MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Having played three five-set matches in its past four, the No. 7 Oregon volleyball team swept its way past Marquette (25-16, 25-19, 25-22) in Sunday’s non-conference finale. The Ducks hit .333 in the first-ever meeting between the two programs and will head into Friday’s Pac-12 opener with a 10-1 record.
Mimi Colyer led all players with 18 kills and 15 digs, good for her fifth double-double of the season. She had six kills in each set and posted .333 efficiency against the Golden Eagles. Hannah Pukis tallied a fifth-consecutive double-double, and seventh overall, with 39 assists and 10 digs. Oregon has now hit .333 or higher in five matches this year.
Gabby Gonzales and Morgan Lewis each had 10 kills in the match. Lewis, continuing her standout week, did not commit an error in 15 swings to post a .667 hitting percentage. The senior opposite finished the three-match road trip hitting .487 while putting away 3.38 kills per set.
Defensively, the Ducks held Marquette to a .111 figure and had 54 digs, a new season’s best in a three-set match. Senior libero Georgia Murphy and freshman Kate Thibault had 10 and six digs, respectively. Kara McGhee had a match-leading four blocks while Pukis and Karson Bacon—along with six kills—had three blocks each. Thibault also had two service aces for a second-consecutive match.
How It Happened
Marquette (4-7) held an early 5-3 lead but the Ducks put together a six-point surge capped by a kill by Colyer to force the first timeout of the afternoon. Oregon maintained its lead for the remainder of the set, stretching its advantage to 20-13 after a kill by Bacon. On the team’s second set point, Colyer iced the opener with her sixth kill.
Oregon used another early run in the second to go ahead 8-4 but the Golden Eagles responded with a three-point push to pull even at 11-all. The teams continued to trade points but Oregon held the 15-14 lead at the media timeout. With the score tied at 16, the Ducks rattled off five of six points and took a 21-17 lead after consecutive kills from Lewis and Colyer. Bacon found the floor on set point to give the team a 2-0 match lead.
The home team scored the first four points of the third set, prompting a timeout from UO head coach Matt Ulmer. Oregon responded by tying the score at 6-6 on Thibault’s second ace. The third frame saw eight ties but only one lead change, and it belonged to the Ducks. Colyer put the team ahead 10-9 but Marquette stayed close, tying things up five times.
However, at 16-all, the Ducks dealt the final blow with a quick three-point run for the 19-16 lead. Out of a timeout, Marquette never got closer than two down the stretch. A sharp-angled kill by Colyer brought Oregon to match point at 24-21. The Golden Eagles saved the first with a kill by Aubrey Hamilton but on the next point, she sent a serve into the net to end the match.
Hamilton led Marquette with 12 kills.
This marks the third time under Ulmer that Oregon will begin Pac-12 play with just one loss, joining his 2017 (7-1) and 2021 (9-1) teams.
After spending the entirety of its non-conference slate on the road, the Ducks’ home opener is next on the schedule. Oregon will host Oregon State for its Pac-12 opener Friday, Sept. 22, at Matthew Knight Arena. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.