The 13th-ranked Southern Oregon volleyball team dropped its first game since the beginning of September, but still managed to extend its winning streak to nine matches with a 25-12, 25-11, 21-25, 25-20 victory over Oregon Tech Friday at McNeal Pavilion.The Raiders are now 12-2 overall and 9-0 in Cascade Conference play. Southern Oregon travels to College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon next weekend for a pair of huge conference matchups.
Oregon Tech dropped to 10-11 overall and 2-7 in conference action.
Sarah Holgen led all players with 18 kills for the Raiders and also added 14 digs. Leanne Stennett and Becky Johnstone each had 16 digs. Junior Megan Bartling finished with 13 kills, while Lauren Swetland had six of SOU's 21 blocks. All-American setter Lindsey Stone finished with 43 assists.
Southern Oregon came of the gate impressive, hitting .409 and .412 in winning the first two sets and going up 2-0 in the match.
In the third game OIT came alive and forced the Raiders into nine errors to creep back in the match.
In the fourth game, Southern Oregon jumped out to a 7-3 lead on a Bartling kill, but the Owls battled back and closed to 11-10 on a kill by Mikayla Morgan.
Kills by Natalie Scheller and Stennett sandwiched a pair of Oregon Tech errors to push the SOU advantage to 14-11 and a pair of kills by Bartling gave SOU enough breathing room at 17-11 to win the match.
Megan Christensen led OIT with 11 kills, while Bridget Harrison finished with 17 digs.
Southern Oregon opened up Cascade Conference play with a 4-0 victory over Northwest Christian Friday at University Field.
The victory improved the Raiders to 7-2-1. They host Corban today at 3:30 p.m.
"We were a little scattered in the beginning, a little over anxious," SOU head coach Jon Clement said. "Once we settled down we started to have good possessions and began to take advantage of those possessions."
The Raiders jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 33 minute mark of the first half on a pretty goal from Denise Powell off a crossing pass from Alexis Mahoney.
In the second half, the Raiders put the match away in a hurry.
Mahoney scored on a header a minute in, and Sydney Paulsen survived a collision with the goalkeeper to trickle in another goal for a 3-0 SOU lead. Maddy Scott scored the final goal at the 77 minute mark.
"We did a better job of managing the game when we are ahead," Clement said. "And that's something we are learning to do."
SOU held Northwest Christian to just three shots and only two shots on goal.
Powell, Paulsen, Renay Norman, Stephanie Carr, and Sara Switzer all had two shots on goal for the Raiders.