BOULDER, Colo. — Senior middle blocker Kara McGhee put down 10 kills and hit .909 in Friday evening’s straight-set win at Colorado. With McGhee, the Ducks had three players in double figures and combined for a .333 hitting percentage on their way to a seventh-consecutive win in the series. Oregon is now 14-2 this season with a 4-1 mark in Pac-12 play.
Gabby Gonzales led all player with 13 kills coupled with a .435 efficiency while Mimi Colyer rounded out the double-figures trio with 10 kills of her own. Both also picked up 10 digs to complete double-doubles against the Buffaloes. Karson Bacon added nine kills while hitting .467 on 15 swings.
Defensively, the Ducks posted 12 total team blocks and limited Colorado to a .129 hitting percentage in the match. Senior opposite Morgan Lewis posted a career-high eight blocks, surpassing the seven blocks she had earlier this season at UCLA (Sept. 24). Bacon and McGhee each had six blocks.
How It Happened: The Ducks trailed through the early stages of the first set, trailing by as many as four points but a string of four-consecutive kills tied things up in the opener at 9-all. Oregon used another 4-0 run to take its first lead of the night, going ahead 14-12 during the push. The run ended with a block by Lewis and McGhee.
Colorado (9-7, 1-4) pulled to within one with a kill to end the next rally but the Ducks never relinquished their lead. Back-to-back blocks by Bacon and Hannah Pukis extended the advantage to 21-15 and forced the home team to use a timeout. On set point, McGhee stood tall at the net on a would-be down ball to tap it down for the 1-0 match lead.
The Ducks’ defense recorded 16 digs and six blocks in the opening set.
With the score tied 10-10 in the second, Oregon rattled off eight of the next 10 points to take the 18-12 advantage after a Bacon kill. From a timeout, the Buffaloes got to within four—UO leading 20-16—but a service error brought a halt to their run. The home team saved a pair of set points but Lewis tooled the block for a kill and the two-set lead.
Looking to finish off a sweep, Oregon jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the third but Colorado responded to even the frame at 9-all thanks to a five-point run. The Ducks answered immediately by winning nine of the next 12 points for an 18-12 lead after a kill by Colyer. Oregon matched that six-point advantage at 22-16 after consecutive kills by Colyer and Gonzales.
McGhee posted her 10th and final kill with a tip over the block on the Ducks’ second match point.
Oregon had 18 kills and hit .452 in the close-out third set. Its .333 hitting percentage for the match was its first .300 outing in conference play and its best since an identical .333 effort at Marquette (Sept. 17).
Notable: McGhee’s .909 hitting percentage is the second highest in program history for a player with at least 10 attacks, trailing only a .917 performance by Serena Warner (11-0-12) against Washington State in 2014.
Up Next: The Ducks are off to Salt Lake City for their weekend finale at Utah. Sunday’s match is set for an 11 a.m. (PT) start on the Utah Live Stream.
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