The fifth ranked Oregon Ducks volleyball team takes the floor tonight and tomorrow against both Washington schools. The Ducks (14-1, 5-1) host Washington State (10-8, 0-6) tonight at Matthew Knight Arena and welcome the second ranked Washington Huskies (15-0, 6-0) tomorrow. The match against Washington State is set for 6:00 pm PT and 7:00 pm PT for Washington.
The team has not played since October 5th when they lost to #7 Stanford on the road by a 3-2 score. In the loss, senior Alaina Bergsma was tied for the team lead with 19 kills and added 19.5 points. Sophomore Liz Brenner led the team with 24.5 points and chipped in with 19 kills herself. The Pac-12 leader in assists, junior Lauren Plum, had 59 in the game. Oregon had 71 assists overall.
Prior to the loss to Stanford, the Ducks defeated California two days earlier by a 3-1 score. Bergsma led the team with 18 kills and 21 points in the match and Brenner had 16 kills and 16 points. Plum had 54 of the team’s 63 assists.
Washington State is currently last in the Pac-12 standings but this should not be looked at as an easy win. The Cougars are currently the fourth ranked team in the conference in both blocks and service aces. Blocking especially can keep them in the game as Oregon is last in the Pac-12 in blocks.
Oregon will have to keep a close eye on sophomore hitter Jaicee Harris. The 5-foot-11 Harris ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in both kills and points. Another key player for Washington State is junior setter Camryn Irwin. Irwin is the fifth ranked player in the Pac-12 in assists and is sixth in service aces. Other notable players are junior Marcelina Glab and freshman Kate Sommer. Glab is the sixth best blocker in the Pac-12 while the freshman is ninth in digs.
The Washington Huskies sit at the top of the Pac-12 standings with a one game lead over the Ducks. The Huskies bring in the Pac-12’s top ranked team in hitting percentage, blocks and service aces. As the number one team in the Pac-12 in blocks, Washington places four of the top ten players in blocks. Senior Kelcey Dunaway places third, senior Amanda Gil is fourth, senior Kylin Munoz ranks ninth and freshman Lianna Sybeldon is tenth.
Duck fans should also know the names of Kaleigh Nelson, Krista Vansant, Katy Beals and Jenna Orlandini. Nelson, a sophomore, is the seventh best player in the Pac-12 in hitting percentage while teammate Munoz is ninth. Vansant is a sophomore that ranks sixth in the conference in kills and fourth in points. The freshman Beals is third in service aces and the junior Orlandini is eighth in digs.
The Ducks go into the matchups this weekend as the third best team in the conference in hitting percentage, second in service aces and first in both assists and kills. Bergsma is second in the Pac-12 in both kills and points and tenth in service aces.
Other league leaders for Oregon are junior Ariana Williams, senior Katherine Fischer and senior Haley Jacob. Williams is fourth overall in hitting percentage, Fischer is second in service aces and Jacob is fifth in digs.