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Raiders fifth in tourney


-- After failing to reach the top flight, the Southern Oregon volleyball team responded Saturday by placing fifth at the 16-team Whitworth Invitational.

The Raiders needed only three games to top Whitworth and Central Washington to post the highest finish in the second flight.

SOU upended Whitworth 15-9, 15-10, 15-4 in advancing to the fifth-place final against Central Washington, where the Raiders won 15-13, 16-14, 15-9.

SOU coach Paul Elliott credited all 11 of his available players for solid efforts in the tourney. The Raiders finished with a 4-1 tournament record and improved to 7-2 overall. Playing once again without Beth Stidham, who sprained an ankle last weekend, the Raiders had several players step up in Saturday's action.

Kristina Wurtz notched a team-high 13 kills against Whitworth, while Monica Fisher had 13 kills and Kacee Jacobsen and Shelley Gorin each added 12 against Central Washington. Erin Lytle chipped in a combined 75 assists in the two matches.

SOU returns to the court Sept. 10-11 when it plays host to Western Baptist and Concordia, respectively, at McNeal Pavilion. Match time is 7 p.m. each night.