Written story (by Khalil Hines)
Friday afternoon, the #7 ranked Washington Huskies faced off against the #20 Oregon Ducks in the first matchup of their top 25 showdown this weekend in Eugene. The Ducks were looking to keep the momentum of their 7-match win streak, however, the Huskies came out swinging early and rode that effort to a three-game sweep.
Washington controlled the pace early with six blocks in the first set and ended the series with 12 total. Middle Blocker Lauren Sanders handled much of the battle with nine blocks alone for the Huskies. She was helped out by teammate Samantha Dreshcel who finished with 16 kills herself. For Oregon, Brooke Nuneviller played with effort to the tune of 12 kills, 11 digs, and a .311 hit percentage.
Head Coach Matt Ulmer talked about the Ducks inability to attack the Huskies blocks -“We work really hard – on how to attack a block, and I thought we were pretty undisciplined with that… when you get in stressful situations, you tend to revert back to bad habits, and we looked stressed…part of that is just us not being prepared enough.”
The Ducks couldn’t get anything going today completing the match with just a .149 hitting percentage, but it was the 23 attack errors that hurt the Ducks the most, providing easy and cheap points that the Huskies did not have to earn.
“I think that we understand that we lost this one, we did not give our best, we did not do what we needed to do, but we know we can. The difference with this group is they know they can… sometimes it’s just that simple, we just need to execute better – we just never really got that pressure on them today,” said Coach Ulmer when discussing the team’s ability to respond to the loss.
Fortunately for the Ducks, the weekend series isn’t over, and both the Ducks and Huskies will look to improve on this afternoon’s matchup on Sunday at 1 pm. Coverage can be found right here at KWVA Sports.
Head Coach Matt Ulmer