The 16th ranked Oregon volleyball team closed out their non-conference schedule with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-17) sweep of the Cal Poly Mustangs Tuesday evening at Matthew Knight Arena.

Alaina Bergsma and Katherine Fischer led the way with 14 and 13 kills respectively. Lauren Plum sparkled as the quarterback of the Oregon attack, posting 38 of the 39 assists credited.

But as the last tune-up before the Arizona schools arrive over the weekend to open Pac-12 play, head coach Jim Moore was most pleased with his defense.

“Our blocking got better,” said Moore. “Our blocking hasn’t been as bad as it has looked prior to tonight. We just sort of got in a funk that wasn’t very good.”

The Ducks held Cal Poly to a miserly .071 hitting average, while Oregon’s attack posted a .173 average.

“Our serving was a little better,” said Moore. “We had more aces (4) but we missed way too many serves (7).”

“We gave them 13 points – they scored 23 and we gave them 13. That wasn’t good. My frustration with them is we made too many errors in game one but we played well. All of a sudden we stopped playing well and still gave them a bunch of errors in game two.”

The Mustangs proved to be a tenacious bunch, staying within striking distance most of the way in game one, then taking the Ducks to the wire in the game two.

“I talked to my team between the first and second games,” Moore said. “I told the team we need to be the aggressor but we can’t be reckless. I finally just said ‘enough’ after the second game.  I told them that this is not intelligent and we need to be intelligent.”

“We did turn it around and that was good that they were able to do that. They got through it and that’s a good thing for us to learn to overcome that.”

“I thought Kat (Fischer) sparked as at the end of game two. She took five or six really good swings that sort of propelled us into the end of that set.”

The Ducks finish the pre-season with a record of 7-1 and will face Arizona at 7:00 pm Friday at Matthew Knight Arena to open the conference schedule. Arizona State follows with a 1:00 pm date on Sunday.

After a preseason that opened a win over the then top-ranked and four-time defending national champion Penn State Nittany Lions and concluded with six straight 3-0 sweeps, are the Ducks ready for the powerhouse that is the Pac-12?

“Yeah,” said Moore, “I think we are as ready as we can be.”

— Rick Morgan for EDN