TUCSON, Ariz. — Powered by the seniors Karson Bacon and Gabby Gonzales, the No. 6 Oregon volleyball team picked up a road sweep over Arizona (25-21, 25-14, 25-21) Sunday at the McKale Center in Tucson. The win was the Ducks’ seventh straight in the head-to-head series, and moved the team to 24-5 overall this season with a 14-4 mark in Pac-12 play.
Bacon tied the UO single-match record with a .917 hitting percentage, connecting for 11 kills without an error on 12 swings. She mirrored the figure first set by Serena Warner in 2014 against Washington State. Bacon also tied her season high with 11 kills, joining Gonzales in double digits who led all players with 15 kills coupled with a .462 hitting percentage. She also tallied seven digs, two blocks and an ace in the win.
Collectively, the Ducks generated a .425 hitting percentage against Arizona. It was the team’s fifth effort over .400 this season, and third in the last month; hit .406 against California (Oct. 20) and a season-high .442 at Washington (Oct. 29). Hannah Pukis directed the show with 35 assists in three sets to go with six digs, four blocks and two aces.
How It Happened: Gonzales entered the match needing five kills to reach 300 for the season. She took care of that in her first five swings of the afternoon. In the tightest set of the match, the Ducks and host Wildcats were tied 10 times in the first frame, lastly at 20-all. Oregon closed the set on a 5-1 run, taking a 1-0 match lead on a kill by Mimi Colyer.
Gonzales recorded eight of her 15 kills in the first set, doing so on 11 attacks. Sunday was her seventh outing of the season with at least 10 kills coupled with a .300 or higher efficiency, hitting over .400 on five of those seven occasions.
The teams traded points for the opening moments of the second set, reaching a 7-7 tie before Oregon rattled off 11 of 12 points resulting in an 18-8 lead. The Ducks maintained a lead of at least nine points for the remainder of the set, getting a kill from Kara McGhee on their first set point for a two-set lead.
Like Gonzales in the first, McGhee was the dominant player in set two with five kills and three blocks. She finished the match with seven kills complete with a .462 hitting percentage and tied Pukis for the match high with four blocks.
Arizona (8-21, 3-15) opened the scoring in the third with a kill from Sofia Diaz Maldonado but Oregon won seven of the next eight points for a 7-2 lead to force the home team into an early timeout. Bacon was a perfect 7-for-7 in the third set. She had five early, helping the Ducks get out to a 14-5 lead. The Wildcats chipped away late, pulling to within three—UO leading 22-19—after a block.
They got no closer.
After a kill by Gonzales and ace from Pukis, Oregon had match points at 24-19. The hosts saved two match points but on the Ducks’ third opportunity to close it out, Colyer delivered a kill to secure the sweep.
Diaz Maldonado led Arizona with 14 kills in the match.
Notable: With two aces Sunday, Colyer reached 40 service winners to match her total from a season ago…freshman Noemie Glover had a season-high four kills on five swings; seventh appearance of the year…the Ducks held Arizona to a .144 hitting percentage; 16th time this season keeping an opponent below .150 in a match.
Up Next: The Ducks open the final week of the regular season with a Tuesday home match, hosting No. 24 USC on Senior Day at Matthew Knight Arena. First serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Pac-12 Insider.