Oregon will stay at home for the second week of Pac-12 volleyball.
After beating Oregon State and Washington State last weekend, the 12th-ranked Ducks return to Matthew Knight Arena to host No. 24 Arizona at 8 p.m. Friday and Arizona State at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“We want to protect home so getting as many home games as we can to start and winning them is real important,” junior Ronika Stone said. “We traveled a lot in preseason so we know how hard it is to play away, especially in front of big crowds. We need to get all the wins we can at home and then translate that to the away games.”
Oregon (9-3) is 6-0 at home after opening conference play by defeating Oregon State in four games and then going five to beat the Cougars.
“It was a tale of two matches,” UO coach Matt Ulmer said. “Oregon State was kind of pretty for us, the offense was clicking and we were in rhythm and had a lot of highlight-level plays. Then Washington State was kind of gross and sloppy and tough and we had to fight and find ways to get it done. I don’t know how we won on Sunday, but we did and in our conference, you have to find ways to win those games.”
Oregon has won four straight matches since losing to ninth-ranked Penn State. Its other defeats came against No. 3 Nebraska and No. 4 Texas.
“I think we have been playing real well together, real disciplined volleyball,” UO senior Lindsey Vander Weide said. “I think that showed in the past couple games so I am feeling pretty confident right now.”
Arizona (12-2) split its opening weekend in the Pac-12 by defeating Arizona State before losing at second-ranked Stanford. ASU (10-4) is 1-1 in the Pac-12 after beating California before heading to Oregon State on Friday.
“You are never going to win how you want to win against the coaches we play,” Ulmer said. “They come up with game plans to stop what you are good at and make you uncomfortable. I think we’ve been uncomfortable a lot this year. That was the big point of our preseason schedule to make it so that it is not ever easy for us. I don’t want our egos to get overinflated. I want us to stay grounded and keep going to work.”