Dec. 2, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Dayton women's volleyball team came up just short in their second round match with Oregon Saturday as they fell to the No.5-seeded Ducks, 3-0 (15-25, 20-25, 21-25).
Dayton and Oregon met for the first time in program history and a trip to Regionals in Omaha, Neb. was on the line.
The Flyers hit for a .173 percentage on the match while the Ducks hit .350. Rachel Krabacher recorded a team-high 16 kills and chipped in nine digs. Samantha Selsky added 27 assists, seven digs, and six kills. Janna Krafka had a team-high 11 digs as well.
Oregon used the energy from the crowd to take the initial lead, 8-3. Dayton called a time out in order to settle down and dig in defensively. The Ducks kept control of the pace and used a balanced offensive attack to catch Dayton off guard.
The Flyers struggled to get things going offensively and relied on their veteran leaders to cut away at Oregon's lead. Dayton was never able to put more than a few points together and the host Ducks took a double-digit lead. Oregon used that big margin to take the first set from Dayton, 25-15.
The Ducks took an early lead once again in set No. 2, 5-1, but Dayton narrowed the gap to two at 9-7. Oregon managed to increase their lead quickly though and held a 14-9 lead over the Flyers. Dayton fought to stay within striking distance of the 6th-ranked Ducks, but the Pac-12 members used their size to their advantage. Oregon pushed their lead to 16-11 before another Flyer time out.
The defense started to hold the back line for Dayton, and the Flyers closed in on the Ducks. UD made it a three-point game at 19-16 and started to chip away at Oregon's confidence. Dayton got within two of Oregon and stayed there in the late stages of the second set. The score was 22-20 in favor of the Ducks before Oregon picked up the last three points of the set. Dayton fell into a 2-0 hole after a 25-20 second set.
For the second straight night, Dayton found itself in a tough spot after trailing Oregon on its home court. The Flyers took a 3-2 lead thanks to Krabacher's block with Hannan and a service ace, but the Ducks countered with a few points of their own. Dayton managed to stay one step ahead of Oregon in the early stages of the third set and took a 6-5 advantage.
The Ducks weren't going to stay down long though and quickly answered with a series of kills and aces. Oregon took a 10-8 lead and momentum had shifted back into the Ducks' favor. The score got to 13-11, Oregon, before Dayton called a time out. Coach Sheffield was looking to inspire the Flyer squad similar to their comeback on Friday night against Pepperdine.
Once the crowd at Matthew Knight Arena saw the discomfort on the face of the Flyers, they started to increase the volume and made the atmosphere hostile for Dayton. The Flyers had faced adversity before and still pressed the attack on the Ducks. UD cut the deficit to three once again at 18-15, but Oregon refused to give up the lead. Dayton closed the gap to two at 20-18 and kept the margin under three.
The Flyers had to get something going in order to keep their postseason hopes alive. Hannan picked up a big kill and made it a 21-20 game. Dayton was surging back on the Ducks, but the Flyers just ran out of time. In the end, Oregon took the third and final set, 25-21.
Dayton finished the season 27-5 overall and won 19 of its last 20 matches.
The Flyers finish up the 2012 campaign as the regular season and tournament champions in the Atlantic 10.