Mychael Vernon leads Beavers to back-to-back wins

Mychael Vernon (#6) digs a spike at Gill Coliseum to help the Beavers to a victory against the Arizona Wildcats.
Mychael Vernon (#6) digs a spike at Gill Coliseum to help the Beavers to a victory against the Arizona Wildcats.
Morgan Barnaby

For the first time this season, the Oregon State Beavers volleyball team has won two conference games in a row as they beat the Arizona Wildcats in a thrilling five-set match 3-2 on Oct. 15 at Gill Coliseum.

The star of the game was outside hitter Mychael Vernon, who put on a show offensively and defensively. 

“I think what’s great about our team is anyone at any moment can be a standout player for us, but the biggest highlight performance is probably Mychael Vernon,” head coach Lindsey Behonick said.

On top of the 19 kills Vernon had which was the team-high, she also set a season record for digs with 21. Vernon had two blocks and is now on a five-game streak of double-digit kills, a season-best.

“She’s doing very good, she’s hitting good, she’s passing good, she’s digging good, she’s blocking good,” added Behonick.

“I think she is just regaining a new type of confidence, I think she is taking each swing as a swing to earn the point not like a swing where she feels she has to win the match,” Behonick said.

The first set didn’t want to end, as teams traded points trying to gain a two-point lead to win the set. The Wildcats could not figure out how to score on back-to-back points, but the Beavers cracked the code, winning the set 29-27. 

The second set didn’t quite go as well for the Beavers, as they only mustered up enough strength to score 16 points as the Wildcats looked dominant in the 25-16 set two win.

The second set also saw the Wildcats’ outside tandem of Sofia Maldonado Diaz and Jordan Wilson both reaching double-digit kills as Wilson reached 11 and Maldonado Diaz had 13.

Maldonado Diaz finished the game with 21 kills and Wilson had 17.

A much closer third set saw the Beavers lose a 23-21 lead as the Wildcats put up four straight points to win this crucial set 25-23. While Arizona came out with the set win, the Beavers made it more of a fight than the second set.

The third set saw the Wildcats go on a huge nine-point run at the beginning which set the tone for the rest of set number three.

After a close set three, with their backs to the wall, the Beavers put up an amazing fourth set effort. They won in dominant fashion, 25-16, behind the Wildcats committing nine hitting errors and two service errors. 

For the second straight game, the Beavers have gone to the fifth set to decide the game.

After jumping to a huge 11-2 lead, the Beavers got stuck, as the Wildcats then went on an 8-1 run to make the score 12-10 in favor of Oregon State.

The Beavers scored, the Wildcats scored, and for the first time in this game, we saw an unsuccessful challenge. The first of eight total challenges to fail on the day made the score 13-12.

Peyton Suess decided enough was enough and ended the game as she had two kills in a row to finish off the Wildcats in a crazy fifth set.

The entire Beaver roster fired on all cylinders today.

The Wildcats continue conference play by facing the Colorado Buffaloes on Friday, Oct 20 in Boulder.

The Beavers continue their four-game home stand as they face the No. 3 ranked Stanford Cardinal Oct 20 at 7 p.m. in Gill Coliseum.

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