Tucson, Ariz. ?- Freshman Whitney Dosty posted a career-high 29 kills to lead the Arizona volleyball team (11-15, 2-12 Pac-10) to an upset victory over No. 24 Oregon (17-6, 7-6 Pac-10) in five games on Thursday night in McKale Center. Game scores were 29-31, 30-25, 26-30, 30-23, and 15-8.
Arizona snapped a season-long seven match losing streak by hitting .284 (79-27-183) as a team, the third-highest mark for the Wildcats this season. Oregon hit .222 (70-29-185) in the match. The Wildcats also posted 19.0 team blocks, as four Wildcats posted double-figure kills on the night.
Individually for Arizona, Dosty’s career-best 29 kills came on a .365 (29-6-63) hitting percentage, as she became the first Wildcat this season to break the 20-kill plateau. Senior Stephanie Butkus registered a season-high 69 assists, three-shy of her career-high mark of 72 set on Sept. 5, 2004 at Hawaii.
Sophomores Randy Goodenough and Brooke Buringrud each posted 15 kills apiece, and freshman Jacy Norton finished with a career-best 11 kills and eight blocks.
“If you look at the stats, we did not have that many errors, which gave us the opportunity to score,” head coach Dave Rubio said. “I thought our serving was terrific. We came in with the mindset of competing, and mid-way through the first game, our attitude changed the dynamic of the match.”
Game one went down to the wire as the Wildcats scratched their way back after being down by 13 points before falling 31-29. Oregon started the match out hot, jumping to an early 10-2 advantage over Arizona. The Ducks took their biggest lead at 25-12 before Arizona went on a scoring tear, ripping nine-consecutive points to cut the deficit to 25-21. Oregon would snap the run with two-straight points to take a 27-21 lead, but Arizona responded with five-consecutive points to trail 27-26. Arizona would catch Oregon at 29-29, but the Ducks held on with the final two points of the game for a 31-29 win.
Arizona out-hit Oregon in the first game .250 (18-8-40) to .238 (16-6-42), as Dosty posted 11 kills on a .667 (11-1-15) hitting percentage in game one alone.
The Wildcats continued to play well in the second game, riding a .286 (20-8-42) hitting percentage for a 30-25 game-two win. The Ducks and the Wildcats battled it out to an 11-11 tie before UA used a mini 4-0 run to lead 15-11. Arizona would keep at least a two-point cushion down the stretch to win by five. UA limited the Ducks to a .209 (16-7-43) hitting mark in the second game.
Oregon and Arizona battled it out in game-three until the Ducks pulled away at the end for a 30-26 win. Arizona led early, owning a 13-9 advantage before the Ducks put together a 4-0 mini run to tie things up at 13-13. The game remained deadlocked at 24-24 until Oregon outscored Arizona 6-2 down the stretch for the four-point win. Oregon out-hit Arizona for the first time in the match at .227 (16-6-44) to .209 (16-7-43).
Arizona didn’t quit in the fourth game, responding with a 30-23 win to send the match to a fifth game. The Wildcats trailed early on at 8-5, but rallied to tie the game at 9-9. With the game tied at 15-15, UA scored three-consecutive points to make some breathing room at 18-15. Arizona kept the lead at 22-19 before outscoring the Ducks 8-4 down the stretch to stay alive. Arizona out-hit Oregon in the fourth game .370 (19-2-46) to .308 (17-5-39).
Arizona jumped all over Oregon to start the fifth and decisive game, and cruised to a 15-8 match-clinching win. The Wildcats scored the first three points of the match before sprinting to a commanding 10-3 lead. Arizona would go up 14-4 on Oregon, but the Ducks wouldn’t go down easily. Oregon rallied for four-straight points before Arizona could seal the deal.
The match was Arizona’s first game-five win of the season, and the Cats’ first Pac-10 home win in eight tries. Arizona has now won 15 of the last 16 matches against the Ducks, as Oregon broke the Wildcats’ 14-match winning streak in the series earlier this season on Oct. 13 in Eugene, Ore.
Arizona will next host Oregon State on Friday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. in McKale Center. The Arizona seniors will be honored before the match.