Oregon sweeps American in highly anticipated game
Nationally ranked Ducks overpower Eagles in final game of their DC road trip
Despite a tough loss, the Eagles entertained 1,324 fans, the largest crowd volleyball has seen since their attendance record in 2018 against Stanford.
AU went into the game hopeful, but the tone was set early on by Oregon when the Ducks opened with an unanswered four-point run. The Eagles picked up some points here and there throughout the first set, but they were too little too late with Oregon obviously commanding the match. AU dropped the first set 11-25.
Going into the second set, the Eagles looked like they had their legs under them, and the massive crowd in Bender Arena came alive as the Eagles took a three-point lead early, hanging over the Ducks 5-2.
AU didn’t let up on the Ducks, scoring 6 points with no answer from Oregon. Most of the arena was on their feet as graduate student Chiarra Bosetti served three aces to fuel the run. AU eventually reached a nine-point lead, but the Eagles stagnated and the Ducks blew past them to take the second set 23-25.
Down but not out, the crowd tried to hype up the team heading into the third set. Familiar cheers of “let’s go Eagles!” along with a new “do it for Wonk Cat!” could be heard from the rowdy student section as the team readied themselves for what would eventually become the final set.
Oregon opened the third set strong, but AU was not ready to give up yet. The Eagles evened up the score 4-4, but that was the closest AU came to staving off the Ducks in the final set. By the time Oregon had reached the 20-point mark, the Eagles had only scored four times, with most of the points coming off attack and service errors from the other end of the net. The Ducks took the third and final set 11-25.
The outcome of this match was expected. In the last 15 years, AU has never beaten a team in the Pac-12, going 0-10 vs. the Power Five conference since 2006.
This was clear in the game, as spectators could tell there was a sizable skill gap between AU and Oregon. The Eagles struggled to even hit the ball all game, never reaching above a 0 percent hitting percentage as a team through any of the three sets. Meanwhile, the Ducks enjoyed a healthy 45 percent and 38 percent hitting percentages in their best performance in the first and third sets, respectively. AU began to hold their own in the second set, but it ultimately wasn’t enough for David to take down Goliath.
The Eagles return to Bender Arena on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 5 p.m. ET to face Colgate and begin Patriot League play.