ASHLAND — Southern Oregon volleyball coach Josh Rohlfing knew he'd get a breakout performance at some point from his blossoming attack.
He got two of them Thursday in Raider sweeps of Simpson University (Calif.) and Menlo College (Calif.) in the four annual Paul Elliott Invitational at Bob Riehm Arena.
SOU hitters Liz Madden and Tyana Andrews totaled 17 kills apiece and Mona Goudarzian had 16 as the Raiders followed a 25-11, 25-17, 25-20 triumph over Simpson with a 25-17, 25-14, 25-23 win against Menlo.
The Raiders (2-4 overall) executed hitting averages of .387 and .306. They failed to eclipse the .100 mark in three of four losses at last week's Biola Invitational.
Especially encouraging was a breakout performance from Brazilian newcomer Paula Pinheiro, who amassed a career-high 11 kills on 19 swings and tossed in eight digs. SOU's two new setters also showed increasing chemistry with their targets: Freshman Lauren McGowne had matches of 24 and 17 assists while junior Lindsay Verboort added 17 and 19.
Andrews came off the bench to provide the most efficient effort of the day, doing her damage on 26 attacks with just three errors. Madden was almost as effective with averages of .526 and .400.
Libero Renee Yomtob and defensive specialist Brookelynn Cole provided steady presences in the back row. Yomtob, who has led the Raiders in every match, had 33 digs on the day — including a season-high 22 in the opener against Simpson — and Cole collected 16.
At the net for the Raiders, Sam Boehnke was in on seven of 11 blocks against Menlo.