SOU heads north

After seeing its 19-match home winning-streak snapped over the weekend, the Southern Oregon volleyball team will test its fortunes on the road.

The Raiders (3-6, 1-1) will tune up Thursday at Western Oregon before heading to Washington for weekend Cascade Conference contests with Evergreen State and Northwest University.

Southern Oregon started league action with a four-set upset of ninth-ranked College of Idaho on Friday behind Lindsey Stone's match-high 46 assists and Sarah Holgen's 13 kills. The momentous performance preceded Saturday evening's four-set letdown against Eastern Oregon, as the Mountaineers knocked off the Raiders and in part knocked them out of the NAIA Top 25 for the first time in almost a year.

"I think this is about what our league is going to be like," said coach Josh Rohlfing. "There's going to be a lot of teams beating teams and then losing the next night; a lot of inconsistencies."

Four teams ended the weekend with perfect 2-0 records while College of Idaho, the preseason favorite, dropped both of their matches.

NCAA Division II opponent Western Oregon will bring a 6-1 preseason record to the table, but Evergreen (0-6, 0-2) is searching for its first win since 2006 and Northwest (3-6, 0-2) also endured a sweep to open up league play.

"Evergreen is a team that recruited 10 junior college transfers, so you don't really know what you're going to get but I expect them to be improved," Rohlfing said. "Northwest is definitely a team that I feel is on the rise, because they're consistently getting great freshmen and are very well-coached."

Northwest is led by Lauren Holtz's 2.88 kills per set, while Kandice Gleaves and Jessica Dubois are killing at a 2.5 per set clip for the Geoducks.

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