. Ulmer was the beach volleyball head coach in 2015 and 2016, and Dillard was the assistant volleyball coach. She took over as the LBSU beach head coach when Ulmer left to coach at Oregon. Dillard has worked primarily with the UO middle blockers, whom have seen great success in match play.

In February it was announced that Oregon added Tayyiba Haneef-Park to the staff as an assistant coach. Haneef-Park also played her college career at LBSU, and was a redshirt freshman in 1998 when that team went 36-0 with the NCAA title. During her playing career with the U.S. Women’s National Team she was a part of the team that earned the silver medal at the 2002 World’s, and also earned podium finishes in 2003, 2007, and 2011 at the FIVB World Cup. Haneef-Park was a beach volleyball assistant coach at Arizona from 2014-2016, and most recently served as director of sport for the Athletes Unlimited Professional League and as a head coach in the league during the 2021 season. Haneef-Park comes to Eugene after spending the past four years as the director of administration for the UC Irvine women’s basketball program. As coach Ulmer said when she was hired, “I feel incredibly fortunate that one of the greatest players in our country’s history is wanting to share her experience with our program.”

Last Season -

Because the 2020 season became a spring 2021 season, the Oregon Ducks did not have much of an off-season before 2021, and adjusted very well in spite of that. They entered the season ranked #14 in the AVCA poll, and reached as high as #11 before ending the season with an AVCA ranking of #24. 2021 saw the Ducks earn their first-ever sweep of Stanford, as well as a straight-set win over Penn State. Oregon ended the season with a 22-9 record, including five wins over ranked opponents and their fourth appearance in the NCAA tournament under coach Ulmer. They lost the first-round match against #19 Kansas, but that does not diminish a solid 2021 season.

The Ducks boasted four All-American selections: Brooke Nuneviller, Georgia Miller, Gloria Mutiri, and Karson Bacon. All four return for the 2022 season.

The 2022 Season -

Oregon volleyball enters the season ranked #19 in the AVCA poll and #4 in the Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll. This is a young team that is comprised largely of freshmen and sophomores to complement juniors Brooke Nuneviller, Gloria Mutiri, and redshirt junior Hannah Pukis. There are no seniors in this year’s squad. The team should benefit from a more normal off-season than last year’s season.

Oregon will be playing 12 matches that will be televised; 10 by the Pac-12 Network and two by ESPNU. The season begins this coming weekend in Portland, with a Saturday match against Long Beach State on Saturday and Portland State on Sunday. Coach Ulmer discussed the upcoming weekend:

Starting with Rice in the Oregon Invitational, the Ducks close out the non-conference portion of their season playing five teams that reached the 2021 NCAA tournament: Rice, Minnesota, Penn State, South Carolina, and Miami. It’s a very ambitious non-conference slate.

Conference play begins on September 21st against Oregon State. Oregon’s conference home-opener is against Stanford on September 25th.

Addicted To Quack will be covering all of this season’s action.

Oregon Ducks Volleyball opens their season this weekend at the Rose City Showdown in Portland.

The Ducks play Long Beach State on Saturday, 8/27/22, at 2:00 pm.

Oregon then plays Portland State on Sunday, 8/28/22 at 1:00 pm. That game will be televised on ESPN+.

Oregon v American Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images