The No. 2 Oregon volleyball team will try and improve upon their record setting season this Sunday at 1 p.m. when the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal come to town. Oregon (20-2, 11-2) is off to their best start in school history, and could jump Stanford (20-2, 12-0) in the polls should they take care of business this weekend.
Head Coach Jim Moore did his best Chip Kelly impersonation when talking about the upcoming matchup. Both coaches will lead their No. 2 ranked teams into battle in what is a huge weekend for Oregon sports.
“We can’t worry about whether it’s one against two; we have to take care of what we have to do to beat Stanford, and what we have to do for each individual play,” said Moore in an interview with Addicted to Quack.
The highly anticipated matchup will be the first meeting of top ranked schools in Eugene’s history, and if the season up to this point has been any indication, Matthew Knight Arena will be rocking.
“When we won set one (last home game against Washington), that may be the loudest reaction I’ve heard in any match, and I’ve been in basketball games – it was loud,” said Moore to ATQ. “Students this year have been different for sure.”
Students can get in for free, while families can take advantage of a special $12 BiMart Ticket Deal in which youth are invited to a free post-match clinic with the UO players.
For the Ducks, they will aim for their third straight upset of the nation’s No. 1 team. Until last year when they defeated UCLA at home and Penn State on the road, Oregon had never defeated a top-ranked opponent.
Oregon lost 3-2 at Stanford earlier in the year and trails the all-time series 54-4. However, don’t write off the Ducks just yet, they are on a six-game winning steak and will get the Cardinal at home after battling them close in Palo Alto on Oct. 5.
Both defenses have been outstanding this season, with the Cardinal leading the league in lowest opponent hitting percentage (.164) and the Ducks holding their opponents to under .200 in 15 of their 21 matches. Come 1 p.m. Sunday, one side will have to give into the other.
All-American senior outside hitter Alaina Bergsma will look to stay hot for the Ducks after leading the team in kills in each of the last two wins. She will have a tough matchup against Stanford’s talented middle blockers Carly Wopat and Inky Ajanaku, both of whom rank in the top 20 nationally in blocks.
The Ducks must remain weary in not looking too far ahead, though. They play Cal at 6p.m. at Matthew Knight Arena on Friday. Fans who wear pink can get $3 G.A. tickets. The Ducks won the previous match in Berkley 3-1.
Both matches against the Bay Area schools can be seen live on the Oregon TV Network.