No. 7 Oregon Torches Arizona State


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EUGENE, Ore. - The No. 7 UO volleyball team topped Arizona State in three sets Friday night at McArthur Court to extend its home winning streak to 12 matches.

UO (16-4, 5-3) won by scores of 25-19, 25-23 and 25-18 over ASU (10-11, 1-7) for its third 3-0 conference decision in the last four matches, and raised its home record to 9-0 this season.

Senior Kristen Forristall paced the team in three categories Friday night - kills (13), hitting (.600) and blocks (3), and her 15.5 points was a half-point shy of Heather Meyers' nightly team high (16.0). The Oregon City, Ore., product Forristall savored career highs in kills and points and improved on her former marks (10 kills / 13.5 points) from the five-set match vs. Illinois the opening weekend of the season.

The Temecula, Calif., native Meyers also moved into a tie for 10th all-time for UO in career points Friday night (640).

Senior Gorana Maricic shared the Duck team lead in kills (13) and hit an impressive .440, and Meyers added 12 kills (.259) and tied her season high in service aces (3). 

Senior libero Kate Swoboda topped UO's digs column (12) and was followed by junior setter Nevena Djordjevic (8) who nearly staked her fourth double-double of the season with her team-best 38 assists. Djordjevic's assist total Friday was only two off her season high for three sets that came vs. Oregon State in Eugene two weeks ago (40).

Junior serving specialist Amanda Westrick added a individual career-high four service aces that tied the Duck season high with Djordjevic's total in a three-set win vs. Portland in mid-September.

UO hit .227 for the match and improved every set (.175 >.200 >.333). ASU ended with a .167 mark and hit .105 in the first set, .286 in the second set and .133 in the third set.

"We started out a little sluggish, but once we got in a rhythm we came together," Forristall said. "Anytime you face a deficit like we did in the second set it's a pivotal situation because it's easy to get frustrated. Instead we pulled together, and knew we needed to keep pushing and apply pressure to them."

In the first set, UO stormed out to a 9-3 lead thanks to kills by Heather Meyers (2), Marija Milosevic and Maricic, then withstood an ASU rally that brought the score back to 11-10. Oregon answered with a 5-0 run on kills by Maricic (2), Forristall and Milosevic to go up 15-10. UO's lead was soon cut to 16-14 and 17-15, before the Ducks ended the match on an 8-4 run to win 25-19. In game one, Maricic had six kills (and a .417 hitting mark), and Meyers had three kills. 

The second set featured one of UO's most dramatic comebacks at home this season as Oregon shook off a 10-17 deficit to to ultimately win 25-23. After UO's timeout at the former score, the Ducks capitalized on a 7-0 run on strong serving by junior Amanda Westrick (including three aces) to draw within 19-17. Two ASU points put the deficit back at 17-21, but Forristall had three straight kills to force an ASU timeout at 21-20 that only delayed the eventual result on four subsequent kills by Maricic (3) and Forristall. For the stanza, Forristall had seven kills, and Maricic and Meyers added five and four, respectively.

In the third set facing a slight 7-6 advantage, UO went on a 4-0 run to go up 10-6, then extended its lead to 16-8, 18-10, and 21-12 en route to the 25-18 victory. Meyers had five kills among her nine attempts the final set (with only one error). The defense had five of its six blocks on the night in the final set courtesy of Forristall (1 block solo, three block assists), Enesi and Meyers (2 block assists each) and Maricic and Stephenson (1 block assist each).

For ASU, Margie Gordano had 12 kills, Kristin Trayser and Sara Todorovich each had team bests in hitting percentage (.375) with their four kills apiece. Setter Marina Mercer ended with 23 assists, Sarah Johnson and Sarah Reaves tied for the team lead in digs (11), and Sonja Markanovich paced the blocks column (6).

Looking ahead, No. 7 UO returns to host Arizona Saturday night at McArthur Court in Eugene at 7 p.m. Free live stats will be available via the media column on the volleyball schedule page.

"On Monday I told them that people need to step up, and generally, today's game was the definition of stepping up. Meyer's service is just nasty - really hard to take. Kristen did a good job, too. ... Tomorrow the whole team has to hit the ball. We have to pass better."

QUICK QUACKS: Forristall's 15.5 points was a new previous best over her former mark of 13.5 that she not only had vs. Illinois this season, but also in 2007 in UO's five-set comeback win at Kansas State to advance to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. ... Senior libero Katie Libero notched her first kill of the season on a dig that dropped over the other side of the net untouched for the point. ... Oregon has won three of the last four matches vs. ASU. ... Meyer's and Forristall's 16 and 15.5 points were the third- and fourth-most in a three-set affair this season behind Maricic's 22.0 vs. Baylor and 21.5 against Oregon State. ... UO's 47 kills was only three off its three-set season high (50) from the OSU win two weeks ago, and its assist (44) and ace (9) counts were like-wise second-best in three-set affairs in '08. ... Senior outside hitter Marija Milosevic made her second start of the season and replaced Sonja Newcombe who dressed for the match but didn't play after she injured her knee in the first set in the team's win at Washington State last Sunday. ... Friday's victory raised Jim Moore's overall Duck record to 67-45, his Pac-10 record to 22-40 and his career mark to 419-201.

Article courtesy of Oregon athletics.

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