ASHLAND — The 21st-ranked Concordia Cavaliers volleyball team produced a microcosm of its season Friday night at Bob Riehm Arena, getting on a roll that Southern Oregon couldn't stop in a 26-24, 26-24, 25-13 Cascade Conference victory.
The Cavaliers (11-2 overall, 5-0 CCC), whose nine straight wins have them in the NAIA Top 25 for the first time in over 10 years, got themselves in trouble, trailing 23-19 in the second set. But Jackie Stein's kill started a 7-1 rally and gave them momentum they never relinquished through the third set as Lindsay Mangan assisted smashes by Stein and Ashley Jibby to close it out.
The win was Concordia's first in Ashland since 2002, which was the last year it claimed a CCC title.
"Great teams find a way to win and I think they're in that great realm right now," SOU head coach Josh Rohlfing said. "They play such good defense and just put a lot of pressure on you."
Mangan, a senior setter who on Tuesday was named a CCC player of the week for the 11th time in her career, posted 36 assists in helping Mariah Raudsepp to 13 kills and Brianna Hogan and Stein to 11 apiece. Shantel Gritsch had 28 digs.
The Raiders fell to 5-6 overall and 2-2 in league. Following resolute efforts in the first two sets, they lost control completely in the third, conceding 12 of 14 points as the Cavs built a 21-11 lead.
Senior outside hitter Mona Goudarzian needed 43 attacks to amass a season-high 11 kills. Freshman setter Lauren McGowne topped her career high for the second straight match with 34 assists, but SOU's offense never got going while hitting at a .174 clip.
The Raiders had eight of their 17 attacking errors in the third frame.
"I thought we played tough and I felt really good about the way we moved and came out with a sense of urgency in those first two sets," Rohlfing said. "Those sets could have gone either way, and that changes the match. But I was really excited about the way we played at times and I know we're headed in the right direction."
SOU senior libero Renee Yomtob was kept as busy as ever with a season-high 27 digs while Paulla Pinheiro had 10. With her sixth dig of the night, Yomtob moved ahead of Sabrina Garboden into third place on SOU's career digs list.
Liz Madden pitched in eight kills for SOU. Nikki Keller and Sam Boehnke were the only Raiders to attack over .300, posting seven and six kills, respectively.
The Raiders return to CCC action at 7 p.m. tonight when they'll host Warner Pacific, which lost in four sets at Oregon Tech to dip to 3-11 overall and 1-4 in conference. The meeting will be the first between the teams since SOU knocked the Knights out in the first round of last year's conference tournament.
SOUTHERN OREGON 1, TRINITY LUTHERAN 0 — At Portland, Southern Oregon dominated possession in regulation and finally broke through in overtime in a neutral-site nonleague game at Concordia University.
The Raiders' regulation advantage of 28 shots to five, including 13-2 on goal, was moot until sophomore Kendra Madaras-Kelly converted the match-winner with an unassisted rocket from 20 yards out just 1 minute, 32 seconds into the extra period.
The shot total was the second highest of the season for the Raiders, who snapped a two-game skid and improved to 3-2-1 overall. Trinity Lutheran, an Everett, Wash. school, fell to 2-9-1.
The score was Madaras-Kelly's second of the season. She got off four shots in the contest, second only to Sydney Paulsen's eight and four on goal.
Freshman goalkeeper Kylie Moltzen was credited with her third shutout of the season.
The Raiders will play one more at Concordia on Sunday against Carroll College (Mont.).