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SOU picks up eighth straight win

ASHLAND — Without its best stuff Friday night at Riehm Arena, the 16th-ranked Southern Oregon volleyball team had to work a little harder than it would've liked to against an improved Corban squad.

Positive finishes in three straight sets allowed the Raiders complete a 25-21, 25-19, 25-21 sweep and stay perfect on the season nonetheless in the Cascade Conference opener for both teams.

SOU (8-0) attacked at a season-low average of .124 but bailed itself out with a season-high 11 blocks. Junior middle Niki Small also delivered her best match of the season, assisting on five of those blocks and matching Tyana Andrews with a team-high eight kills. Small attacked only 12 times to get there.

The Warriors (2-5) gave themselves a chance to win every set. The first one was tied, 19-19; they were down 19-18 at one point in the second; and SOU ended the match on a 9-5 spurt in the third.

Emma Gasman was stingy up front for the Raiders with two solo and four assisted blocks, and three others assisted on blocks: Andrews (4), Lauren McGowne (3) and Corynn Kopra (2).

Ashlyn Flynn was reliable on the back line with 24 digs and Kopra contributed 19. Laura Morse contributed seven kills, while Kopra and Gasman also had five each.

The Raiders have won 25 straight against Corban.

They'll be back home at 5 p.m. today to face Northwest Christian (7-1, 0-1), which lost in four sets Friday at Oregon Tech.