Oregon and Texas’s women’s volleyball teams play for the national championship at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Oregon beat Penn State 3-1 on Thursday in the Ducks first ever appearance in the Final Four while Texas ended the Cinderella run of the unranked Michigan Wolverines in a five set thriller.
Oregon got off to a nervous start, falling behind 9-3 and forcing head coach Jim Moore to spend an early timeout. The Ducks continued to make mental mistakes and Texas continued to capitalize on them, expanding their lead to 15-5 by the time Moore used his final timeout of the set, but it still wasn’t enough to right the ship as the Ducks nightmare start continued as Texas won the first set easily, holding Oregon to just 11 points, the Ducks worst set of the season.
Set two had a much more even feel from the start with neither team able to open up more than a one point lead until an Ariana Williams kill gave the Ducks a 12-10 lead prompting Texas to take their first timeout of the match. Oregon pushed the tempo out of the timeout and continued to try and shift the momentum back in their favor opening up a 17-13 lead and forcing Texas to take their second timeout. Just as it looked like the Ducks had found their stride the Longhorns evened the score with four straight points, and it was once again Moore’s turn to call timeout. The Ducks looked to have found their stride but Texas scored four of the last five points and took the second set victory 26-24.
The Ducks stayed within striking distance in the third set but Texas pulled away late and won the final frame 25-19 to finish off the sweep.