ASHLAND — Three Southern Oregon University volleyball players secured spots on the Cascade Conference all-star team, which was released Monday by the league office.
Renee Yomtob led the Raiders on the 14-person list and doubled as the defensive specialist/libero of the year. Lauren McGowne and Paulla Pinheiro were SOU's other selections, and McGowne was the freshman of the year.
The Raiders' season ended Friday in the conference tournament semifinals.
Yomtob, a repeat all-conference selection, led all CCC players with 5.72 digs per set on the season. She totaled 526 digs to finish her career with 1,631, just 16 short of the SOU record, and led the Raiders in every match.
McGowne, a setter, didn't become a starter until SOU's ninth match but blossomed immediately, setting career highs in assists in five straight outings. She topped the CCC with 11.31 assists per set and hit 50 in five different matches, including one that only went three sets. McGowne's touch helped the Raiders to the conference's No. 1 team attacking average (.248).
Establishing herself as one of the most electric players in the conference, Pinheiro also did her best work as the season went on. The junior outside hitter, in her first year with the Raiders, reached double-figure kill marks in 12 of her last 13 regular season matches and hit at a .266 clip for the year.
Her 3.20 kills per set were seventh among CCC players, her 0.55 aces were second and she was second on the team in digs (2.59).
Eastern Oregon's Casey Loper was player of the year. The junior middle was second in the CCC in hitting percentage (.350) and kills per set (3.55) and third in blocks (1.07).
Liz Mendiola, who led College of Idaho to its eighth straight conference title, was named the top coach for the second year in a row. The Coyotes were the only CCC team to the 24-team NAIA National Championships.
Kristen Schoenherr caught on fast for Southern Oregon University, and the Cascade Conference took notice Monday when it made her the women's basketball player of the week.
The 5-foot-9 sophomore guard scored a career-high 21 points Friday against Lewis-Clark State and 20 the next day against Cal State San Marcos, helping the 5-1 Raiders come away with a weekend split. She did her damage on 15-for-28 shooting and averaged 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists.
Schoenherr, a product of Rainier, Wash., transferred at the end of last season from Centralia College, where she was MVP of the NWAACC's West Region as a freshman. In six starts for SOU, she is producing 14.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 steals.
SOU is responsible for two of three CCC players of the week this season. Sophomore post Carly Meister was honored on Nov. 4.
The Raiders play Friday and Saturday at Oregon Tech's Midland Empire Classic against William Jessup and California Maritime.
Five Southern Oregon University football players and one soccer player were named Capital One Academic All-District honorees and will advance to the Capital One Academic All-America ballot.
Nominees had to be starters or key reserves with at least a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average of sophomore or higher academic standing.
Sydney Paulsen represented the SOU soccer team for the second straight year on the District 4 list. The native of Loveland, Colo., and biochemistry major boasts a 3.74 GPA and led the Raiders with seven goals and three assists during her senior season.
SOU occupied five of the 12 spots on the District 4 football squad as Heston Altenbach, Daniel Breaux, Trevor Kuyper, Zach Marshall and Austin Smith got the nods. Smith, a sophomore chemistry major, had the highest GPA of the bunch at 3.97, but all were above a 3.5.
Altenbach and Breaux were also 2012 picks. Marshall was the starting tailback and the other four were leaders on the Raider defense.
The SOU football team ended the season with a record of 7-4 and the soccer team was 10-6-3.