The Oregon volleyball team fell in three sets on the road against Badger South Conference power Watertown on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
The Panthers snapped a 13-match losing streak Thursday, Sept. 26, against Stoughton.
Watertown def. Oregon
25-15, 25-16, 25-16
The Panthers couldn’t keep pace with the high-powered Goslings.
Oregon’s Olivia Peotter slammed four kills. Madi Malcook picked up 15 digs, while Sara Christenson dished out 14 assists. Lizzie Konop served two aces, and Nicole Cochems recorded two blocks.
Oregon def. Stoughton 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 21-25, 15-9The extra serve receive repetitions the Panthers drilled in practice paid off in a Badger South home win over the rival Vikings.
“It was a matter of making sure they understood what their role was,” Oregon coach Jenn Grulke said. “There were a lot of reps and inner reflection of how best they can help the team. We are starting to see better team play rather than play as individuals.”
The Panthers (3-17, 1-4 Badger South) made two changes to aid their serve receive and snap their long losing streak. Konop, moved from her setter position to the back row, and sophomore Isa Hyde was brought up to the varsity team to provide another passing option. Christenson dished out 36 assists as the main setter, and Cochems had a team-high 15 kills and six blocks.
“I feel like since everything was coming together like puzzle pieces,” Cochems said. “Our hitting improved because of our passing.”
The Panthers raced out to a 7-3 lead in the decisive fifth set, while the Vikings struggled with serve receive.
Stoughton coach Rachael Gierhart said consistency in serving and serve receive was the difference in the match.
“In the fourth set, we did nothing but miss serves and we still won,” Gierhart said. “It was just the consistency through all of our skills in all five sets. “Our big hitters felt the pressure of the fifth set and couldn’t put the ball away.”
Oregon jumped out to a 5-1 lead to start the match, but couldn’t maintain its advantage.
The Panthers bounced back to win the next two sets. The Vikings had a service error at the end of the second, and Oregon’s Emma Swenson slammed a kill to end the third.
Stoughton overcame six service errors to win the fourth set.
Malcook had a team-high 14 digs for Oregon, while Hyde added 12 digs in her first varsity match. Megan Bloyer delivered 10 kills and four aces. Konop had four aces, and Swenson contributed four blocks.
“She stepped up defensively with a lot of blocks and really great net plays,” Grulke said of Swenson. “There were some really heads-up and aggressive plays.”