Even though its preseason schedule spanned just nine days, the Southern Oregon volleyball team made one end of it feel like a world away from the other.
The Raiders wrapped up the Paul Elliott Invitational on Friday night with their third straight sweep at Bob Riehm Arena, needing just an hour to take care of Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) with a 25-20, 25-12, 25-13 win.
Now they'll head into Cascade Conference play next Friday with tangible proof of improvement. A week after averaging double-digit unforced errors per set in four losses at the Biola Invitational, they committed only three per set against the Warriors (3-5).
Senior hitter Liz Madden was a model of efficiency again for the Raiders (3-4) with 12 kills on a .409 hitting average — her third straight match above .400 — while junior hitter Paulla Pinheiro set a new season high for the second straight match with 13 kills.
"I'm really proud of what we did the last couple days," SOU head coach Josh Rohlfing said. "We exemplified our goal, which was to be fluid in our movement and put pressure on the other team. We did that consistently and that was good to see."
They did it so consistently, in fact, that LCSC was able to take more than two points in a row twice all night. The Raiders, meanwhile, did it 10 times.
SOU finished each set especially strong — taking four of five points to end the first, six of seven to end the second and eight of 10 to end the third.
Setters Linday Verboort (23 assists) and Lauren McGowne (16) spread the ball out to help Sam Boehnke and Mona Goudarzian post six kills apiece and Tyana Andrews five. Renee Yomtob and Brookelynn Cole boosted the passing game with 14 digs and 13, respectively.
The Raiders will now get ready to head north for CCC matches next week at Corban and Northwest Christian. They were picked to finish third in the preseason conference coaches' poll.