To call Oregon’s success in women’s volleyball this year a surprise would be an understatement. Many people didn’t even predict the Ducks to make it out of the Pac-12, known for traditionally being stacked with high powered teams. But the Ducks stormed through an undefeated preseason and opened a lot of eyes, showcasing their potential.
Now Oregon will face #1 ranked Penn St. in the NCAA semifinals, in what is sure to be a match full of excitement. Penn St. has has been a perennial powerhouse in women’s volleyball having won 5 championships in total, while the Ducks had never advanced to a semifinal before this year. But Oregon holds a record of 6-3 against top 16 teams, and will look to make history when they face Penn St. on Thursday.
The last time these two teams met in 2011, the unranked Ducks went down to Penn St. and stunned the Nittany Lions, defeating them 3-1 and ending their 94 game home win streak. The 4 time defending champions were shocked. The Ducks will look to Pac-12 player of the year Alaina Bergsma to continue her dominance, and Oregon will need strong play from Ariana Williams and Lauren Plum, both of whom were named to the NCAA all-tournament team.
Oregon volleyball will look to capture some of the magic from the 2011 upset and stun the Nittany Lions once again, paving its way to the first national championship appearance in school history.