Raiders down Owls at home in three set sweep

The Southern Oregon volleyball team emerged victorious Friday night at the McNeal Pavilion by trouncing archrival Oregon Tech three sets to one.

The Raiders are now 12-2 overall and sit at the top of the Cascade Conference with a perfect 9-0 record.  Oregon Tech are now located at a dismal 8th in the standings with a 10-11 overall record and 2-7 in conference play.

The evening started brightly for Southern Oregon as they quickly jumped to a two set lead with a 25-12 win in the first set and then a 25-11 win in the second.

Oregon Tech’s inability to cope with the Raiders was evident as miscommunication and disorganization enabled the Raiders to make short work of their opponents.

Yet instead of finishing off the Owls in three sets, the Raiders surprisingly dropped the third set to a much-improved Oregon Tech side falling 21-25.   It is only the second set that Southern Oregon has dropped this year and the first since early September.

Despite their unexpected third set loss, the Raiders were able to enter the fourth with the same energy and determination they had displayed earlier in the evening.

However, the Owls were persistent in their attempts to draw level, and they came close a few times before Southern Oregon clinched the set and game with a 25-20 victory.

The Raiders were solid in both offense and defense throughout the night recording 51 kills and 21 blocks.

Outside Hitter Sarah Holgen led the way offensively grabbing18 kills while Megan Bartling came just behind Holgen with 13 kills.  Setter Lindsey Stone made her contribution to the Raider offense with 43 assists.

On defense, Leanne Stennett and Becky Johnstone’s 16 digs each coupled with Lauren Swetland’s six blocks paced the Raiders while Holgen also pitched in 14 digs for Southern Oregon.

Oregon Tech finished the night led by Megan Christensen’s 11 kills and Bridget Harrison’s 17 digs.

Southern Oregon will face their next two conference opponents on the road, first against the College of Idaho this coming Friday followed by Eastern Oregon on Saturday.

The Raiders have defeated both opponents earlier this season recording a three set sweep and three sets to one victory

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