BERKELEY, Calif. – The No. 2 University of Oregon volleyball team (14-0, 5-0) tied its best winning streak since the start of NCAA volleyball play with its 3-1 victory over California (8-7, 2-3) at Haas Pavilion Wednesday night.
With their 25-20, 25-18, 17-25, 25-15 victory, the Ducks matched their previous best mark that it staked to start the 2010 season.
“You don’t always win big matches when you’re at your best,” Oregon head coach Jim Moore said, “sometimes you have to do it when you aren’t at your best and still find a way. Everybody’s sick right now, but we got through it. We had good focus, and our balance helped us get through it. We blocked well tonight, and so did they, and part of it is was the fact that we didn’t hit smart at times.”
Although UO was held to a season-low .205 hitting mark, the Ducks featured four hitters with +10 kills for the second time this season (after it pulled the feat vs. Oregon State two weeks ago).
Redshirt senior outside hitter Alaina Bergsma paced the team in kills and (18) and points (21) for the eighth time this year, added seven digs, and tied the team season high in blocks (6).
Rounding out the offense, sophomore outside hitter Liz Brenner logged 16 kills - one off her season high – and sophomore middle blocker Ariana Williams and senior outside hitter Katherine Fischer added 10 kills each.
Williams’ match-high .350 hitting mark was her 13th straight +.300 total of the season after she entered the match ranked eighth nationally in hitting this week (.444).
Fischer added her fourth double-double of the season (and 32nd career-wise) with her 12 digs, and junior setter Lauren Plum posted her second of the campaign with her 54 assists and season-high 15 digs.
Senior libero Haley Jacob logged 20 digs – one off her season high – and third +20-dig tally of the season (and 17th career-wise).
Also on defense, freshman middle blocker Canace Finley claimed five blocks – one off her and Bergsma's team season high – and her six kills was her second-best tally of the year.
In the team comparison, UO owned edges in kills (64-39), hitting (.205-.127), assists (63-38) and digs (66-59), and Cal owned advantages in blocks (20-8) and aces (3-2).
Golden Bear category leaders included Correy Johnson (11 kills), Shannon Hawari (.316), Joan Caliro (30 assists), Mary McKennon (14 digs) and Kat Brown (2 aces, 10 blocks),
Wednesday's outcome also gave Moore and the Ducks a win in five of the last seven years in the series (2011 3-2, Berkeley; 2009 3-0, Eugene; 2008 3-1, Eugene; 2006 Berkeley, 3-1).
Figuring in all 45 years of Duck volleyball play, Oregon's only longer victory streak came in 1980 - the year before NCAA play started. UO's 15-match streak that year occurred midway through the slate with five of those wins coming against current Pac-12 opponents Oregon State and Washington State.
Looking ahead, UO plays on Friday at No. 7 Stanford (12-2, 4-0) in a Pac-12-TV live regional broadcast. The Cardinal entered the week tied for first in the Pac-12 with No. 2 Washington (13-0, 4-0).