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Two Raiders earn titles at SOU Open

ASHLAND — The top-ranked Southern Oregon University wrestling team finished with two champions and eight total placers as the SOU Open wrapped up Sunday at Bob Riehm Arena.

Mitchell Lofstedt swept his way through three matches to pick up the title in the 125-pound weight class. He pinned Gabe Goodrich from Clackamas Community College in 2:12 in the first round and pinned Highline Community College's Steven Romero in the semifinal. Lofstedt closed out the championship with an 11-0 major decision victory over Oregon State's Pat Rollins.

Austin Vanderford earned the Raiders' second championship of the weekend when he won all three of his bouts to take the 184-pound title. Vanderford pinned Pacific's Caleb Malycheaskake in 1:20 in his first match, pinned Oregon State's Bryan Engdahl in the semifinal and won the title with a 15-6 major decision victory over Simon Fraser's Clete Hanson.

Six other SOU wrestlers placed: Kyle Wirkuty took third at 149, with Jimmy Eggemeyer finishing fifth. Dalton Urrutia placed third and Brock Crocker fifth at 157 and Derek Mestrovich (174) and Ethan Hinton (197) each placed fifth.

Southern Oregon will visit the University of Great Falls on Thursday before traveling to Havre, Mont., to take on Montana State University Northern on Friday.

CSU BAKERSFIELD 111, SOU 66 — At Bakersfield, Calif., Southern Oregon played its second exhibition game in three days as the Raiders fell to NCAA Division I CSU Bakersfield Sunday at the Icardo Center.

Southern Oregon shot 34.6 percent (27-of-78) in the game, while Bakersfield connected on exactly 50 percent of its shots (40-of-80). The hosts took a 60-37 lead into halftime and outscored SOU 51-29 in the second half.

RaTanya Newsome led SOU with 13 points and Molly Doran added 11 points for the Raiders. Kristine Herman had 23 points for CSU Bakersfield.

SOU EARNS BYE — At Kansas City, Mo., Cascade Collegiate Conference champion Southern Oregon will be one of 12 teams to earn an opening-round bye in the NAIA National Championships, the NAIA announced Sunday.

Southern Oregon, ranked 10th in the final NAIA volleyball poll released earlier Sunday, earned the CCC automatic bid to the NAIA Tournament after defeating regular-season conference champion College of Idaho 3-0 Saturday in the league championship match. The win helped bump the Raiders into the NAIA Top 10 and gain the first-round bye.

The Raiders will make their seventh trip to the NAIA tournament, where they are 14-17 all time. A total of 36 teams earn bids, with the top 12 squads earning a bye and the other 24 qualifying teams playing opening-round matches on Nov. 19 at on-campus sites.