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Oregon Volleyball Sweeps Purdue

The Ducks head to the Elite Eight to face regional host Wisconsin

ATQ-EXCLUSIVE Volleyball Morgan L. Blackwell

For the first time in the history of the program, Oregon volleyball has reached the Elite Eight in consecutive seasons. They earned their match against Wisconsin by sweeping Purdue, 25-14, 25-19, 29-27.

The Ducks started the first set on a 4-0 run and did not look back. The Boilermakers were caught a bit flat-footed and it took the first set for them to get up to Oregon’s speed. Later in the set, the Ducks had built a 12 point lead, 21-9, and Purdue was not able to significantly close the gap.

Purdue turned it around in the second set and held the lead for much of the first 23 of set two. The Ducks stayed with it, and had some of the best defensive performance that we’ve seen all year from libero Georgia Murphy.

With the Boilermakers on top 18-15, Oregon went on a tear in the form of a 10-1 run to take set two, capped with a service ace from Gabby Gonzales.

Set three was neck-and-neck to the end, with 17 ties. Both sides were leaving it on the floor, with the kind of effort you expect from championship ball.

Purdue went on a 5-0 run to take a 16-14 lead, but Oregon battled back and tied at 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27, and then the Ducks were able to put together consecutive points to win the match.

Oregon dominated in all categories. They hit .364 to .214 by Purdue, and had a 10-4 advantage on blocks.

Purdue’s Eva Hudson led the Boilermakers with 12 kills, followed by Chloe Chicoine with 10.

Morgan Lewis and Mimi Colyer were the kills leaders with 14 each. Colyer scored a double-double with 11 digs. Gabby Gonzales brought in 10 kills and three service aces. Karson Bacon was lethal, with 7 kills on .778 hitting.

Georgia Murphy led the team in digs with 13.

ATQ-EXCLUSIVE Volleyball Morgan L. Blackwell

Hannah Pukis also had a double-double with 42 assists and 10 digs. Her numbers don’t really do justice to what she does on the court. You have to see her play to understand why she is one of the best setters in the nation - if not the best.

I previewed the #1 and #2 seeds because volleyball generally follows chalk, and in fact all of the #1 and #2 seeds play in the Elite Eight, with the exception of #2 Kentucky, who was defeated yesterday in five sets by #3 Arkansas.

The regional final is tomorrow against Wisconsin, who - as I noted in my preview - has some of the tallest players that I’ve seen in volleyball. They picked up 17 blocks yesterday in their match against Penn St., so the Ducks will have their work cut out for them. Beat the Badgers, and Oregon will be off to Florida for the Final Four.