BVB opened their season today at the Cactus Classic in Tuscon, AZ. The Ducks battled the Sun Devils and the Wildcats, with both receiving preseason AVCA votes and Arizona being ranked #18.
Beach volleyball involves five teams of two players, and the best of three sets wins the individual games.
The first games were against the ASU Sun Devils, and ASU took the match 4-1. ASU’s Lexi Sweeney and Kylie Wickley defeated Oregon’s Chloe Brown and Zoe Almanza, 21-18, 14-21, 13-15. Oregon’s Bea Wetton and Ella Tyus earned the Ducks’ only point in the match with a sweep against Anya Pemberton and Ivey Weber, 23-21, 21-13. Sarah Waters and Taryn Ames swept Abby Pelvin and Batia Rotshtein, 21-13, 21-13. Kate Fitzgerald and Rylie Kael swept Ashley Schroeder and Natasha George, 21-18, 21-19. Carys Thomas and Adriana Nieves Papaleo defeated Lolo Folau and Valerie Peterson, 13-21, 14-21.
The second match pitted the Ducks against the #18 Arizona Wildcats, with AZ sweeping for all five points. Alex Parkhurst and Sarah Blacker defeated Chloe Brown and Zoe Almanza, 14-21, 20-22. Abby Russell and Hope Shannon defeated Bea Wetton and Ella Tyus, 17-21, 21-18, 21-23. Alana Rennie and Grace Cook defeated Abby Pelvin and Batia Rotshtein, 16-21, 6-21. Kylee Fitzsimmons and Caroline White defeated Ashley Schroeder and Natasha George, 14-21, 14-21. Finally, Annie Kost and Miranda Erro defeated Lolo Folau and Valerie Peterson, 13-21, 16-21.
The Cactus Classic resumes on Saturday, with matches against UTEP and Boise State.
The first three games of Oregon’s series against UC Santa Barbara was moved from southern California to Eugene because of severe weather in So Cal. Just wrap your head around that for a moment: In late February, Eugene has better weather than California so three of the four games have to be played up north.
The Gauchos hit a home run in the 3rd inning for two runs, and a grand slam in the 7th, and those two homers accounted for all of UCSB’s run production as they handed Oregon their first loss of the season, 2-6.
Oregon starter Jace Stoffal pitched reasonably well in 3.0 innings of play, but in giving up the HR Stoffal picked up the loss and starts his season at 0-1.
In the fifth inning, Drew Cowley halved the UCSB lead with an RBI single to pull the Ducks to 1-2.
Logan Mercado relived Stoffal and had control issues, walking six batters in his 3.2 innings. The walks were not a factor in the grand slam that Mercado gave up in the 7th, but instead were indicative of the problems that Mercado was having with ball placement.
Down 1-6, the Ducks picked up a run in the bottom of the 8th on a sacrifice fly by Josiah Cromwick.
Tomorrow, Oregon hosts a double header with UCSB. The first game is at 11:05 PT, with Leo Uelmen getting the start. The second game is at 3:05 pm, and Matthew Grabmann has the start for Oregon. Both games can be viewed on Oregon Live Stream.
The Ducks began their games in the Mary Nutter Classic with a morning game against Cal State Fullerton, followed by an afternoon match vs. #19 Northwestern.
In the first game, Morgan Scott pitched well for 5.1 innings but picked up three runs, all unearned.
Scott ate the loss and her record stands at 2-1. Stevie Hansen pitched the other 1.2 innings, giving up the other two runs as CSF blanked the Ducks, 0-5.
Oregon shook off the loss against CSF and won the second game of the doubleheader, topping #19 Northwestern, 2-1. Stevie Hansen started for the Ducks and with the win improved to 5-2 on the season. Both Hansen and Northwestern’s Lauren Boyd pitched well, with both only allowing one run through six innings.
Oregon drew first blood in the third inning when Terra McGowan knocked a single to center field, bringing home Kyla Morris.
The Wildcats tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run:
Hansen pitched the 7 inning victory, and Boyd gave up the go-ahead run in the top of the 7th, giving the Ducks the split. Oregon took the lead off an Allee Bunker RBI single in the seventh.
Oregon has their work cut out for them today as they face their toughest competition of the Mary Nutter Classic. Saturday is also a double header, with the first game against #3 Florida at 10:00 and then the 3:00 match is against #24 Missouri.