Ducks Volleyball Suffers 3-1 Loss to Woeful Sun Devils

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Lauren Plum reached 50 assists and Liz Brenner put up a 20-kill double-double, but the stats aren’t enough when you suffer 6+ losses in the last two sets. Oregon volleyball (12-9, 5-6 Pac-12) fell to unranked Arizona State (14-9, 3-8) in a 3-1 match, 25-23—21-25—25-19—25-15.

The Ducks fought hard early, dropping a close one in set number one. They matched the Sun Devils in kills that set and actually outhit them by .070 attack percentage, committing three less errors. Oregon continued an efficient offensive output in the second set, outhitting Arizona State by .030, allowing them a 25-21 set win.

Oregon vs Arizona st. volleyball
A flock of Ducks reach high to block Arizona State’s Macey Gardner | (Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)

But that’s exactly when the shootout of this match began, and the Sun Devils were just more stocked on offensive weapons. Arizona State had two attackers with at least 18 kills, three double-digit killers and four with at least nine kills. And where Oregon’s attack percentage plummeted from .343 in set three to .189 in set four, Arizona State’s clip ballooned to .417 in set three and .441 in set four — committing only one error in the final, clinching set.

“(Arizona State) played very well,” Oregon head coach Jim Moore said. “But there were a whole bunch of easily dug balls, whether that was indecision or whatever it was, we just didn’t dig them. We have been digging a bunch of those, so it was a bit of a surprise tonight.”

The evening was Brenner’s (23) fourth 20-kill match this year, as she hit .385 and only committed three of Oregon’s 16 errors. The Jesuit alumna added 14 digs to lead the Ducks with her eighth double-double.

Ariana Williams put up 13 kills to join Brenner as the lone double-digit killers for Oregon, though Canace Finley and Martenne Bettendorf put up nine each.

The match was the first time the senior setter Plum played the primary setter role for a whole match since (coincidentally) the last time Oregon and Arizona State matched up. Her replacement for the past month, Shellsy Ashen, played for part of one set of this one, and added 7 assists to Plum’s 50. Plum also chipped in 7 digs in her return to the hardwood.

Oregon takes on No. 24 Arizona on Saturday.

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Franklin Bains, contributing sports writer for EDN, writes about Ducks volleyball, Eugene prep sports and Pac-12 football, as well as some odds and ends in Oregon sports. Previously wrote for the Oregon Daily Emerald. Bains writes a weekly Pac-12 recap, and his favorite place in the spring might just be the PK Park press box.

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