The Raiders logged another couple wins this past Homecoming Weekend against Multnomah (3-0) and Warner Pacific (3-0) at Mountain Avenue Gym.
Friday night, Southern Oregon University showed Multomah what they were made of in each set: 25-19, 25-16, and 25-22. During this match both freshmen middles Makayla Hoyt and Elliott Cook made nine kills each. Hoyt only needed 11 swings to earn time title of the second best attacker, behind no. 1 Warner Pacific’s Janessa Mast, in the Cascade Conference this year.
The Raiders took charge the first set establishing a 16-8 lead with Hoyt securing four kills. Then in second set, SOU had a lead of 20-12 off of three blocks during a five point run. Multomah could not keep up making almost half of their total attacking errors during the third set.
Natalie James and drove the team with 21 assists alongside Hannah Bogatin who contributed 12. Taylor Ristvedt made seven kills and three blocks, Malie Rube had five kills and nine blocks, and Dani Johnson produced five kills. Liberos, Kiley Barcroft and Ashlyn Flynn, also contributed digs – Barcroft with 11 and Flynn with 13.
The Raiders returned again the following night to sweep Warner Pacific in 25-19, 25-14, and 25-19 gaining a spot in the Cascade Conference tournament.
In this victory James made 22 assists, nine digs, four of five SOU’s service aces, and ended the match with a kill after a long rally. Bogatin produced 15 kills alongside Cook with 11 and Ristvedt with seven. Both Ariana Sattler and Dani Johnson secured four kills each.
SOU’s defense remained strong with eight blocks as multiple lengthy rallies took place. The back row saved a few kills, with Flynn securing 23 digs alongside Barcroft with 15.
The Raiders established leads early on and only trailed once in the first set at 1-0. In the final set, SOU turned a 9-8 deficit into a 17-10 lead off of a run where Ristvedt made two kills and the Knights produced four errors.
“I’m very proud with how we’ve started to improve this season,” commented middle blocker, Hoyt. “Our team played really well tonight, really fast paced. We are just really focused on the process of improving onto the next match and they are like little missions, year by year.”
Head Coach, Josh Rohlfing seconds Hoyt’s beliefs in the aspect of improvement. “We just continue to improve every week. I feel like our team came out ready to go and knew the importance of the win,” said Rohlfing. “The movement that we were able to foster throughout the entire match was huge and I think that will carry us forward for the rest of the season.”
The Raiders travel to Washington this coming weekend where they enter the playoffs against Evergreen State on Friday and against Northwest on Saturday.