Oregon struggled with serve receive in the second and third sets at home against Madison Edgewood on Thursday night.
The result was a 25-16, 25-15, 25-9 victory for Edgewood.
“We are letting the ball dictate what we do and we are not anticipating,” Oregon coach Jenn Grulke said. “We are not working to put ourselves in a good position to pass. We are not communicating enough on our seams and whose ball it is, and that movement and communication turns into a lack of confidence.”
Oregon junior Grace Engel recorded a kill in the second set to give the Panthers a 9-7 lead, but the Crusaders responded by winning 18 of the next 24 points.
Edgewood took advantage of several breakdowns by the Panthers to jump out to a 9-1 lead in the third set.
“Right now we are not winning it physically or mentally and we will,” Grulke said.
Oregon dropped to 2-10 overall and 0-2 in Badger South Conference play. The Panthers have lost seven straight matches.
Edgewood improved to 11-4 overall and 2-0 in the Badger South. Natalie Ring had seven kills and two blocks to lead the Crusaders.
“We have really been struggling in third sets and deciding matches,” Edgewood coach Eliza Zwettler said. “I wanted to approach the third set like it was the deciding set. They really jumped on it right away with strong serving and defense.”
The Crusaders raced out to a 5-1 lead in the first set. Oregon junior Lizzie Konop had an ace that helped the Panthers tie the set at 7. Edgewood’s Sarah Lazar had a key block and Ella Foti served an ace to start an 8-0 run.
Oregon’s Madi Malcook finished with a team-high 11 digs, and Nicole Cochems posted two blocks.
“I thought our defense did a really nice job of reading their hitters and putting themselves in a better position to dig.”
Engel had three kills, Sara Christenson dished out five assists, and Gracie Gilbertson served three aces.
“We got some swings, but we have to eliminate our errors on swings when we get those chances to attack,” Grulke said.
Edgewood’s Caroline Craig had 10 assists and four aces. Foti finished with nine digs.