The Ducks took care of business, easily defeating the Cougars in three games, 25-19, 25-13, 25-15. Redshirt sophomore Alaina Bergsma led the way with a team high 12 blocks, her first time doing so. Sophomore outside hitter Jocelyn Levig led the team in blocks with seven. Defensively, the sophomore libero duo of Haley Jacob and Kellie Kawasaki tied for the lead in digs. It was the first time Kawasaki had done so this season after leading the team in digs eight times in her freshman campaign. Also coming up big was setter Lauren Plum. The freshman from Poway, California had 38 assists, six digs, one block, and one very sneaky kill which she tipped over the net catching the Cougars off guard. It was a perfect start to conference play for an already perfect Oregon squad as they improved their record to 13-0.
The next night the hated Washington Huskies came to town for a huge match where one team would lose their first game of the season. Oregon entered with a 13-0 record and Washington came in with a 12-0 record. In the first game, it was back and forth almost the whole way, but the Ducks pulled away to win 25-20. The Huskies took the next game decisively 25-13 going into the break. Whatever head coach Jim Moore told his girls in the locker room must have worked, as the Ducks came out after the break with new energy, winning the next game 25-20. The final game was back and forth with the Ducks finally prevailing 30-28.
Alaina Bergsma once again led the way in kills with 21, a season high for the redshirt sophomore out of Chandler, Arizona. Freshman setter Lauren Plum had another big night with 49 assists, nine digs, and three kills, including another sneaky kill as she tipped a ball over the net on the second hit during one point. Defensively, sophomore libero Haley Jacob led the way with 17 digs as Oregon hit double digits in digs for the fourth time this season.
Next week, the Ducks fly south to California to take on No. 8 California (11-0) and No. 1 Stanford (10-0). As if Washington wasn't enough of a test, California and Stanford will surely give the Ducks a run for their money. Last season, California reached the regional final losing to eventual national champion Penn State. Two weeks ago, Stanford ended one of the greatest streaks in sports history, as Penn State fell to the Cardinal for their first loss in 109 matches.
-Article by Sean Larson-