STANFORD, Calif. — After falling to a pair of top five teams earlier in the season, the No. 18 Oregon volleyball team got another shot Friday against No. 1 Minnesota.
The Ducks made it count, upsetting the Gophers in four sets (25-23, 25-23, 25-27, 25-23) to notch their first victory against a No. 1 team since taking down Penn State in the 2012 Final Four.
“I think we’re really good, I’ve thought this the whole time, but I just really wanted to see how we would compete against the best competition,” coach Matt Ulmer said. “This is why we scheduled this way.
“I was disappointed with our first weekend because I thought we didn’t go out and we didn’t fight and we let the big points escape us. We found ourselves with a lot of big-point opportunities tonight, and I thought we really executed well down the stretch.”
Ronika Stone led the Ducks (5-2) with 19 kills and six blocks while posting a .615 hitting percentage. August Raskie finished with 66 assists, the most by a Duck since 2012, and Willow Johnson and Lauren Page added 16 kills apiece as Oregon hit .298 as a team.
Oregon led 19-14 in the first set before Minnesota rallied to tie the score at 22 and again at 23. The Ducks scored the final two points on a kill from Stone and an attack error by the Gophers.
Minnesota led 10-5 and 15-10 in the second set, but the Ducks tied the score at 23 and claimed the set with consecutive kills from Stone, Page and Lindsey Vander Weide.
The Gophers won a hard-fought third set that featured 14 ties and six lead changes. After reaching match point, the Ducks committed a service error to send the set to extra points. Minnesota then prevailed on a block and an attack error.
Minnesota grabbed a quick 5-1 lead in the fourth set, but the Ducks took control late with three kills from Johnson and the clincher from Stone.
Oregon will face another top five team, No. 5 Penn State, at 2 p.m. Saturday as the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge continues.