Beavers, Ducks clash in Eugene for volleyball

OSU plays the role of spoiler in 2015 Volleyball Civil War

The Civil War tends to bring out the emotional side of many fans within the state of Oregon. One of the longest standing rivalries in the nation, many Oregonian’s inner-excitement can occasionally boil over when Oregon and Oregon State clash. The OSU volleyball team is no exception.

“Our last game against them last year was probably my favorite Civil War game, given how badly we beat them,” said senior middle blocker Haley Clarke. “We crushed them.” 

Referring to last year’s 3-1 tournament-clinching victory on Nov. 28, 2014, Clarke is excited for one last opportunity to squash the Ducks. 

“It’s unfortunate we’re not looking at the tournament ourselves, but we’re looking to take some people down,” Clarke said. “Especially our rivals down south.” 

The Beavers (5-23, 3-15 Pac-12) will play their last two games of the season this week, playing Arizona (18-12, 8-10) at home on Wednesday and Oregon (14-13, 8-10) in Eugene on Friday.  

It is a bittersweet week for seniors Clarke and defensive specialist Darby Reeder as their time in Corvallis comes to an end. 

“It’s definitely sad, my career here at Oregon State is coming to an end, but I’m trying not to focus on that,” Clarke said. “I’m trying to live in the moment and just enjoy every day, every minute, every second that I’m on this team.”

Reeder is similarly soaking up the rest of her time with the team.

“Going into the next couple days, it’s about getting the most I can out of the least amount of time possible,” Reeder said. 

All emotions aside, Reeder, a native of Zephyr Cove, Nevada, has admittedly become fully immersed in the Civil War traditions during her four-year career at OSU.

“It’s nice to come up here and be a part of something so competitive. Being from Nev., we don’t really have anything like that,” Reeder said. “Playing Oregon, we come in with an extra gear to focus on getting out with that win.”

Head coach Terry Liskevych, a Chicago native, has also recognized the allure of the rivalry between the Beavers and the Ducks during his 11-year tenure in Corvallis. 

“We love playing that game, as both coaches and as players,” Liskevych said. “It’s always a rivalry. It certainly means a lot to people who are Oregonians, and I understand that.”

Despite a down year for OSU, Clarke is still pumped to take on the in-state rival regardless of the circumstances.

“It’s more than just a win or a loss. It’s ownership of that rivalry for the year, ownership of the state,” Clarke said. “It’s definitely one of those games that everyone’s the most hyped up for and it’s even more fun when we come out with a victory.”

While OSU may not be playing for a spot in the NCAA tournament, a repeat of last year’s Civil War performance could still have a huge impact.

“Arizona and Oregon both have to win in order to have a shot at the postseason,” Liskevych said. “I like being the spoiler.”

On Twitter @MichaelKievaaa

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