Balanced Effort in Sweep of Northwestern

HONOLULU, Hawaii – The Oregon volleyball team hit .421 on its way to Saturday’s straight-set win over Northwestern on day two of the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic. Six players had at least four kills including a match-high 16 kills by Mimi Colyer. The Ducks move to 2-0 heading into Sunday’s match against host Hawai’i.

Setter Hannah Pukis delivered another all-around performance with 34 assists, nine digs, five kills and three blocks. Morgan Lewis put down nine kills for a second-consecutive night while carrying a .571 hitting percentage. In the middle, Karson Bacon matched her output from the opener with seven blocks against the Wildcats.

Gabby Gonzales and Kara McGhee tallied eight (.333) and six kills (.500), respectively. Libero Georgia Murphy was just two assists shy of a double-double with 11 digs and eight assists in the sweep. The Ducks’ defense held Northwestern to a .099 hitting percentage.

How It Happened

The Ducks used a pair of early 5-0 runs to gain control of play in the first set, taking an 11-4 lead on a kill by Gonzales to force Northwestern to use its second timeout. The advantage never dropped below four points throughout the remainder of the set.

Back-to-back kills by Lewis doubled the score at 18-9 before an ace by Daley McClellan pushed Oregon’s lead to double digits at 22-12. Gonzales closed out the frame with consecutive kills for the 1-0 match lead. The Ducks’ defense stood tall in the first set, holding Northwestern to a -.059 efficiency and picking up 17 digs.

The teams traded points through the early stages of the second set before Oregon rattled off seven of eight points for a 15-11 lead. Bacon tallied two blocks and a kill during the surge. Riding the momentum shift, the Ducks went ahead 18-12 after an ace by Colyer. It was the team’s third ace of the set.

Northwestern (0-2) pulled to within five on a kill by Leilani Dodson on the next point but got no closer. The largest lead of the set was nine at 23-14 after Pukis notched a kill of her own. The Wildcats scored the next three points but back-to-back kills by Gonzales and Lewis secured the set in Oregon’s favor.

The third set followed a familiar pattern with early back-and-forth play before the Ducks began to pad their lead. Kills by McGhee and Colyer gave Oregon a 12-7 advantage and forced Northwestern to call timeout.

The Wildcats were within three—UO leading 13-10—after a kill by Julia Sangiacomo but Oregon reeled off the next six points to re-establish its cushion on the scoreboard. The lead was 19-10. A kill by Pukis brought the Ducks to match point at 24-16, and after Northwestern saved two of them, Bacon and Lewis teamed up for a block to end the match.

Sangiacomo led Northwestern with 10 kills (.114 pct) while NU libero Ellee Stinson had a match-high 15 digs.

Up Next

Oregon closes out its season-opening weekend Sunday against Hawai’I with first serve scheduled for 8 p.m. (PT). The match will be streamed live on ESPN+ and available on through the ESPN app.

Season tickets, starting at just $54, are available through the UO ticket office or by clicking HERE. The Ducks’ home opener will double as the team’s Pac-12 opener Friday, Sept. 22, against Oregon State.

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