SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Oregon State volleyball team defeated San Diego State and UTEP on Friday at the SDSU/USD Challenge.
The Beavers (8-2) rallied from a 1-0 deficit to top SDSU 23-25, 25-13, 25-20, 25-25-17. They opened the day by sweeping UTEP 25-22, 25-18.
“We played well for the majority of the first set,” coach Mark Barnard said, speaking of the SDSU match. “When we got to the second, third and fourth, we played at a much better level.
"I really liked that that loss of the first set didn’t faze us at all.”
Amy Underdown led the offense with 18 kills; Maddie Goings added 10 kills and 12 digs to register her third double-double of the season. Serena Bruin came off the bench to tally a career-high 12 of OSU's season-best 18 blocks. Grace Massey recorded 20 digs.
“When Amy (Underdown) is aggressive she is very good," Barnard said. "She has gotten better and better each week.
"I was pleased with Serena's play. She has been ramping up in recent weeks and she performed well when the opportunity came.”
Underdown had a career-best five blocks. Bruin's 12 block assists ties for second-most in a match in OSU history. It is the first time a Beaver blocker has recorded 12 block assists since Arica Nassar accomplished it in 2014.
The Beavers took an early lead in the opening set at 4-0 and continued to hold that four-point at 21-17. However, three straight point by the Aztecs closed the margin to 21-20 forcing the Beavers into a timeout. Oregon State used its second timeout with the score tied 22-22. The Aztecs continued their late run to steal the set 25-23.
OSU responded quickly and decisively in the second set using a pair of 3-0 runs to grab a 10-5 lead. The runs kept coming with Underdown providing five kills in the set. OSU turned up the pressure at the net late in the set to put it away with blocks by Bruin on the final two points to take the set, 25-13, evening the match at a set apiece.
The teams traded runs early in the third set and it was 16-16 midway through. A kill by Maddy Gravley followed by back-to-back kills from Goings to take the lead at 19-16.
Underdown registered another kill, then set the block alongside Bruin and Maddie Sheehan aced the Aztecs to push OSU to a decisive lead at 24-19. The Beavers closed the set 25-20 to take a two sets to one lead.
The Aztecs got out to a quick start in the fourth set, taking a 6-2 lead. SDSU errors let the Beavers back into it evening the score at 8-8. Back-to-back blocks by Gravley and Sheehan followed by Gravley and Underdown led to a timeout with the Beavers up 11-8.
The Aztecs closed the gap to 14-13 before the Beavers went on a 7-0 run that included four OSU blocks to go up 20-13. OSU held on to win the set, 25-17, and the match.
The Miners gave the Beavers all they could handle in the first set of the opener. With the score tied at 13, the Beavers kills from Lindsey Schell, Haylie Bennett and Goings to push out to a 16-13 lead forcing a UTEP timeout. Trailing 18-16, the Miners stormed back with a 5-0 run to take the lead at 20-18.
OSU used a kill from Underdown and a pair of wild shots by the Miners to regain the lead at 22-21. The Beavers finished off the set with a block and a kill by Bennett to take the set 25-22.
OSU took control of the second set quickly using a 5-0 run to take a 5-2 lead forcing UTEP into an early timeout. The Beavers continued to open the gap to 16-10 as Sheehan directed a varied offense. Oregon State kept the pressure on refusing to allow the Miners to get on a roll and secured the set 25-18.
UTEP recovered for the start of the third set to take a 7-4 lead but OSU responded tying the set at 10-10. A 3-0 run that included kills by Bennett and Goings and was capped by a Massey ace gave OSU a 15-12 lead and drove the Miners into another timeout.
The Beavers extended their roll with two more points to lead 17-12 before UTEP could break the string. Another 4-0 run gave the Beavers a commanding 22-15 lead they would not surrender. OSU closed out the set 25-17 for the win.
Underdown led the offense against UTEP with 12 kills; Bennett and Goings added nine apiece. Massey collected 13 digs and Schell had six blocks.
The Beavers conclude the tournament on Saturday against the University of San Diego at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion.
They close their nonconference season at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday by hosting Seattle University at Gill Coliseum in their home opener. Pacific-12 Conference play begins Thursday night at Oregon.