Dec. 6, 2008

Courtesy of Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The No. 7-ranked and 11th-seeded University of Oregon volleyball team will return to the NCAA Tournament Third Round for the second straight season next weekend after its 3-1 win over North Carolina Saturday evening at American University.

The Ducks (25-8, 11-7) won its NCAA Second Round contest by a score of 25-20, 24-26, 26-19, 25-19, and beat the Tar Heels (22-11, 15-5) for the second time this season.

Junior Sonja Newcombe hit .326, and logged her 10th double-double of the season and 34th in her career with her team-high 18 kills and 11 digs.

“It’s good to get a win anytime,” Newcombe said. ‘We got the job done as a team and that’s what matters. After they won the second set, we were on a mission to not let them take it from us. We’re very excited to go to Texas, but it’ll be all business add we’ll keep our focus.”

Three other Ducks hit above .300 - Neticia Enesi (.368, 11 kills), Gorana Maricic (17 kills, .359) and Kristen Forristall (career-high 15 kills, .345).

Junior setter Nevena Djordjevic had 59 assists – a career high for four-set matches and one better than her 58 vs. Washington at home in mid-November.

On defense, UO combined for 5 1/2 blocks as Enesi, Newcombe and Meyers each had two total. Seniro libero Katie Swoboda came up with 29 digs, and Newcombe and Maricic also had double-doubles in digs (11 / 10).

“We wanted to come out strong,” Forristall said, “ and now we have to finish more consistently and that will lead to good thing. We played well as a team, and still have things to work on as a team.”

“UNC played great and that was good for us,” Oregon head coach Jim Moore said. “They dug some balls that nobody has dug against us this year and that’s OK.  We learned some things today that can help us in future matches. This was much better that we had to play. At the end of game two we realized that we couldn’t be nervous or anxious and we had to play. Kristen and Sonja played well the whole way, and Gorana came on the last two. I thought it was in the middle of game three we really settled down and started focused on siding out. Our passing calmed down and everything got itself into rhythm. We know that if we pass well, the offense will be there. We have to learn how to be who we are, calm down and things will be OK.”

Looking ahead, the third round of the NCAA tournament resumes Friday, December 12 in Austin, Texas, and more site info and live stats links will be available online via the www.TexasSports.com and www.NCAAsports.com websites.