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Victory puts Raider netters atop standings

ASHLAND — The surging Northwest University volleyball team lacked the firepower to keep up with 11th-ranked Southern Oregon on Saturday, as the Raiders chipped away at a 25-18, 19-25, 25-20, 25-19 win at Riehm Arena.

SOU (19-3 overall, 13-1 Cascade Conference) was rewarded for its ninth straight win with sole possession of first place for the first time this season, thanks in part to third-place Concordia’s four-set upset of eight-ranked Eastern Oregon.

A night after her most efficient match of the season, sophomore middle Emma Gasman stayed hot with a career-high 20 kills on 32 swings and a .469 attacking average. Motade Atanda added 21 kills on a .226 average to lead the Raiders in that category for the fourth straight match.

Atanda also collected 12 digs, while Brookelynn Cole had a match-high 27, Paulla Pinheiro had 19 with 12 kills, and Tyana Andrews had 15.

The Raiders held a 92-71 advantage in digs — granted, their lackluster total of 30 attacking errors contributed to that — in holding Northwest (12-14, 5-10) to a .114 attacking average.

Gasman, helped by Lauren McGowne’s 58 assists, brought SOU’s average up to .189. She had eight of her kills when the Raiders closed out the match in the fourth set.

“That’s a really good team that keeps getting better and they made it hard on us,” Raiders coach Josh Rohlfing said. “We were really tenacious tonight and responded well when (Northwest) won the second set.”

The Raiders next play the three teams immediately behind them in the standings, beginning on the road Friday and Saturday at College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon.

Women’s Soccer

SOU 5, OREGON TECH 1: At Klamath Falls, Southern Oregon scored four second-half goals for the win in the regular-season finale.

Kelsey Randall tallied two goals and one assist, Megan McArthur scored twice and Serena DeChristofaro tacked on the final goal for the Raiders (5-10-1 overall), who went 4-4-1 in Cascade Conference play.

The Raiders were already guaranteed a spot in the CCC tournament, but now their quarterfinal destination is locked in: With the No. 6 seed, they’ll travel to face third-seeded Corban on Nov. 5.

Corban won the regular-season game against SOU, 1-0 in Salem on Oct. 4.

SOU had failed to score more than one goal in its previous five games and hadn’t scored five in a match since a win against Corban last year.

Oregon Tech (5-10-2, 0-7-2) scored first in the 22nd minute when a failed clear led to Amanda Hisey’s 18-yard shot.

The equalizer belonged to McArthur in the 26th, a chip-shot via Randall’s corner kick. Her next goal, in the 58th minute, put the Raiders up 2-1 after she stole a loose ball and shot it from 18 yards out over Owl keeper Rebekah Matteri’s head.

The Raiders are 4-1 this season when they score more than one goal.

McArthur has a team-high five goals and Randall has four. The multi-score games were the first of their careers.

SOU keeper Kylie Moltzen had six saves.