No. 13 Oregon Ducks Open Road Trip With Win Against Howard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The No. 13 Oregon volleyball team opened its three-match road swing Thursday with a 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-22) win over Howard.

Playing less than an hour from home, Taylor Borup put down a match-high 11 kills against the Bison.

The Ducks improved to 7-1 with the sweep.

Defensively, Oregon limited Howard to a .139 hitting percentage to continue its streak of holding the opposition under .200 in each of the eight matches so far this season. Libero Georgia Murphy collected 14 digs in the win while Abby Hansen and Morgan Lewis each had four total blocks.

Karson Bacon (6-0-10) and Gloria Mutiri (7-0-12) combined for 13 kills on 22 swings with zero errors, good for a .591 hitting percentage.

The Ducks remain in the nation’s capital for two matches Friday, beginning with a 10 a.m. (PT) meeting with Harvard. Oregon closes out the day against host American at 4 p.m. The Ducks’ next home match is Wednesday, Sept. 22, for the team’s Pac-12 opener against Oregon State.

Oregon jumped out to a 10-2 advantage in the first set. Taylor Williams, playing in her first match of the season, tallied three kills during the Ducks’ quick start. The home team rattled off the next five points to get within striking distance but Oregon maintained its edge throughout the set. Howard (1-7) pulled to within one late in the set—UO led 22-21—but the Ducks responded with the final three points to take a 1-0 match lead.

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The Bison controlled the early stages of set two, winning seven of the first 10 points. Howard went on to lead 15-7 before Oregon steadied itself. Using a 15-4 surge, the Ducks rallied and seized control of play. Abby Hansen, in off the bench, energized the Ducks with three kills during the run. She had another kill to put Oregon ahead, 24-21.

Howard fought off the three set points and tied things up at 24-all but followed up with a service error to give UO a fourth opportunity to close out the game. Elise Ferreira went back to the service line and delivered an ace to give the Ducks a two-set lead.

Oregon had eight services aces in Thursday’s match with two each from Ferriera, Murphy and Becca Morse. Ferriera also posted 24 assists and nine digs against the Bison.

The teams traded points throughout the first half of the third set but a four-point run by Howard gave the home team an 18-15 advantage. However, the Ducks rallied together to win eight of the next nine points for a 23-19 lead, forcing a timeout by the Bison. Bacon had two kills while Hansen was part of three blocks during the decisive run.

Once again, Howard fought back and was within one point—UO led 23-22—when Borup recorded back-to-back kills to end the match. On the final play, head coach Matt Ulmer had a successful challenge to overturn a call that Borup’s attack landed wide.

Kiari Robey made her first career start and had one kill on two attacks … Daley McClellan made her first career appearance, serving for Bacon in the first set.