STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — With its eighth consecutive season-opening win Friday night, Oregon celebrated its first win against a top-ranked team and halted the four-time defending NCAA champions 94-home match win streak as the Ducks posted a 16-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22 victory against Penn State.
The Nittany Lions’ last loss in Recreation Hall came in the NCAA East Regional to Tennessee in 2005 (3-1), while its last regular-season defeat came the year before to Ohio State (3-2).
Since 1982, the Ducks had lost their 18 previous showdowns with No. 1-ranked foes, but that all changed Friday in one of the most hostile environments in the sport.
Junior outside hitters Alaina Bergsma and Katherine Fischer refused to be sidelined by minor bouts with dehydration to end with a team-high 19 kills each, and hit .317 and .239, respectively. Sophomore setter Lauren Plum logged 48 assists and seven digs to lead UO to a .277 hitting mark that included .417 and .341 set totals in the third and fourth stanzas.
On defense for UO, junior libero Haley Jacob and junior defensive specialist Kellie Kawasaki ended with 13 and 10 digs, while Bergsma just missed her first double-double for UO with nine digs.
Bergsma also led in points (21) and added two blocks, while sophomore middle blocker Ariana Williams led in blocks (3).
For Penn State, sophomore Deja McClendon led the Nittany Lions with 15 kills. Junior Kristin Carpenter was the starting setter and had 32 digs. Senior Katie Kabbes had a match-high five total blocks.
Penn State’s record-breaking home match winning streak began on Sept. 1, 2006, against Eastern Kentucky. In NCAA team sports records, only three men’s basketball streaks surpass the Nittany Lions’ home court run: Kentucky, 129 wins (1943-55); St. Bonaventure, 99 (1948-61); and UCLA, 98 (1970-76).