LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Oregon volleyball team lost in the NCAA national title game to the Texas Longhorns in straight sets on Saturday evening. The Ducks did not play well and simply had no answer for the Texas offensive attack which was led by tournament MVP Bailey Webster, who had 14 kills in the title game.
The Ducks came out of the gates looking a little hesitant and Texas jumped out to an early 6-2 lead. The lead continued to grow in the early stages of the set and with his team now down 9-3 early, Jim Moore called his first timeout of the match to center his squad.
After the timeout, the Texas lead continued to balloon and with his team now down 15-5 and getting dominated in the first, Moore called his second timeout.
When play resumed it continued to be all Longhorns and a Haley Eckerman attack soundly secured the first set for Texas 25-11 over the lethargic looking Ducks.
Oregon came out of the gates in the second playing a tad better and found themselves tied with the Longhorns at 10. The Ducks continued to battle and after successive points gave them a 12-10 lead, Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott called his first timeout of the match.
After play resumed Oregon continued playing well and slowly opened up a 17-13 lead, which resulted in Elliott calling his second timeout of the set.
Turning point. However, coming out of the timeout, Texas went on a 4-0 run to knot the set at 17 and Moore called for time seeing his four-point lead evaporate.
The set remained tightly contested and when the score once again was tied up at 23 Moore called for a stoppage in play.
The Longhorns were able to capitalize on their opportunities and won the set 26-24 on a miscommunication between the Ducks and as a result took a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
With their backs against the wall the Ducks seemed to play with a little more fire and were tied at 4 with Texas early.
However, as the set progressed the Longhorns were able to grow their lead and halfway through the frame with his team down 14-9 and facing elimination, Moore called for time.
After the timeout the Ducks took the next three points to draw to within 14-12 and Elliott called his first timeout of the set.
Elliott must have got his message across to his team because as the set entered its latter stages they had built their lead to 19-15.
With Moore seeing his team a mere two points from going home at 23-18, he called for time in the hopes of inspiring a late rally to survive. However, it was just not in the cards for Oregon and an attack error by Liz Brenner gave the Longhorns a 25-19 victory and a win in straight sets to become the 2012 national champions.
On the horizon. The magical run of the 2012 Ducks is now over and the team can now only focus on their 2013 campaign. Oregon will lose four seniors; AVCA National Player of the year Alaina Bergsma, Katherine Fischer, Haley Jacob and Kellie Kawasaki but will return the rest of their starters including setter Lauren Plum and outside hitter Brenner.