Sports Desk: Football is Back, but There’s Another Undefeated Ducks Team?
It’s pretty well known just how good the No. 5 Oregon Ducks football team really is. I mean, just ask Arkansas State. And Marcus Mariota? Yeah. He’s pretty good, too. But there is another team on campus who is dominating its competition. The No. 17 Oregon Ducks (6-0) have kept their undefeated season with incredible wins over top-25 competition.
On August 25th, the Ducks followed opening wins over Toledo and Houston with a comeback win over then No. 24 Ohio State to sweep the Sports Import Classic in Columbus, OH. Down two sets to none, the Ducks dug deep to win three straight and keep their perfect season alive.
Oregon continued their road tour with the Baymont Invitational in Athens, OH this past weekend. On Friday, the Ducks opened the tournament with a three set sweep over Wester Carolina (25-6, 25-19, 25-18) in maybe their strongest outing of the season at the point. But the Ducks topped it the next day by stomping on No. 10 Kentucky in yet another three set sweep. And finally, the Ducks took down the Ohio Bobcats on their home court.
The Ducks have been dominant in every aspect of their game. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Oregon brought back every starter from last season, and had one of its strongest recruiting classes in school history. The two-woman tandem of Lauren Plum and Alaina Bergsma make the Ducks a legitimate NCAA threat. Head coach Jim Moore is one of college volleyball’s strongest coaches and has his team clicking on all cylinders. In fact, it’s hard to find a weakness on this Oregon team. Five of Oregon’s six games have been three set sweeps. Only the Ohio State match had any sort of competitiveness in it.
Oregon has made it past the early difficult spots on their schedule in Ohio State and Kentucky. The Ducks won’t play another top-25 team in their next four games (exception possibly being St. Mary’s) and can continue to build before they play No. 5 USC down in Los Angeles, CA.
As I mentioned earlier, Plum and Bergsma are the leaders statistically on the team. Plum (Setter) has an incredible 174 assists already of the teams’ 236 total. And Bergsma has a team-high 55 kills and a .407 kill percentage.
And the team, as a whole, has been precise and doesn’t waste possessions. The team only has nine errors thus far as opposed to 27 for their opponents. Oregon’s attack percentage (.360) is over double their opponents’ (.149).
There is a great chance that this team will be undefeated when it faces the USC Trojans later this season. Where have I heard this story before?
The correlation between the volleyball team’s success and football’s success is eerily similar. Both teams play a relatively light schedule before climaxing with USC. Only difference? Volleyball doesn’t just have one tough game on the schedule. The Ducks play eight games against teams currently ranked in the Coaches’ top-25. Included in that is No. 1 UCLA at home. You know, the defending national champions.
Pac-12 volleyball might be as strong of a conference for any collegiate sport. And Oregon has always been in the backseat to UCLA, USC, Cal, Stanford and more. But this is the year. This is their year. Not only will the Ducks make the Pac-12 tournament again, instead of being bounced in the opening round Oregon will make its deepest postseason run ever.
The Ducks will make it to the elite-8, or the quarterfinals. You can quote me on it. If you’re not paying attention, you’re not doing this whole “being a Ducks fan” right.
Here are the up-to-date stats.