No. 4 Oregon bounced back from a heartbreaking, five-set overtime loss to Washington on Friday night by defeating the Washington State Cougars 3-1 in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday. Alaina Bergsma led all players with 32 kills in the match and Lauren Plum accrued 64 assists to help the Ducks dismantle Washington State.
Similarly to the night previous, Oregon came out of the gates looking a tad flat and found themselves down 5-1 early in the first set. Seeing his team being outplayed early, head coach Jim Moore was forced into calling an early timeout to stop the Cougar momentum.
Following the timeout, the Ducks were unable to suppress the Cougar attack and continued trailing. However, they were eventually able to knot the score at 11 after a kill from Bergsma at the net.
The latter part of the set remained close featuring ties at 13, 14, 15 and 16 with neither side able to gain any sort of momentum or advantage.
Oregon pulled ahead 22-20 in the last part of the set but was unable to finish off the Cougars, and Washington State took the first set 25-23.
The second set began as another tightly contested affair, and the squads were knotted at 7 early in the frame.
As was the case in the first, neither team was able to garner any momentum and as a result the set remained very close. As the set neared its conclusion, the Ducks and Cougars were still tied at 19 before a 3-0 offensive burst by Oregon gave them a 22-19 lead.
A Katherine Fischer kill set up by Lauren Plum eventually gave the Ducks a 25-23 victory and tied the match at one set apiece.
During the third set, the teams continued to exchange body blows with one another and were tied at 7 in the early stages of the set. Effective offense combined with several errors on the Washington State side allowed the Ducks to jump out to a 14-9 advantage halfway through the frame.
However, the Ducks eventually squandered their lead and Washington State tied the set at 17, forcing Moore to use a timeout.
Turning point. The two teams remained in close proximity to each other, tying at 19 and 20 before a Bergsma kill gave the Ducks a 25-22 third set victory and a commanding 2-1 advantage headed into the fourth.
With a victory within reach, Jim Moore’s squad came out playing inspired volleyball and jumped out to a 13-5 lead against the Cougars.
From there, the set was never truly in question and Oregon maintained a comfortable lead throughout the fourth. In the end, an Alaina Bergsma kill secured the set 25-18 and the match 3-1 in favor of the Ducks.
On the horizon. Oregon will now return home from the Evergreen State and host No. 5 UCLA Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Matthew Knight Arena. That Friday, they will wrap up regular season play in Corvallis against Oregon State; both games will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.