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Raiders top No. 22 Vanguard, then lose

LA MIRADA, Calif. — The Southern Oregon University volleyball team gave some of the top teams in the NAIA something to think about with its third straight win at the Biola Invitational to start the season Friday, this one over 22nd-ranked Vanguard.

Then second-ranked Concordia-Irvine gave the Raiders a reminder that there is still a long way to go.

The Raiders convincingly swept Vanguard, 27-25, 25-20 and 25-17, and were swept by Concordia, 25-16, 25-13 and 25-23. They went home with a 3-1 record and have one more weekend to prepare for their Cascade Conference slate, competing a week from now at the U.C. Merced Tournament.

After posting 41 kills in two matches Thursday, Motade Atanda was stellar again with 12 kills and 16 digs in the win, and, alongside her at outside hitter, Paulla Pinheiro helped with eight kills, five digs and two service aces. The middles were impressive again, too: Emma Gasman had 11 kills and got in on a career-high 12 blocks, and Nikki Keller put down nine kills on 13 tries in helping SOU to a .263 hitting average.

Lauren McGowne spread out 36 assists.

In the loss, the Raiders were limited to .061 hitting compared to .245 for Concordia, which was led by Rachel Flynn's 10 kills. Pinheiro paced the Raiders by recording nine kills and six digs.

McGowne had another 25 assists in the loss, while Brookelynn Cole had 12 digs to give her 24 on the day.

Concordia finished the tournament 4-0, and Vanguard went 2-2.