After suffering an 0-3 start to its inaugural season, the Oregon sand volleyball team got its first win, 3-2 over Louisiana-Monroe, in the first of two matches to finish out the Gamecock Invitational in South Carolina.
Naya Crittenden and Serena Warner used their athleticism to win their first match of the season, a 21-13, 21-15 victory over the No. 5 spot of Louisiana-Monroe.
After leading 1-0, the Ducks earned the advantage at the No. 4 spot as Shellsy Ashen and Martenne Bettendorf continued their undefeated start to the season with a 21-14, 22-20 victory.
Louisiana-Monroe responded with victories at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots to even up the score at 2-2 and that set the stage for Oregon’s freshman duo of Amanda Benson and Kacey Nady.
All was looking well as Benson and Nady pulled out the first set 21-18 but lost the second set in dramatic fashion 21-23 to set up a winner take all third set. The freshmen responded with a 17-15 victory to not only pull out the match but give the Ducks their first win in program history.
The second match of the day provided very little drama as Oregon was pounded 5-0 by Alabama-Birmingham. The No. 2 spot of Liz Brenner and Tatum Norton was the only Ducks duo to not get swept in the match.
Oregon will have three days off before returning to action in Southern California when they face Cal-State Bakersfield.
Follow Ryan Kostecka on Twitter @Ryan_Kostecka