Fifteen-seed Oregon Volleyball won the wildest match of their season on Friday, December 7, toppling the 2-seed Minnesota Golden Gophers in four viciously-fought sets to clinch a spot in the Elite Eight. The Ducks went down early, dropping set one 25-21, as Minnesota’s Samantha Seliger-Swenson dished 20 assists to her teammates in the frame. Coming into the match, Oregon had been 4-8 when losing set one.
That was before pandemonium took over in Maturi Pavilion. Oregon won one of the tightest sets played in recent NCAA history, duking it attack-for-attack with the Gophers for a 41-39 set victory. Not only did Oregon had to dispel nine different potential set-points from Minnesota, but the Ducks officially lost the set for a moment before head coach Matt Ulmer’s challenge overturned UM’s set-point. Redshirt sophomore Brooke Van Sickle, Oregon’s swiss-army knife, then delivered two of her four kills on the night in back-to-back fashion to clinch the set victory.
Oregon closed the match with a dominant 25-14 third set and a tight finish to the fourth, which the Ducks eeked out 26-24. Junior middle blocker Ronika Stone earned a career-high 20th kill on the winning swing, while senior setter August Raskie compiled 10 kills, 60 assists, and 11 digs for UO’s first postseason triple-double and Raskie’s second of the year. Oregon moves to 23-10 on the year and into the Elite Eight, where they will challenge the reigning-champion Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday, December 8 at 3 PM PT.
MATCH STORY (by Matt Tyra)
Minnesota: Hugh McCutcheon, Samantha Seliger-Swenson & Taylor Morgan
Oregon: Matt Ulmer, August Raskie & Lindsey Vander Weide
Assistant Coach Erika Dillard Joins the Postmatch Show