Raiders blow away Owls in Cascade Conference opener

KLAMATH FALLS — Fourteenth-ranked Southern Oregon opened Cascade Collegiate Conference play with a sweep of Oregon Tech Wednesday night at Danny Miles Court.

The Raiders trounced the Owls 25-22, 26-24, 25-20 to improve to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the CCC. Oregon Tech falls to 5-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play.

Southern Oregon took an early 4-1 lead in Game 1, but an 8-1 Oregon Tech run gave the Owls a 9-5 lead. The Raiders responded with a 6-2 stretch to tie the set at 11-11, and SOU regained the lead at 13-12. Oregon Tech stayed within three points the rest of the way, but with the score 24-22 an Oregon Tech service error clinched the set victory for the Raiders.

The second set saw Oregon Tech jump ahead to an early four-point lead at 8-4, but four consecutive SOU points tied the game back up at 9-9. With the next 20 points split evenly between the two teams, the Owls regained a three-point lead at 22-19 and again at 23-20 before reaching set point at 24-21.

A Sarah Holgen kill made it 24-22, and the Raiders took the next two points to tie it up at 24-24 and force an OIT timeout. Following the timeout, back-to-back Holgen kills completed the five-point SOU run to close out the second set and give SOU the 2-0 cushion.

The third set opened as a reverse of the previous set, with the Raiders claiming an early 8-4 lead. Southern Oregon stretched its lead to 10-5 before Oregon Tech regained some of the momentum with four consecutive points to make it 10-9. A service error ended the Owls' run, and the Raiders stretched their lead back to four at 16-12.

Oregon Tech responded again, this time putting together a five-point streak that put the hosts back on top 17-16, prompting a Southern Oregon timeout. The Raiders came out of the timeout with three straight points and used a 7-1 run to push their lead to five.

Holgen led the way with 20 kills for the Raiders, compiling a .326 hitting percentage. Natalie Scheller added 11 kills and 11 digs to pick up the double-double, with Renee Yomtob adding 16 digs for SOU. Setters Caryn Westrick and Angela Spieker combined for 34 assists.

Joey Parnell led Oregon Tech with 12 kills, while Mindy Nalder added 11. Sarah Svedin totaled a match-high 36 assists for the Owls in the loss.

Southern Oregon returns to the court Sept. 9, when they host Warner Pacific in a CCC match scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Riehm Arena.

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