A rough first and second set could not derail Southern Oregon as the Raiders overcame an 0-2 deficit for the second time in three matches to knock off Eastern Oregon in five sets Friday night at Bob Riehm Arena.
Southern Oregon won 15-25, 15-25, 25-22, 25-23, 16-14 to improve to 8-6 overall and 4-0 in Cascade Collegiate Conference play. Eastern Oregon fell to 9-4 and 3-2.
Both teams return to action tonight, with the Raiders hosting 15th-ranked College of Idaho and the Mountaineers traveling to Klamath Falls to face Oregon Tech.
Cascade Conference hitter of the week Haley Kasler continued her run of strong play, posting her fifth double-digit kill total in the past six matches with 16 kills to lead the Raiders. Mona Goudarzian added 12 kills, while Caryn Westrick posted a double-double with 23 assists and 25 digs, both team-leading totals.
For Eastern Oregon, Stefani Sorenson had 16 kills, Alisha Crane 12 and Casey Loper tallied a double-double with 11 kills and 14 digs. Jessica Perron posted a match-high 32 assists and Kaitlyn Duncan added 35 digs.
Eastern Oregon dominated the first two sets, out-hitting SOU substantially in both sets. Southern Oregon finished the second set with only four kills and 11 attack errors for a minus-.250 set percentage.
But the Raiders raised their game in the third to get back in the match, then erased a 15-7 deficit in the fourth set to force a fifth.
The fifth set continued the streaky trend of the night, as EOU opened to a 5-1 lead before SOU scored the next five points to take its first lead of the set at 6-5. The set featured six tie scores and three lead changes as SOU pulled ahead 13-11 and 14-12. Eastern Oregon called timeout and fought off the match-point with a kill by Katie Keeney, then used a block by Loper and Keeney to tie it at 14. But the Raiders regained the advantage on a block by Kasler and Boehnke, and an EOU attack error finished off the Southern Oregon comeback victory.
The fourth set was nearly as dramatic. Southern Oregon scored the first three points before Eastern used a 15-4 run to take an eight-point lead,15-7. The Raiders then scored nine of the next 11 points to pull within one following a kill by Boehnke. Eastern Oregon called timeout and scored the next four points, but a six-point SOU streak gave the Raiders their first lead since the opening points, and the hosts scored three of the final four points to force a deciding fifth set on a kill by Nikki Keller.
The third set featured a momentum-shifting rally by the Raiders, who used a 13-4 run to turn a 5-5 tie into an 18-9 advantage following consecutive kills by Natalie Scheller, Kasler and Sam Boehnke.
Eastern Oregon would not go away, though, scoring seven of the next nine points to pull within four at 20-16. The Mountaineers pulled as close as two points back at 24-22, but Jordan Crossley clinched the set for SOU with a kill.
At Atherton, Calif., a pair of first-half goals put No. 8 Westmont ahead to stay in a 4-1 nonconference win over Southern Oregon at the Menlo Invitational.
Southern Oregon falls to 4-2-1 with the loss, its second straight to a ranked opponent; Westmont improves to 3-1-1.
"All credit to Westmont," SOU head coach Jon Clement said. "They were a super team today and certainly the best team that we've seen so far this year."
Aolani Rueff put the Warriors on the board in the 21st minute with a goal, then assisted Ashley Correa on Westmont's second goal in the 37th minute.
The Raiders pulled within one in the 63rd minute when Chloe Welch found Elise De Jesse for a score to make it 2-1. But Westmont added two more goals in the final 10 minutes to pull away.
Girls Water Polo
At Newberg, Ashland went 0-2 in the first day of the Newberg tournament, falling to Albany and Newberg.
Against Albany, which beat the Grizzlies 14-6, Sadie Kasiah and Ada Lawson scored two goals apiece, while Maddy Longshore and Emma Frantz each added one goal. Ashland keeper Kaya Boehm had five blocks. Newberg beat Ashland 13-3, dropping the Grizzlies to 2-2. Frantz scored three goals and Kasiah had two assists and four steals.