Oct. 11, 2009

Courtesy of Oregon

TUCSON, Ariz. – The No. 11 University of Oregon volleyball team (12-3, 2-3) lost its weekend finale at No. 22 Arizona (14-3, 3-3) Saturday night by a 3-1 count.

The Wildcats topped the Ducks, 25-20, 27-29, 25-18, 31-29 in the tightly-contested match at UA’s McKale Center.

Duck senior outside hitter Sonja Newcombe racked up a career-high 26 kills – a tally that only four Pac-10 players had topped prior this year - and bettered her sophomore career high vs. UCLA (24) as a sophomore and previous season high (21) at Utah.

The Lake Arrowhead, Calif., native also added 11 digs for her team-leading fourth double-double of the season and 39th of her career.

Senior middle blocker Neticia Enesi had a double-digit kills total (11) for the eighth time in the last 10 matches, and hit .429.

Freshman outside hitter Jocelyn Levig came off the bench to post her top effort in conference action this year with her five kills and .625 hitting mark. Junior outside hitter Heather Meyers added eight kills, three digs and two blocks, while sophomore outside hitter Dana Stephenson had seven kills and five blocks.

Keying the offense, senior setter Nevena Djordjevic tied her season high in assists (57) – her 13th +50 assists match career-wise and fifth this season - and added seven digs.

Team-wise, Arizona topped the Ducks in hitting (.302-.272) with the highest mark by a Duck foe in '09, and bettered the .255 mark by Washington State two weekends ago. UA also led the team comparison in blocks (9-7), digs (52-45) and aces (11-4), while UO held advantages in kills (64-63) and assists (58-51).

For UA, five Wildcats had double-digit kill tallies, led by Whitney Dosty (13 kills, .226) and Tiffany Owens (13, .179), and followed by Courtney Karst (12 kills, .250), Stephanie Snow (11 kills, .500) and Jacy North (10 kills, .692). Other UA category leaders included Paige Weber (48 assists, 4 aces), Alanna Resch (15 digs) and Dosty (6 blocks, 18 points).

“They’re a good team and very athletic,” Oregon head coach Jim Moore said. “but tonight it more came down to our serving and passing. They had a good game-plan serving to us, and we didn’t pass well from the beginning and panicked. We also served poorly and didn’t apply the pressure that we needed to. Sonja played great, but unfortunately that effort wasn't enough. Dana also played well, and so did Jocelyn when she was in there.”

The night before in Tempe, the Ducks scored a 3-0 win at Arizona State by a 25-15, 25-14, 25-23 count for its third straight sweep of ASU and fifth win the past four years under head coach Jim Moore (compared to six prior wins in the series dating back to 1986).

Newcombe's 12.5 points vs. ASU and 26.5 against Arizona raised her career tally to 1,552.5 and broke the previous school career record (1,523) owned by former Duck Kelly Russell who played from 2002-05.

The Lake Arrowhead, Calif., native Newcombe climbed two spots Saturday in the kills category to fifth (1,308), and also stands top-10 all-time for UO career-wise in attacks (fourth, 3,617), digs (sixth, 1,032) and block assists (10th, 261).

Looking ahead, UO welcomes No. 15 California and No. 7 Stanford, Friday and Saturday, October 16 and 17 at McArthur Court, with both matches starting at 7 p.m. Fans are asked to wear pink to the match vs. the Cardinal to support breast cancer awareness month.