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Elliott garners award

If the Southern Oregon University volleyball team and coach Paul Elliottlearned one thing from the 1997 season, it was how to persevere in the faceof adversity.

Beset with injuries to key players in the stretch-run of the season,Elliott and the Raiders still managed to put themselves in playoff contentionwith a 25-9 record.

For his efforts, the 40-year-old Elliott was named Cascade Conferencecoach of the year by his peers.

I never gave it one thought. It came as a big surprise, saidElliott, whose team was snubbed from an at-large berth to the regional tournament.The award is not nearly as important as going on with our season.

Two of the big reasons for Southern Oregon's success this year were seniorSherry Short and junior Susan Rodinsky, who were named to the league's all-starteam.

Short's second straight appearance on the list says a lot about her skillsbecause she was in and out of the lineup because of injuries. She finishedwith 314 kills in 76 games.

She's a dominating player because she's big, strong and hits theball really hard, said Elliott.

Rodinsky's imposing presence in the middle of the Southern Oregon attackwas felt by every opponent. She had 375 kills in 116 games.

She was an all-league player from day one, said Elliott.She's by far the most dominating middle player in the league.

Raiders setter Erin Lytle and hitter Misti-Kae Filley got honorable mention.

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