EUGENE, Or. The No. 11 Oregon volleyball team defended the home floor on Friday night and improved to 6-0 with an outright win over Penn State No. 18 (25-17, 25-21, 27-25) at the Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks, who did not switch until late in the third set, took the win on their fifth match point, thanks to a solo block of Taylor Borup.
“I’m just very proud of our group”, head coach Matt Ulmer said. “What a fighting spirit has shown all the way through. It’s the kind of people we are and I’m really proud of them. That’s a big win for us. I love seeing our competitiveness and constantly fighting adversity, And don’t shy away from it. It’s a great sign.”
Next one: Oregon returns to its home floor on Saturday night to close out the showcase against No. 13 Minnesota. The first service between the Ducks and Golden Gophers is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PT). In the first game on Friday, Minnesota recorded a 3-1 victory over number 14 Stanford.
Brooke Nuneviller and Gloria Mutiric (.471) led the offensive attack with 10 and eight kills respectively, while Borup and Morgan Lewis each posted seven kills against the Nittany Lions. Defensive, Libero Georgia Murphy achieved a match-high 16 digs with Borup collecting 12 of her own digs. To go along with her offensive output, Mutiri stepped in at five total blocks.
The Ducks rode a blistering attack to victory in the first set, with a 0.448 success rate in the opening frame. Oregon scored seven of the first 10 points in the game, but Penn State (5-2) pulled within a point UO led 14-13 on a block. The home side used a 7-2 run to regain control of the game and led 21-15 after a kill by Nuneviller.
The two UO middles, Karson Bacon and Abby Hansen, secured the opening set with consecutive kills.
The second set included 11 draws and six changes of lead, highlighting the back-and-forth start to the match. However, with a score of 11, the Nittany Lions moved ahead and led a whopping four to 18-14. Oregon made a comeback and Nuneviller tied the score at 19-19 with her second ace of the set. The Ducks took the lead for a 21-20 lead after Hansen and Mutiri formed a block.
On the team’s second set point, Borup found the floor and gave Oregon the 2-0 lead. The Ducks closed the second with an 11-3 run.
With two sets in hand, UO went out to an early 10-6 lead on a PSU offensive foul. The Ducks had a lead throughout the last set, but the fireworks were reserved for the end of the set and then for the game. Nuneviller put her 10 . downe and last kill of the night to give Oregon three match points at 24-21.
However, Penn State battled all three and even drew on 24 all with a block. A fourth UO match point at 25-24 was wiped out by the visitors with another block. At this point, the Ducks’ front row consisted of Borup, setter Kylie Robinson and defensive specialist Becca Morse. Robinson won a joust against Penn State’s Adanna Rollins to create another match point.
At the next point, Borup took on Jonni Parker and came down with the winning stuff. It was her first block of the competition.
“I thought tonight’s game was a really good team performance,” said Lewis. “At the end we ran out of subs and had to do things we’d never practiced before, but I think we committed to our roles at that point. We just came out as a team.”
Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge 2021
September 10-11 | Eugene, Ore.
Matthew Knight Arena
Friday Sept 10.
Match 1: Minnesota defeats. Stanford, 3-1
Match 2: Oregon final. Penn State, 3-0
Saturday 11 September
4 p.m. Stanford vs Penn State
7pm Oregon vs Minnesota
For more news and information about the Ducks, follow @OregonVB on Instagram and Twitter, and @OregonVolleyball on Facebook.
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