SALEM — After one of the most disappointing nights of the season, the 10th-ranked Southern Oregon volleyball team received an unexpected gift Friday.
In the penultimate match of the regular season, Corban handled the Raiders by scores of 25-12, 25-22 and 25-20 at C.E. Jeffers Sports Center. That gave Eastern Oregon the opportunity to win the Cascade Conference title outright, but the Mountaineers allowed College of Idaho to rally back from two sets down and lost a 16-14 tiebreaker in La Grande.
EOU (17-3 CCC) has concluded its regular season. If the Raiders (23-3 overall, 16-3 CCC) win Saturday at Northwest Christian, they and the Mountaineers will share the title, and the semifinal and final rounds of the CCC Championships presented by U.S. Bank will come to Ashland.
SOU last won the title in 2014, when it was co-champion with EOU.
Against Corban, the Raider defense was lit up to the tune of a .366 attacking average, making the Warriors the first team to get over .300 this year. Demi Winters had 11 kills on 16 swings and Regan Murray and Avari Ridgway had 10 apiece. Between the three of them, they combined for three attacking errors.
Taylor Ristvedt and Dani Johnson had eight kills each for SOU. Elliott Cook and Makayla Hoyt, the Raiders’ star sophomore middles, were held to six combined.
Northwest Christian will enter Saturday’s match with a 5-14 CCC record and was swept by SOU in Ashland. It starts at 5 p.m.
SOUTHERN OREGON 77, EMBRY-RIDDLE (ARIZ.) 72: At Phoenix, Ariz., Tristen Holmes poured in 27 points, the second-highest total of his career, and helped No. 22 Southern Oregon out of a second-half scoring drought in a win over Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) at the Fultz Memorial Classic.
Holmes, a senior guard from Medford, hit three 3-pointers and went 10-of-12 from the line as the Raiders got their first look of the season at a zone defense. They shot 59 percent from the field in the first half and led by as many as 14 points with 15 minutes left before an eight-minute stretch in which they scored two points.
The lead never shrunk smaller than six, and Holmes iced the game by banking in a 3 at the end of the shot clock with 1:18 left to push it back to 10.
SOU (4-0) picked up two additional victories earlier in the day in a less traditional fashion. Walla Walla (Wash.) announced the cancellation of its season last week and on Friday the NAIA awarded forfeit victories to each of its Cascade Conference opponents, though all of them will go down as nonleague counters.
Holmes — who is now 35 points away from joining SOU’s 1,000-point club — added six rebounds and four assists and was joined in double figures by Jordan Hunt (14 points, 8 rebounds), Kaj Bansen (11 points, 3 3-pointers) and Tate Hoffman (10). Tez Allen had five of the Raiders’ 19 assists as they shot 25-of-51 overall.
Embry-Riddle (1-1), which stayed in the game by going 10-of-19 from 3 and hitting five in each half, was led by Gilbert Ibarra’s 14 points and five boards.
SOU will play the tournament host, Arizona Christian, at 4 p.m. today.
HUMBOLDT STATE 76, SOUTHERN OREGON 61: At Arcata, Calif., Southern Oregon opened its 2018-19 season with an exhibition loss to Humboldt State at Lumberjack Arena, hanging with the Jacks for three quarters until being outscored 26-18 in the final period.
SOU — which is ranked 12th nationally entering its official season opener at Simpson University in Redding, Calif., on Monday night — was led offensively by senior forward Ariel Augstine, who had 18 points in the loss. Freshman point guard Kalei Iwami scored 10 points off the bench.
The Raiders and Jacks were tied at 31-all at halftime, before HSU took the lead for good in the third quarter.
Humboldt State’s Alexia Thrower record game-high totals in both points (28) and rebounds (13), while senior forward Isa Conde had 13 points and nine rebounds.
SOUTHERN OREGON 27, SWOCC 20: At Ashland, Glory Konecny, Tara Othman and Olivia Pizano triumphed in their Southern Oregon debuts, and the No. 8-ranked Raiders women’s wrestling team opened its season with a win over Southwestern Oregon Community College at Riehm Arena.
Wrestling at 123 pounds, Konecy, a freshman from Billings, Mont., earned SOU’s only bonus points by pinning Niya Matutino in just six seconds. Othman (116) took a 14-7 decision off of Marie Seely and Pizano (155) won 8-3 against Tiana Peterson.
The Raiders and Lakers split six contested weights but SWOCC forfeited three classes and SOU forfeited one.
The Lakers’ Adriana Orozco (170) and Ivory Ayers (191) ended the night with back-to-back pins.
SOU will hold its annual Red & Black Intrasquad at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Its next match will also be at home, 5 p.m. Thursday against Menlo (Calif.).