Wazzu hands Oregon first home loss since 2021
It looked as if these Pac-12 rivals were going to play for five sets as Oregon led 23-19 in the fourth... But that was before Washington State's 6-0 run sent the Cougs sailing past the Ducks to steal a 3-1 victory.
Oregon's problems started and ended with the serve receive, as Washington State put up nine service aces on the afternoon. In the first set, WSU aced thrice, with Karly Basham's serve scoring Washington State's 24th point, forcing set point. To finish off the match in the fourth set, Pia Timmer sent a ball to the left line, which Oregon failed to return.
Another look at that match point! 👀 Cougs finish with 9 aces as a team- anyone more clutch serving with the match on the line @jagreeny @burdettegreeny @shannonhunt07?#GoCougs #CVE23 pic.twitter.com/vre80ITDdl— Washington State Volleyball (@WSUCougarsVB) October 1, 2023
Oregon struggled with out-of-bound shots and out-of-system returns all afternoon, racking up a season-high 37 errors against the Cougars.
With that, the opponents held each other under their respective season hitting percentages — which were both ranked top-10 nationally — Oregon swatting .119 (its season average was .303) and Washington State hitting .162 (.316).
With this win, No. 7 Washington State extends its win streak to 13 straight matches and improves to 4-0 in conference play. This loss snapped Oregon's 20-match home win streak — set October 31, 2021 — as the No. 6 Ducks tally their second loss of the season.
😱 WSU nabs come-from-behind win
Washington State rebounds from a 19-23 deficit with a 6-0 run — capped off by a Pia Timmer service ace — to take the cake, 3-1. This win cracks Oregon's 20-match home win streak.
😅 WSU wins back-and-forth Set 3
Washington State immediately surged ahead in Set 3 with three consecutive missiles by Iman Isanovic and Magda Jehlárová.
Oregon was hot on the heels of the Cougars throughout the set, and finally caught up to tie the match at 19-all. The teams went one-for-one until Washington State got a 23-21 cushion from two Pia Timmer kills. And just as it appeared Oregon wouldn't resurge from the deficit, three rallies gave the Ducks a 24-23 advantage.
The teams continued to battle back-and-forth, forcing five set points, but a Oregon block error put the set away for the Cougs as they took the third, 29-27.
Washington State currently leads the Ducks in blocks (11-7) and service aces (7-2).
🗣️ Oregon responds to tie the match
Going point-for-point early, Washington State and Oregon played much more evenly this set. The Ducks sprung to a 7-3 lead as two Karson Bacon kills bookended two WSU attack errors. Oregon did not relinquish its advantage throughout the rest of the set, bouncing back hitting .257 to improve their match percentage to .067.
Bacon led the Ducks on the stat board, killing six and adding three blocks in the first two sets. She also put the dagger down during match point as Oregon stole Set 2, 25-20.
🛑 Washington State makes STOP
👊🏼 Cougars command Set 1
The Cougars started the set on a 10-0 tear, their first five points earned from Oregon attack errors (the Ducks were hitting -0.833 after the first five). The Ducks mustered their first kill on the 11th point scored in the match, knocked down by Kara McGhee.
The Washington State defense played lights out during this set; the Cougs put up four blocks (over the team's 2.4 B/S season average), and dug up five. Twelve attack errors plagued the Ducks throughout the set, who hit in the negatives throughout the frame and finished at an even -.200. WSU took the first, 25-14, and are 9-0 this season when winning Set 1.
➡️ Today's starters
Ahead of first serve, here are this afternoon's starting lineups:
- Gabby Gonzales
- Hannah Pukis
- Morgan Lewis
- Mimi Colyer
- Kara McGhee
- Karson Bacon
- Georgia Murphy
🟥 Washington State
- Karly Basham
- Iman Isanovic
- Pia Timmer
- Magda Jehlárová
- Argentina Ung
- Katy Ryan
- Lana Radakovic
Oregon fans, wear 🟢
Ducks fans are encouraged to arrive to the match decked out in green attire, and the first 500 students get a free shirt. T-minus two hours until first serve!
Sunday Fit Check vs WSU— Oregon Volleyball (@OregonVB) September 30, 2023
🗣️ WEAR GREEN
First 5️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ @uoregon students get this👇 FREE Oregon Volleyball t-shirt, plus kids 12 & under receive FREE admission to Sunday’s top-10 matchup at MKA.
6️⃣Oregon vs 7️⃣Washington State - 12 p.m.#GoDucks pic.twitter.com/vnlz4XFvLw
👀 A peek at where these Pac-12 foes stand
These two programs are both on the cusp of breaking into the AVCA top 5 — and Sunday's matchup just might determine who will.
The Cougars and the Ducks are known for their power swinging. The two rank in the top 10 nationally for team hitting percentage, with Washington State taking third at a .316 average and Oregon three spots behind, posting a .303.
Although all of Washington State's ranked wins have been pushed to four sets this season, the Cougars have swept eight opponents in 2023. Leading the defensive effort is fifth-year middle blocker Magda Jehlárová, who has 61 blocks so far this season, at 1.42 per frame.
In this match, however, eyes will be on Oregon setter Hannah Pukis, who transferred from Washington State. On Friday, the redshirt senior put up her 10th double-double this season with 47 assists and 10 digs. She additionally tacked on four kills, four service aces and three blocks en route to the Ducks' 3-1 win over Washington. When Oregon played Washington State in November 2022, Pukis posted a then-season-high of 58 assists against her previous school. Thus, it's safe to say that her caliber of competition will be as elevated as ever on Sunday.
Oregon currently posts the third-longest home winning streak in the country with 20 consecutive wins at Matthew Knight Arena. Washington State is 4-1 on the road, dropping its only contest of the season against Louisville in August — the Cougars are currently riding on a 12-match win streak.
Whose streak will be broken? Who will get the chance to crack the top five? Tune in this Sunday to find out.
"Their intensity and the energy they bring when they get going is everything for our team ... It's awesome how present they've been."@michellachester chats withs No. 6 @OregonVB's setter @hannahpukis post win against Washington 🦆#NCAAWVB pic.twitter.com/ph9KMbeq3u— NCAA Women's Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) September 30, 2023
✍🏼 Fast facts about Sunday's matchup
The Ducks and the Cougars have met a total of 40 times. Here are some notes about the Pac-12 rivals:
- Oregon leads the series, 27-13
- Nine of these matchups have been pushed to five sets, or about 23% of their meetings
- Oregon's home record at Matthew Knight Arena is 13-6
- The teams drew last year, each winning against the other on their respective home courts
- All of their matchups have been in the regular season
- Both teams have registered one loss this season against another ranked team (WSU 13-1, Oregon 12-1)