What's Oregon, Portland need?

The Ducks are almost an elite-level program, while Timbers can't win
April 8, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

After two consecutive berths in the NCAA Tournament, and at least one win each season, the University of Oregon's men's basketball program is definitely headed in the right direction toward winning a national title.

When that might happen is a big question. That's the opening topic of Episode 8 of Sportland, Oregon 2014, recorded at Blitz Pearl in Northwest Portland.

Coach Dana Altman has led the Ducks to consistent success since taking over the program from Ernie Kent in 2010. Cast members Cliff Pfenning and Derek Weber chat up the next step for Oregon starting with an unprecedented third consecutive trip to the tournament next season.

Then, it's off to the Portland Trail Blazers, who are back in the NBA Playoffs for the first time in three seasons. The Blazers are headed for a final record that's 20 games over .500, but they were that far above .500 at mid-season. Since then, they're .500, and might be the least dangerous playoff team in the Western Conference.

The Portland Timbers are as dangerous and exciting as any team in Major League Soccer after five games, but they just can't turn those qualities into a win so far. Saturday's 4-4 draw with Seattle showed off that factor as the team led 4-2 entering the final 15 minutes.

The Winterhawks get some air time, as well as the Roofball World Championships.


Oregon volleyball's magic run finally ends

Ducks get beaten by Texas in NCAA Tournament finale, 3-0
Dec. 15, 2012

The Longhorns, competing in their fourth semifinals in the last five years, finally broke through to capture the championship after some narrow misses. It is the Longhorns second NCAA title, and first since 1988. Texas also played in the 1995 and 2009 championship matches, losing to Nebraska and Penn State, respectively.

Texas (29-4) didn’t need too much luck against the Ducks in the title match. The Longhorns posted a .438 hitting percentage — a championship match three-set record — and out-blocked Oregon 15-1.

“They played awesome,” Oregon head coach Jim Moore said. “They played very, very well. Blocked great, passed great, and they deserve [it] — well earned victory for them.”

Texas junior outside hitter Bailey Webster set the tone for the Longhorns with the first kill of the match. She knocked down five kills in the first set en route to a .714 hitting percentage and a dominant Longhorns’ 25-11 victory.

Texas showed off its blocking ability, recording seven team blocks to Oregon’s zero in the first set, including five by freshman middle blocker Molly McCage. The Longhorns also out-hit the Ducks .400 to -.083, as Texas committed just one attack error to Oregon’s 12. Ducks’ senior outside hitter Alaina Bergsma – the AVCA National Player of the Year — did not register a kill in the first set, but did collect five errors in nine attempts.

Oregon heads to first Final Four

Volleyball team beats host Nebraska to keep dream season alive
Dec. 9, 2012

OMAHA - The University of Oregon volleyball team celebrated like it had won a national title Saturday, which it took a huge step toward with a four-set win over Nebraska.

Saturday, sixth-ranked Oregon came back from getting blown out in the first set to beat No. 10 Nebraska 15-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 in the Omaha Regional final of the NCAA Tournament in front of 9,382 fans at CenturyLink Center.

With the win, the Ducks advanced to the Final Four for the first time in the program's history, and will play top-seeded Penn State Thursday at Louiville, Ky.

Thursday's winner will face the winner of No. 3 Texas vs. unseeded Michigan in the final Saturday night.

Oregon improved to 29-4 on the season. Penn State is 33-2.

"This was a good win for us, but it's also just a step along the way to where we ultimately want to go," Oregon head coach Jim Moore said.

Offensively for Oregon, Pac-12 Player of the Year Alaina Bergsma had a match-high 23 kills to lead the team for the 22nd time this season. That total was also the team's third-highest of the season in a non-five-set match (behind her 32 at WSU and Liz Brenner's 26 vs. BYU on Friday).




Portland connection reaches NCAA title game

Jones, Wiltjer help Kentucky into National Title game Monday night
March 31, 2012

With recent memory of their play in the Portland area having not yet faced, Terrence Jones and Kyle Wiltjer will take the Rose City's reputation as a basketball resource to the highest stage in college basketball Monday - the National Championship Game.

Jones, who won three state titles while at Jefferson High, had 6 points and 7 rebounds, and Wiltjer, who won three state titles while at Jesuit, came off the bench and scored 5 points in 7 minutes as Kentucky fought off Louisville 69-61 in the semifinals at the New Orleands Superdome Saturday.

Kentucky, ranked No. 1 for most of the season, will play Kansas Monday night in the title game seeking its first title since 1998.

Wildcats' coach John Calipari, who recruited both Jones and Wiltjer to Lexington, will be looking for his first national championship. The Wildcats lost to eventual champion Connecticut in the Final Four last year.

Kansas beat Ohio State 64-62 in the other semifinal Saturday, rallying from a 13-point deficit to win.

Fans on have made Kentucky a significant favorite, running 70 to 30 percent nationally with only Kansas voters picking the Jayhawks to win.

Kentuky shot 57 percent from the field for the game - just missing the record for a Final Four appearance (61 percent by UNLV in 1990), but was tied 49-all midway through the second half as Louisville, which entered the Big East Conference tournament having lost four straight games, rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit with offensive rebounding and plain willpower.

The Wildcats were able to outshoot them and never trailed in the game.



Big Saturday awaits Oregon's Big 3

Jones, Moser and Ross get national attention with big games

The trio of former Oregon prep basketball stars will be in line for national attention Saturday as they all face entertaining match-ups, two of which will be televised nationally.

Terrence Ross, a standout at Jefferson High in Portland, will lead Washington against Duke at Madison Square Garden, beginning at 9 a.m. on CBS. Ross is averaging 16.6 points per game for the Huskies, who are 4-3 against a slew of solid opponents.

Former Grant High standout Mike Moser, who is averaging 15.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, leads UNLV against Wisconsin Saturday night.

And Terrence Jones, one of the nation's top professional prospects, leads Kentucky against Indiana Saturday at 2:15 p.m., averaging 15 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Jesuit grat Kyle Wiltjer is playing a key role as a reserve for Kentucky, averaging 6.4 points per game in limited action.

Oregon (6-2) begins a seven-game homestand Saturday against Fresno State.

Oregon State (7-1) plays host to Idaho Friday in the start of a five-game homestand.

Portland State (5-2) plays at Utah Valley in Orem, Utah, to start a stretch of games in which it plays on the road six times in seven outings. The Vikings play at Oregon Monday and at Oregon State, Dec. 18.

Portland (3-6) plays host to Ohio University Saturday.



Kyle Singler en el Lucentum from Sandra Vazquez Fotografia on Vimeo.

Ah, those crummy stats

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 2:20pm
Cliff Pfenning
Cliff Pfenning's picture
Last seen: 5 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: 2010-07-01

As soon as the match reached the shootout, it had the feeling of disappointment, especially with that one, big glaring stat on the scoreboard – shots.

Portland 27, Washington 6.

And they weren’t just shots from Portland, but a lot of really good shots, forcing Washington’s keeper, Jorde Lafontaine-Kussman, to make a number of spectacular saves – 13 in all during the match.

So, Washington entered the shootout with a hot goalkeeper with nothing to lose as the host Pilots were a big favorite playing on their home turf Sunday in the second round of the  NCAA women's soccer playoffs.

Ugh, that scoreboard.

The Huskies were superb throughout the shootout, hitting near the posts on either side for all 11 rounds, missing only once wide to the left. Lafontaine-Kussman stopped one – hit directly in the middle of the goalmouth and got a hand on another to her left. The Pilot seemed to fear going all the way to the post, where any goalkeeper cannot make a save, but they only did that about half the shots.

As the rounds kept moving along, five, then six, then seven, eight, and the Huskies kept hitting just inside the post, the pressure just kept building, with that miss just waiting to happen. Then, in round 11, it did. Season over.

The Pilots have an exceptional group of underclass players, so they’ll be strong again next year, but that’s a season too late for the current group of seniors. They’ll be remembering the pressure of the shootout and that stat on the scoreboard – so many chances that didn’t did get fulfilled. Now they’re program alums.


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