Oregon led Oregon State two sets to one, but the volleyball match didn’t seem that close.
“If this was basketball after the third set, we’d be up by 30 points after three quarters,” Oregon coach Matt Ulmer said. “Instead it is volleyball, so it is 2-1.”
The 12th-ranked Ducks added another lopsided score in the fourth set to defeat the Beavers 25-12, 23-25, 25-14, 25-15 in the Pac-12 opener for both teams in front of 4,589 Thursday night at Matthew Knight Arena.
Ulmer compared it to Oregon’s last match at Hawaii when the Ducks went up 2-0 by winning the second set 25-10, but then dropped two straight sets before winning in five.
“I don’t think that we let up, but we start to feel to comfortable,” said senior Lindsey Vander Weide, who led the Ducks with 14 kills. “We need to keep that mindset all the time.”
After dropping the second set to fall into a tie, Oregon (8-3) had 50 points compared to 29 for OSU (10-3) the rest of the way.
“When things get tight, we are not getting tight and that is great,” Ulmer said. “We are able to keep going point for point. Oregon State made some good plays and won some long rallies and that is what got them that set. We were still playing well in those tight sets. Then if they back down at all and we are still playing at that level, we just kind of cruise. It is a good sign for us that we are not playing up and down. They played up in the second set and the same thing happened when Hawaii elevated their game, but they were not able to sustain it and we took it over. For us, we have to recognize when teams are gunning it up and we have to be a little cleaner.”
Ronika Stone had 13 kills and Lauren Page had 12 as the Ducks finished with 61. Senior August Raskie had 50 assists.
“This past week we worked on increasing the tempo of our offense and playing a little faster,” Ulmer said. “August had a good week of practice and we tried different tactics with her to feel comfortable running the offense. I think that was her best match since she’s been here. If she continues to learn how to run our offense, then we have a real high ceiling.”
The first set was tied 9-9 before Brooke Van Sickle got a kill that started a run of eight straight points for the Ducks.
Oregon’s last lead in the second set was 3-2, but the Ducks tied it 21-21 before Haylie Bennett put the Beavers back into the lead. Page got the Ducks within 24-23, but an attack error on the next point ended the set.
“They were definitely playing well, but they didn’t do anything we were not prepared for,” Vander Weide said. “We were not disciplined in the second set. That was more on us.”
Oregon scored five straight points early in the third set before Oregon State closed within 11-9. The Ducks followed with the next four points.
Oregon went ahead 10-3 in the fourth set and OSU never got closer than four points. After the Beavers closed within 19-15, Oregon got the final six points, culminating with a kill from Willow Johnson.
Amy Underdown had 14 kills and Maddie Goings added 10 for the Beavers, who lost Bennett to an injury in the third set.