Oregon Ducks volleyball (12-1, 2-0 Pac-12) won their sixth match in a row, traveling to Pasadena to defeat the UCLA Bruins (8-4, 0-2 Pac-12) in straight sets 25-14, 25-12, 25-18.
Pac-12 women’s volleyball is just entering the conference part of the season and there’s a lot of games to be played, but so far there are five teams that are undefeated in conference play, five teams that have yet to win a match, and just two teams in the middle at 1-1.
The Ducks are, of course, one of the teams in the top group. UCLA is one of the teams in the bottom group.
Oregon did a fine job today of making the Bruins look fairly pedestrian. It’s not that UCLA is that bad (they’re not), it’s that this 2023 Oregon Ducks team is that good.
The Ducks jumped on the Bruins right from the first set, going on a 9-0 run to take a 14-3 lead. This clip illustrates a great rally on both sides, and UCLA competes hard but doesn’t have an answer for the Oregon blockers (in this case, Morgan Lewis and Kara McGhee).
That run proved to be too much for UCLA to overcome, and they dropped the first set 25-14.
UCLA played tighter in the early part of the second set. They had a brief early lead and kept pace, tying the game at 9-9.
The Ducks had enough, and turned up the heat. With a 11-10 lead, Oregon went on a 4-0 and 8-0 run to put the second set out of reach for UCLA.
In the third set, Oregon held a nine point lead in the middle of the set, but a 7-1 UCLA run put them in striking distance.
Too little, too late however - Oregon bounced back with a 6-2 run to take the set and match.
The height of the Ducks won the day, ending with 13 blocks to UCLA’s four. Karson Bacon and Kara McGhee were front and center at the net, but Morgan Lewis especially had a standout performance. A few of her blocks came in the form of jumping up but moving her arms to her left, and blocking the hitter’s intended strike path.
Mimi Colyer had an excellent match and led all Ducks with 12 kills. Morgan Lewis finished with 7 kills. Karson Bacon and Kara McGhee each had 6 kills.
Gabby Gonzales led the Duck defense with 16 digs.
Hannah Pukis was everywhere, ending with a double-double of 30 assists and 10 digs. She also had 4 kills and 2 blocks.
The #6 Oregon Ducks have now won six in a row and have swept their last three matches. They come back to Eugene this coming weekend to take on the Washington schools, hosting Washington on Friday and Washington State on Sunday. If you’re anywhere near Matthew Knight Arena, you owe it to yourself to see this volleyball team in action. These ladies are really, really good.