The Oregon State volleyball team turned to its defense to earn a 3-1 win over Pacific on Friday night at Gill Coliseum.
Second-year coach Mark Barnard said his squad needed to work on blocking following Friday morning’s 3-0 win over Idaho. The Beavers responded Friday evening by establishing a presence at the net from the outset.
OSU rejected Pacific attackers 13 times in the four-set match including turning back the Tigers five times in the opening stanza.
“Our block really held up well tonight,” Barnard said. “We were much better than earlier in the day. We also served really well early on and then got it back together later in the match. When we were on with our serve it really kept them out of system and when they were out of system it was much easier going.”
The Beavers, who moved to 2-0 with the victory, were firing darts from the service line, registering 12 aces against the Tigers (0-2).
“We were really on and playing very well in that first set,” Barnard said. “Then we let it get away from us in Set 2 and had to pull back together later. With our youth we can do some really amazing things, but we may ebb and flow a bit, too.”
OSU dominated the opening set 25-8, before dropping its first set of the year, 21-25, in the second. The Beavers closed out the match in Sets 3 and 4 with scores of 25-18 and 25-14.
Senior Mary-Kate Marshall led the Beavers with 16 kills and added four service aces, while Kory Cheshire added 10 kills and six blocks. Maddy Gravley posted a career-best eight kills and tied Cheshire for the team-lead with six blocks. Junior libero Kayla Ellis led three Beavers in double-digits with 19 digs.
The victory makes Oregon State 2-0 to start the season for the first time since 2014.
The Beavers swept Idaho in the opener. Set scores were 25-17, 25-18, 25-10.
Marshall led the Beavers with 14 kills on 33 swings with no errors and added a team-leading 12 digs.
Cheshire was the only other Beaver to post double digit kills with 10 and tied for a team-best two service aces with jEllis. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Haylie Bennett recorded seven kills and four blocks in the win.