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Southern Oregon inches toward volleyball crown

Southern Oregon University edged closer to its first Cascade Conference regular season volleyball championship since 1991 with a three-game sweep over Northwest College at McNeal Pavilion Saturday.

The Raiders improved their home record to 10-0 this season with the 15-0, 15-12, 15-5 victory over Northwest.

If Southern Oregon (21-6, 12-2 Cascade) wins its remaining league tilts at Western Baptist (14-9, 7-6 Cascade) and 15th-ranked Concordia (13-4, 11-2 Cascade) next weekend it would clinch the title and host the six-team postseason tournament Nov. 12-13.

The Raiders lead 23rd-ranked Northwest Nazarene (23-5, 12-3) by one game in the loss column.

In Game — against Northwest, Southern Oregon scored 15 straight points interrupted by only three sideouts, the school's first shutout in two seasons.

The Eagles, who extended SOU to five games during an earlier match in Kirkland, Wash., raced to leads of 9-2 and 11-4 in the second game.

But three Raider aces, including a pair by sophomore hitter Shelley Gorin, and two Sarah Lukacs' dinks helped Southern Oregon score nine straight points. A Gorin cross-court smash sealed the comeback.

The Raiders took only one swing -- a Monica Fisher kill -- while scoring the first five points in Game — due to four Eagles attack errors. Gorin provided two kills to extend the lead to 8-0, and Northwest never mounted a serious challenge.

Gorin led all players with 12 kills, while freshman middle Lukacs added eight.

Senior setter Erin Lytle assisted on 31 of SOU's 37 kills, and junior defender Jamie Csoros contributed a team-high 14 digs.