Perkinson, Schireman lead SOU runners
MONMOUTH — Southern Oregon runners Jessa Perkinson and Ray Schireman picked up where they left off last year, and the fourth-ranked Raider men picked up a team title in their first outing of the season Friday evening at Western Oregon's Ash Creek Invitational.
Perkinson was runner-up on the 4,600-meter women's course for 15th-ranked SOU, finishing in 16 minutes 53.8 seconds — exactly one second off the pace of winner Rebecca Bassett, an NCAA Division II All-American for Simon Fraser. The Raider women were third of six teams, finishing behind Simon Fraser and Western Oregon.
The SOU men dominated their nine-team, 6,300-meter affair, accumulating 27 points to second-place Western Oregon's 55. Schireman, last year's Cascade Conference champion, was second in 19:06.8 behind WOU's David Ribich, who came in 13 seconds earlier.
SOU's Dylan Alexander and Connor Cushman both came in at 19:11.8 to take the fourth and fifth spots, and Caleb Diaz was sixth in 19:22. Five more Raiders were among the top-30 in the 108-person field: 14th-place Noah Oberriter (19:51.3), 16th-place Kevin Poteracke (19:57.1), 19th-place Ryan Alexander (20:02.8), 27th-place Matthew Williams (20:23.1) and 28th-place Ben Stevens (20;33.7).
Kayle Blackmore (18:11.6) and Natalie Berania (18:15.9) had strong outings for the Raider women in 11th and 12th of 103. Making their collegiate debuts, freshman Jassmine Reill (18:30) and Ariana Toland (18:32.6) were 18th and 20th. Four more Raiders hit the top-30, finishing within 13 seconds of each other: Bree Weber (18:45.8) in 24th, Kimberly Nava (18:53.7) in 28th, Marisa D'Orfani (18:55.6) in 29th and Aspen Abbott (18:58.2) in 30th.
SOU will return to action next Saturday at University of Washington's Sundodger Invitational.
SOU, 3, EVERGREEN 2: At Ashland, Southern Oregon lost its sets-won streak and nearly lost the match against Evergreen, rallying in the tiebreaker set to hold off the Geoducks 25-16, 25-16, 23-25, 24-26, 15-12 at Mountain Avenue Gym.
The Raiders (5-5 overall, 2-1 Cascade Conference) had taken 63 straight sets from Evergreen (2-7, 1-2) until letting the third and fourth slip away. They trailed 8-6 in the fifth, and it was 10-all until a Geoducks attacking error and consecutive Lauren Mcgowne service aces.
McGowne finished with a career-high 62 assists, setting up Emma Gasman (17 kills), Nila Lukens (16), Courtney Macklin (15) and Taylor Ristvedt (14). McGowne also had six of the Raiders' 10 blocks.
Cheyenne Baird led the Geoducks with 18 kills, and Kylie Kytan had 50 assists.