Dilara Gedikoglu had her best match of the season, but it wasn’t enough for the Wildcats
Arizona volleyball’s trip to the Matthew Knight Arena on Tuesday night lasted just over an hour as No. 19 Oregon dominated the visitors in every aspect of the game. The Ducks walked away with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-14) victory, dropping the Wildcats to 7-12 in Pac-12 play.
Perhaps finding motivation in the return of sixth-year player Taylor Borup and the senior night celebration, the Ducks were ready from the start. Oregon came out serving strong and, as was the case against USC on Friday, Arizona’s serve receive wasn’t up to the task. A team that averages 1.2 aces per set had 11 on the night and just seven service errors. Meanwhile, the Wildcats—which average 1.4 aces and 2.5 service errors per set on the season—ended with three aces and six errors.
Seven of the Ducks’ aces came in the first set, setting the tone for the match. Arizona head coach Dave Rubio said after the USC loss that young teams tend to get discouraged quickly. It appeared to be the case for Arizona again on Tuesday.
The contrast between the teams was the same across the stat sheet. The Ducks had just six hitting errors on the night while scoring 38 kills. On the other side of the net, the Wildcats had 17 errors and just 27 kills. There were six total blocks for the Ducks versus three for the Wildcats. It made for a quick, easy affair and an early night for the home team.
At UCLA on Sunday, all three of Arizona’s starting pin hitters had solid offensive performances in a competitive loss. In Eugene, only Jaelyn Hodge was able to replicate that in what was an entirely uncompetitive loss.
Hodge led the Wildcats with 12 kills on .158 hitting. She added five digs and a block assist. She was unable to get help from her fellow left-side hitter, though, as Sofia Maldonado Diaz had just one kill in 10 swings, hitting -.300 for the match.
With Maldonado Diaz struggling, Dilara Gedikoglu got more time on the court. She made good use of it with her best match of the season.
Gedikoglu had a season-high six kills on .294 hitting. She committed just one hitting error all evening. She added six digs and one total block, scoring 6.5 points for her team.
Emery Herman was also a bright spot for the Wildcats. The sophomore setter had a double-double with 20 assists and 11 digs. She was the only player from Arizona to notch double-digit digs. She also contributed two of the team’s three aces and one kill for three points.
The Wildcats return home for senior day and a rivalry match against ASU on Saturday. In addition to allowing them to send their three seniors out on a high note, it would allow them to finish the season with a winning record after falling to 15-15 with the loss to Oregon.