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DailyTidings.com
  • WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL

    Southern Oregon No. 3 in CCC poll

    College of Idaho the pick to win another league title
  • The Southern Oregon University volleyball team was ranked third behind No. 1 College of Idaho and No. 2 Eastern Oregon in the Cascade Collegiate Conference preseason coaches' poll, released Monday.
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    • 2014 CCC Coaches' Poll
      Team (1st place votes) Points 2013 CCC 2013 Overall
      1. College of Idaho (7) 95 16-2 18-10
      2. Eastern Oregon (2) 84 15-3 25-6
      3. Southern Oregon (1) 83 13-5 17-10
      4. Concordia 77 23-7 1...
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      2014 CCC Coaches' Poll
      Team (1st place votes) Points 2013 CCC 2013 Overall

      1. College of Idaho (7) 95 16-2 18-10

      2. Eastern Oregon (2) 84 15-3 25-6

      3. Southern Oregon (1) 83 13-5 17-10

      4. Concordia 77 23-7 14-4

      5. Oregon Tech 53 8-10 15-18

      6. Evergreen 42 7-11 8-15

      7. Northwest 34 3-15 7-21

      8. Northwest Christian 30 10-8 17-11

      9. Warner Pacific 29 1-17 4-24

      10. Corban 23 3-15 7-21
  • The Southern Oregon University volleyball team was ranked third behind No. 1 College of Idaho and No. 2 Eastern Oregon in the Cascade Collegiate Conference preseason coaches' poll, released Monday.
    The Coyotes, who have won six of the last nine Cascade Conference titles, received seven of a possible nine first-place votes and 95 poll points overall to easily outdistance Eastern Oregon and Southern Oregon. The Mountaineers and Raiders were neck and neck, with EOU edging SOU by a single poll point (84-83) and one first-place vote (2-1).
    Concordia (77 points), Oregon Tech (53), Evergreen (42), Northwest (34), Northwest Christian (30), Warner Pacific (29) and Corban (23) round out the coaches' poll.
    Nothing about the poll surprised Southern Oregon head coach Josh Rohlfing, whose team has already practiced four times since the season officially kicked off with a morning scrimmage Friday at Ashland Middle School.
    "It's pretty much where I expected to be," Rohlfing said. "But it's a little early to see where anyone's at, just because there have been some key injuries in our conference and obviously some key departures."
    The key injuries include a pair of torn ACLs, says Rohlfing, to Eastern Oregon outside hitter Stefani Sorensen and Concordia middle blocker Amanda Goringe. Sorensen ranked third in the conference in kills and seventh in hitting percentage last season, and Goringe ranked fourth in blocks.
    Southern Oregon, which finished third last season in the final CCC standings before falling to College of Idaho in the league tournament semifinals, welcomes back 12 returners, including two all-leaguers: senior outside hitter Paulla Pinheiro and sophomore setter Lauren McGowne, the 2013 Northwest Region freshman of the year.
    "We try to stay away from it, but I would think that it would have to be a little motivation," Rohlfing said of the coaches' poll. "But the fact that we've been there a long time and we had an OK year last year, the motivation is to get back on top and I think that is what drives us more than anything."
    Southern Oregon hasn't won a CCC regular season or tournament title since taking both in 2010.
    The reigning champion Coyotes return one CCC all-star in junior setter Sierra Porter, while the Mountaineers return two in senior middle hitter Casey Loper and Sorensen.
    Southern Oregon lost to graduation the 2013 CCC libero of the year Renee Yomtob, but returns most of its statistical leaders to go with what Rohlfing said was an outstanding recruiting class. One recruit who's expected to make an immediate impact is Wester Oregon transfer Corynn Kopra, a 5-foot-9 junior outside hitter.
    "I don't know what our top level is yet," Rohlfing said after Friday's practice, "but we're really deep. I'm really excited about that aspect."
    It's early, but Rohlfing has already been impressed with the Raiders' ball handling, which he says is solid across the board.
    "I felt like that was a deficiency we had last year as a whole, but as an entire group this is an exceptional team in that regard," he said.
    "Very impressive," he added when asked to critique his team's first four days of practice. "We've been getting after it. It's early, but it's exciting. They're a fun group and you can tell they're motivated to do something different. They could be something special."
    Southern Oregon opens its season Aug. 21 at the Biola Invitational in La Mirada, Calif., against Cal State-San Marcos.
    Joe Zavala can be reached at 541-776-4469 or jzavala@dailytidings.com.
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