ASHLAND — For the fourth week in a row, the Southern Oregon University football team moved up in the NAIA Top 25 coaches' poll Monday, this time to No. 8 in the latest rankings released by the national office.
The Raiders improved to 5-0 in the Frontier Conference with Saturday's 24-23 home win against Rocky Mountain (Montana), making them one of 10 unbeaten teams left in the NAIA. They shot up one spot by jumping Marian (Indiana), which previously held the No. 8 position before taking its second loss over the weekend.
The Raiders started at No. 25 in the preseason poll. They peaked last year at No. 8 on Oct. 10 after a win at Rocky Mountain made them 4-2.
They and fifth-ranked Montana Tech (4-0) are two games up in the loss column on Rocky and Montana Western, and at least three up on everyone else. With five regular-season games remaining, SOU has a bye this week before returning to the field Oct. 14 at Eastern Oregon.
SOU 3, WILLIAM JESSUP 0: At Ashland, Elliott Cook recorded seven kills and six blocks, Ashlyn Flynn had 15 digs and Southern Oregon scored a 25-7, 25-19, 25-12 nonconference win.
The Raiders totaled 13 blocks, a three-set high for the season, and held the Warriors (15-9) to a negative-.103 attacking average.
They improved to 8-6 in the process.
RAIDERS HONORED: The top-ranked Southern Oregon men's cross country team, two Raider football players and one soccer player were awarded with weekly conference accolades, the Frontier and Cascade Conference offices announced Monday.
The Raider men were named the CCC team of the week. The defending NAIA champions were sixth of 22 in the team standings Saturday at the Sacramento State Capital Cross Challenge, in a field where every other team was NCAA Division I or II.
Noah Oberriter had SOU's fastest time of 24:52.2 on the 8,000-meter Haggin Oaks Golf Course, placing 23rd of 227 overall, while Connor Cushman (25:09.4, 35th), Kevin Poteracke (25:12.0, 36th) and Ray Schireman (25:56.6, 52nd) were also near the top of the field.
Hannah Ceciliani, a redshirt-freshman goalkeeper, was voted the CCC women's soccer defensive player of the week after picking up eight saves in SOU's second and third straight shutouts. She helped the Raiders (3-1 CCC) defeat Northwest Christian on Friday, 1-0, and Corban on Saturday, 1-0, and in the latter match had six saves — her highest total in an SOU shutout this season.
For the eighth-ranked SOU football team, senior safety Keegan Lawrence was the Frontier defensive player of the week, and junior kicker Marcus Montano was the special teams player of the week — a byproduct of the Raiders' 24-23 win Saturday against Rocky Mountain.
Lawrence made a season-high 11 tackles, including 10 solo, and collected his second interception of the year as the Raiders (5-0) held a fifth straight opponent under 30 points. Montano drilled a career-long 48-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference in the game.