No. 12 Oregon Notches Fourth Straight Sweep at UC Irvine

9/10/2008

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IRVINE, Calif. - The No. 12 University of Oregon volleyball team (6-1) notched its fourth straight sweep Wednesday evening with a 25-20, 25-22, 26-24 win at UC Irvine (3-4).

Two Ducks ended in double figures in kills - senior Gorana Maricic (14, .194) and junior Sonja Newcombe (10, .346) - while sophomore and area native Heather Meyers paced the team in hitting percentage (.538) with her nine kills on 13 attempts and only one error.

As a team, UO ended with a .278 hitting mark, compared to a .200 rate for the UCI hitters.

Senior libero Katie Swoboda came up with15 digs, while Newcombe scored her second double-double of the year (and 26th of her career) thanks to her 12 digs. Also on defense, senior Kristen Forristall claimed six blocks, while junior Neticia Enesi and Djordjevic also each had three.

Junior setter Nevena Djordjevic accounted for 39 assists - her second-highest mark of the season that also tied her best for three-set affairs.

In the first set, UO jumped out to 6-1 and 13-7 leads early on kills by junior Neticia Enesi, then found itself with a 23-15 advantage on another kill by The Dalles, Ore., native Enesi. UC Irvine answered with four straight points to pull within 23-19, but a kill by Maricic and an Anteater service error gave UO the deciding points in a 25-20 final margin. Meyers had five kills in her six attempts (and a .833 hitting mark), and Djordjevic had 10 assists and four digs. Team-wise, UO held a .257-.186 hitting advantage compared to UCI.

In the tightly-contest second set, UO led by one or two points most of the way, along with eight ties, en route to a score of 20-20. UCI's Shannon Homan answered with a kill to give the home team its first lead at 21-20. After an Oregon timeout, senior Marija Milosevich got her first kill of the night to tie the set 21-21. The Anteaters scored again on a kill by Homan to go back up 22-21, but UO responded with four straight points on a pair of kills by Newcombe, a block by Milosevic and Forristall, and a set-ending kill by Forristall. Newcombe ended the set with five kills and four digs, while Djordjevic had 13 assists, and Swoboda added another six digs. UO's hitting improved to .314 in the second set, as did UCI (to .244).

UO pulled out its first extra-inning contest of the year in an even more dramatic third set. The Anteaters led or tied the Ducks in the early going, with UO taking its first lead at 8-7 in the middle of a 4-0 run to go up 10-7. After UO extended its lead to 13-9 on a Maricic kill, UCI came back with four straight points to tie matters, 13-13. Scoring again stayed tight with ties at 15-15, 20-20 and 21-21. Maricic then scored UO's next three points on kills to put the visitors up, 24-22. After UCI came back with two straight points to tie it 24-24, Meyers and Newcombe responded with a pair of kills for the 26-24 decision. UO hit at a .263 clip in the third set, compared to .167 for UCI.

Maricic logged 10 kills in the third set - the team's high for a set this season - and accounted for five of UO's last six points. Also in the final set, Djordjevic had 16 assists, and Newcombe and Swoboda put up five and four digs, respectively.

UC Irvine (3-4) was led in hitting and kills by Lauren Kellerman (.303, 13 kills). Taryn Robertson posted 34 assists, and Devon Sutherland had a team-best 19 digs. Three UCI blockers ended with three blocks.

UO's sweep Wednesday was its fifth of the year in seven matches. Last weekend, the Ducks claimed a hat trick of sweeps to win the Kansas Invitational in Lawrence, and also had a three-set victory the opening weekend of the season vs. North Carolina.

Looking ahead, the Ducks host the Oregon Classic this weekend at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore. UO's home opener is against UNLV, Friday, September 12 at 7 p.m., while Eastern Washington and Baylor kick off the tourney immediately beforehand at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, September 13, the Ducks return for a 12:30 p.m. match vs. Eastern Washington and a 7:00 p.m. contest vs. undefeated Baylor.

Ticket information is available via the www.GoDucks.com website or by calling 1-800-WEB-FOOT (or 541.346.4461 locally) during normal weekday business hours.

On Sunday, September 14, the Ducks also play at home and face Seattle at 1 p.m. That match features $1 admission for kids 12 and under. For those youth in that same age bracket that register in advance via the www.GoDucks.com website, a half-hour post-match clinic with Duck players and coaches is available for free.

QUICK QUACKS: Fourth-year head coach Jim Moore raised his Duck overall record to 57-42 with Wednesday evening's win, and is now 409-198 overall in his 20 years as a head coach... Oregon's non-conference record under Moore is 38-3 ...Newcombe's first double-double this year came in a five-set match at Illinois (12 kills, 11 digs) ... Oregon is now 2-1 vs. UC Irvine and UO also swept their meeting in 2006 (3-0).

Article courtesy of Oregon athletics.

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