Raiders get payback with NW Christian

ASHLAND — Southern Oregon University defeated Northwest Christian in volleyball Friday, 25-22, 25-17, 25-13, at Bob Riehm Arena in Cascade Conference action.

The Raiders (11-7 overall, 8-3 CCC), who have won 12 of 13 sets on their current home stand, avenged a loss Sept. 7 in Eugene. That win marked the first for the Beacons (14-7, 7-5) in 14 cracks at the all-time series, and it was spurred in part by their 12 service aces.

But SOU senior libero Renee Yomtob made sure those problems didn't resurface Friday, posting 21 digs to lead a Raider serve-receive game that allowed only two NCU aces.

"When we start passing like we did tonight — which was pretty flawlessly — it puts a lot of pressure on their servers because they go for broke every time," Raiders head coach Josh Rohlfing said. "Renee was fantastic in that aspect again, just every bit the all-conference player she was last year. I'm so impressed by her work ethic and commitment, and you can see it pay off on nights like these."

SOU's usual cast of standouts took full advantage, too.

Freshman middle Emma Gasman, the league's most efficient hitter, was well above her attacking average at .524 with 12 kills; junior hitter Paulla Pinheiro had 12 kills and seven digs; and junior middle Nikki Keller racked up nine kills on 14 swings.

Freshman setter Lauren McGowne also had another big night with 42 assists and nine digs. She's averaging 14 assists per set during the win streak and, by comparison, league leader Lindsay Mangan is averaging 11.2 during CCC play for Concordia.

The Beacons led as late as 15-14 in the first set and 4-3 in the second, but that was it. They never led by more than a point and went down 13-4 in the third set.

"We're just a different group than we were up (in Eugene) in terms of our mentality," Rohlfing said. "We were having a hard time closing sets and being consistent. This was a much better effort and completely concerted."

Mona Goudarzian added eight kills for SOU while Keller and Gasman were both in on a match-high three blocks.

The Raiders host Corban at 7 tonight.

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