Fifteen-seeded Oregon Volleyball (22-10) used nine sets last weekend to dispel New Mexico State (3-1) and Baylor (3-2) in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament in Eugene. Now, the Ducks must head to Minnesota to challenge an excellent Golden Gophers squad. No. 2 Minnesota (27-3) won every set of their first two matches over Bryant and South Carolina by four or more points, and all but two of the team’s set victories on the weekend were by double digits. However, UO’s success against the Gophers earlier this year gives the team hope that this is a match-up built for them. With the Sweet 16 duel coming up Friday, December 7 at 1:30 PM PST, and the Final Four and NCAA Championship also taking place in Minneapolis the following weekend, head coach Matt Ulmer is hoping his team has an extended stay in the Twin Cities area. Listen into thoughts on the weekend from Coach Ulmer, setter August Raskie, and right-side Willow Johnson from Monday morning.
Head Coach Matt Ulmer
Setter August Raskie
Right-Side Hitter Willow Johnson
Oregon (7-0) returned home to Matt Knight Arena to dominate the Long Beach State 49ers (1-7). Oregon opened the contest on three missed three pointers, but soon built up an 22-7 lead. Long Beach State battled with a nine point run to end the first quarter down only 24-16. Oregon’s defense played an excellent second quarter, with LBSU shooting 2 for 12 in the quarter along with eight turnovers. Oregon pushed ahead 50-20 by halftime. The second half was more of the same, with Oregon crossing the 100 point mark. Long Beach State only managed 37.5% shooting from the second half, and 34.5% all game. Six of Oregon’s eight active players scored in double-digits. Erin Boley led the team with twenty-four points. Ruthy Hebard scored nineteen on 8 for 11 from the field and fourteen rebounds. Both Satou Sabally and Maite Cazorla scored eighteen. Sabrina Ionescu only shot six times for twelve points, but added an all time record seventeen assists and six rebounds. Oregon takes the victory 110-48, and looks forward to a road trip next week against Michigan State.
Game Story (By: Bill Braker)
Head Coach Kelly Graves
Ruthy Hebard and Sabrina Ionescu