OREGON – PORTLAND At the Rose City Showdown on Saturday afternoon, the Oregon volleyball team defeated Long Beach State in five sets by saving four match points. All-American Brooke Nuneviller, a returning senior, led all players with 28 kills, followed by Mimi Colyer, a freshman, and Karson Bacon, a senior, who recorded 16 and 11 kills, respectively.
How It Worked
The teams swapped points in the crucial fifth before Long Beach State (2-1) strung together two straight for a 9-7 advantage. Oregon tied the score at 9 all after consecutive kills from setter Hannah Pukis and Nuneviller, but LBSU never relinquished the lead and reached its first match point at 14-12.
In response, Nuneviller extended play with a kill from the back row, and following a Long Beach attack blunder, the score was once more knotted. When the Ducks faced their third match point, they once more resorted to Nuneviller, who delivered the match’s last kill. To earn a fourth match point, The Beach scored a kill from the middle. This time, Morgan Lewis provided the solution to tie the game at 16 all.
Lewis had nine kills and four total blocks by the end of the game.
Oregon now leads the set 17-16 after Morgan Chacon of Long Beach committed an attack error. Chacon led LBSU with 26 kills in a duel with Nuneviller. To secure the victory in the first match of the season, Colyer moved back to the serving line and fired a serve that dribbled over the net and landed on the floor. She now has two aces for the day.
On Saturday, the Ducks won the first and third sets and were up 24-23 with a match point in the fourth, but Long Beach fought back to force Oregon into its first season-opening five-set match since 1997.
Nuneviller added 12 digs to her offensive output as she recorded her 49th double-double of her career. Along with two service aces versus Long Beach State, the Chandler, Arizona, native hit.312 overall. She, Colyer (16 kills, 12 digs), and Pukis were the only three Ducks to record a double-double (44 assists, 13 digs).
After breaking the school record for hitting percentage in a single season, Bacon continued where she left off in 2021 by posting a.500 mark (11-2-18) against LBSU—and her sister Kameron, a sophomore middle blocker for Long Beach.
Colby Neal, a redshirt freshman, made her collegiate debut on Saturday, tallying seven kills (.357), six digs, and two total blocks.
Elise Ferreira climbed into seventh place (1,576) on the University of Oregon’s top-10 list for career assists during the rally period with 21 assists…
compared to 18 in the first two sets on Saturday, the team only made 10 attack errors in the following three sets (.343).
libero Georgia Murphy reached 1,100 career digs; finished with 12 digs, three assists and two aces.
The head coach, Matt Ulmer, said, “This early competition is vital. We’ve been preparing against ourselves for a short while now.” It simply is different. Your mentality has changed. Can you maintain composure? When under pressure, are you able to perform? We needed to be much tougher because I felt at times we were trying to play too nicely.
“I thought Long Beach State played pretty well, outhustled us for the first few sets, which was really upsetting, but we made some adjustments and started playing a better brand of volleyball,” the player said. We were short on points in the final stretch and kept attempting to perform. I believed we performed a great job, kept strong, and gave ourselves a chance to prevail.
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