One feature of the Oregon team -- if not the primary feature -- that appears to give it strength is the number of players who can hit for high percentages on a given night. Below, I've selected four major Duck wins and, for each, the following table displays players' hitting percentages (with number of spike attempts in parentheses). Hitting percentages of .300 or higher, based on at least 10 attempts, are highlighted.
vs. UCLA (11/11)
Junior Alaina Bergsma has been getting the most sets and has recorded respectable, if not spectacular, hitting percentages. Frosh Liz Brenner seems to be getting nearly as many sets as Bergsma lately; Brenner seems to be more of a hot and cold hitter. Junior Katherine Fischer gets fewer sets, but is capable of some big nights. Ariana Williams (Soph.) and Savannah Paffen (Fr.) are the main figures in the middle; they've had some strong matches, but aren't totally consistent. Junior Milica Krstojevic seems to record high hitting percentages whenever she plays, but doesn't get that many attempts per match. Orchestrating the Ducks' young offensive attack is sophomore setter Lauren Plum.
The Ducks have a busy Thanksgiving week, closing out the regular season with two matches against Oregon State, Tuesday in Corvallis and Friday in Eugene.
Other statistical notes from this past weekend...
Stanford soph MB Carly Wopat led her team in its five-game loss to Oregon with an error-free hitting night. With her 18 kills in 26 attempts, she hit .692.
Cal lost not only to Oregon this past weekend, but also to Oregon State. One apparent reason is that the Beavers outblocked the Golden Bears 15-8.
UCLA lost for the second time this season to Arizona, this time via a three-game sweep in Los Angeles. Both teams sided out well, but the Wildcats' percentages for the three games (65, 70, 75) exceeded the Bruins' (60, 66, 60).
Michigan State, which fell to then-No. 1 Illinois in five games in Champaign on October 15, won the return match in East Lansing last Friday, 3-1. The Spartans held the normally powerful Illini to a .165 hitting percentage.