Oregon Ducks Volleyball Splits Weekend Series With Arizona Schools

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No. 21 Oregon Ducks volleyball (9-5, 2-2 Pac-12) went into the weekend in Arizona with a tough loss to Washington resting as a chip on their shoulder. Oregon followed up a loss to unranked Arizona (12-4, 2-2) with a win over No. 15 Arizona State (13-3, 2-2) to split the weekend and return home with a respectable nine wins before facing No. 16 UCLA and No. 2 USC this weekend.

Much like the match against Washington, Oregon dropped the two sets before intermission before charging toward a third-set victory. Also much like Washington, Oregon lost set number four for a 3-1, 22-25—23-25—25-20—22-25, match loss.

Liz Brenner
Liz Brenner | (Gary Breedlove/Eugene Daily News)

The Ducks totaled up 27 errors through the four sets and lost the block battle 11-3, making Liz Brenner‘s 22 kills and Martenne Bettendorf‘s 15 less useful. Brenner’s 61 swings and Bettendorf’s 48 glared from the page, though Brenner added 20 digs to keep the Ducks defense in business.

Ariana Williams added 10 kills and led the Ducks offense in efficiency again with a .333 attack percentage.

Oregon dropped the first set against Arizona State before ripping off three-straight wins. Brenner again had 15+ kills, with 17 against 5 errors on 51 swings, but this match was Canace Finley‘s as she put 14 kills on the mat on just 24 swings, and added four big blocks. Oregon won the blocking battle 14-6, which allowed them to survive a barrage of 20 kills from Sun Devil Macey Gardner.

Lauren Plum missed her first full match of the year — with an ankle injury — and in her place, junior setter Shellsy Ashen put up 40 assists to her teammates and Oregon’s 48 total assists beat Arizona State by four. Ashen played all four sets on Friday as well, while Plum missed one of Friday’s sets, and for the first time in a while, Plum wasn’t the only Duck with double-digit assists as Ashen notched 20 that evening.

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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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