The Raider’s Saturday evening match against Warner Pacific was yet another of great excitement, and apprehension. As the 13th ranked national team, the Raiders finished the weekend with an impressive win against the Warner Pacific Knights. This game in particular perfectly showcased the Raiders defensive prowess. Similar to the team’s other victories this season, defensively they truly outshine their competitors. Just when the Raiders seem to lose their competitive focus, they regroup and win the match. They have racked up quite a few victories this season due to this defensive strength. SOU coach Josh Rohlfing spoke a little about the teams’ off-season defensive goals “We said the same thing all offseason long – if we’re going to be anything, we need to be better defensively.” He praised and recognized the girls’ ability to not only meet but exceed their goals, adding “To the players’ credit, they responded to that challenge. The way we win isn’t always pretty, but that defensive toughness has really helped us win a lot of matches when it might look like we shouldn’t.” Motade Atanda claimed the leading spot for CCC kills after posting 24 kills on 45 attempts to finish the season with a 4.3 kills per set average. Brookelynn Cole had 20 digs this Saturday, pushing her career number over 1,000, becoming the 8th Raider in history to reach this landmark. SOU finished first in the league in opponents hitting average at .129. The Raiders also finished second in blocks on the national level. This weekend the Raiders received a surprising contribution from teammate Kelsea MacPhee who provided 11 kills with no errors, and all together 21 kills in two matches. Before this Weekend Kelsea’s three-year career total had been 22 kills overall.
The Raiders won Saturday night’s match 25-21, 25-7, 22-25, 25-17 and for the first time since 2010 they are ranked as co-champions of their conference. Their co-champion team, Eastern Oregon, won a tie-breaker to decide which champion team would host the conference tournament’s semifinals and finals next Friday and Saturday.