Northwest Christian took a set off 18th-ranked Southern Oregon for the first time ever, but the visiting Raiders rebounded to win in four, 26-28, 25-22, 25-17, 25-13, in Cascade Conference volleyball action Friday night at the Morse Event Center.
EUGENE — Northwest Christian took a set off 18th-ranked Southern Oregon for the first time ever, but the visiting Raiders rebounded to win in four, 26-28, 25-22, 25-17, 25-13, in Cascade Conference volleyball action Friday night at the Morse Event Center.
Southern Oregon's Sarah Holgen finished with a match-high 25 kills, with a .438 attack percentage and added 12 digs to lead the Raiders (9-4, 6-2 Cascade). Megan Bartling posted 13 kills and seven block assists to go with one solo block, while Haley Fikso finished with 11 kills and five block assists. Caryn Westrick had with a match-high 36 assists, with Angela Spieker adding 19. Renee Yomtob's 21 digs led both teams.
Danielle Nance's eight kills paced the Beacons (8-7, 3-5), with Dana Clark adding a team-high 13 digs and Cori Wallace chipping in 28 assists. The Raiders held NCU to a .102 attack percentage in the match, with SOU finishing at .282.
Trailing 23-18 late in the first set, Southern Oregon scored five straight points to tie it up at 23-all. The teams exchanged points until a pair of SOU errors gave the Beacons the set.
Northwest Christian led by as many as five points several times throughout the set, limiting the Raiders to a .182 attack percentage in the game.
The Raiders responded early in the second set, storming out to an early 6-1 lead, but Northwest Christian used a 5-1 run to pull within one point at 9-8. Following a Raiders timeout, the Beacons grabbed their first lead of the set at 11-10. Northwest Christian eventually took a four-point lead at 19-15 on Maren Mansfield's service ace, prompting another SOU timeout. Emily O'Neal's attack error sparked a four-point SOU run that tied the score. After a pair of service errors, Bartlin's kill gave the Raiders a 21-20 lead, and an NCU attack error closed out the set for SOU.
Southern Oregon again jumped out to an early lead in the third set, this time a grabbing a three-point advantage only to see Northwest Christian pull within one at 9-8.
The Raiders used a 7-1 run to stretch their lead to 16-9 however, and the Beacons never came closer than five points the rest of the way.
Northwest Christian came out strong in the final set, jumping out to a 6-3 lead before an eventual four-point SOU run gave the Raiders the 11-10 lead. A pair of Fikso kills put the Raiders ahead 16-13 and prompted an NCU timeout. The break did not slow the Raiders attack, as SOU stretched its run to 12 consecutive points to turn a 13-13 tie into a 25-13 match-clinching victory.
The Raiders return to action tonight, when they travel to Salem to face Corban in another conference match.
Following last weekend's scoreless tie against No. 24 Westminster, Southern Oregon returns home this weekend to open the Cascade Collegiate Conference season with matches against Warner Pacific and Concordia.
The Raiders, 3-4-1 this season, will host Warner Pacific at 1 p.m. today and fourth-ranked Concordia at 2 p.m. on Monday at University Field.
"We were really pleased with how we finished the game out and we felt like we really had some good opportunities in overtime," SOU head coach Jon Clement said about the Westminster contest.
Southern Oregon will face perhaps its toughest test this season on Monday when Concordia comes to town. The Cavaliers own an impressive 15-year run of dominance in the CCC.
"We've really put our team through the ringer and spent a lot of time on the road playing the most difficult teams we could find," Clement said. "Our team has handled that really well, so I know that we're collectively very well prepared to play in a very difficult league this year."
On Saturday, the Raiders host a Warner Pacific team that has played only two matches this season. The Knights are 1-0-1, with a 1-0 win over Lewis & Clark and a scoreless tie against Trinity Lutheran. Anna Blakeslee scored the Knights' lone goal of the season in the win over the Pioneers, and Nikita Rivera has played all 200 minutes in goal for WPC, making 14 saves without yielding a goal.