Oregon defeated Arizona in four sets on Sunday, 25-19, 21-25, 25-17, 26-24, handing the Wildcats their first home loss of the season.
The Cats took the 21st-ranked Ducks to four sets, and nearly extended the match to a fifth set, but fell in the fourth 26-24.
“I thought at times that we played well,” said head coach Dave Rubio. “I am frustrated that we didn’t play well at all of the right moments. I felt like we were playing from behind a lot in this particular game. The thing that we know is that we have got to be very good at the service line and tonight we weren’t. They were better than we were. Our serve receive wasn’t that sharp and so that hurts us. Until we can get our full line up back, it is going to be a little harder for us to score against the upper level teams in the conference.”
McKenzie Jacobson posted a career-high 16 kills on .462 hitting to lead the Wildcats. Overall, the Cats posted 57 kills on .199 hitting. Oregon's offense was red-hot; its 55 kills came on .272 hitting, including a blistering start to the match, .424 in the first set.
“I think the scouting was helpful, and the passing and setting was great,” said Jacobson of her big night. “It’s a team effort, so without the passing and the sets, I wouldn’t be able to do it.”
Oregon dominated at the net, outblocking Arizona 11-3 in the match. The Wildcats won the battle in the back row though, outdigging Oregon 69-61. Laura Larson had a season-high 23 digs in the match while Penina Snuka (38 assists, 11 digs) and Katarina Pilepic (12 kills, 10 digs) each had double-doubles.
The Ducks extended their winning streak to 11 straight this year, improving to 11-2 overall, 4-0 in the Pac-12. UA dropped to 10-6, 2-2 Pac-12.
Arizona hits the road for four straight matches, beginning next week in Los Angeles. UA heads to USC on Friday before taking on UCLA on Sunday. Both matches will be carried by the Pac-12 Networks.
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