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Hansen's header lifts SOU to win

KLAMATH FALLS — Southern Oregon will enter the final week of the regular season still in the hunt for a Cascade Conference championship after taking care of business Saturday at Oregon Tech.

The Raiders survived a 1-0 decision at the OIT Soccer Pitch, where in the 60th minute Ahmon Afenegus sent a cross in Zac Hansen's direction and Hansen converted a game-winning header.

It made the Raiders 9-6-1 overall and 9-1-1 in CCC play with two regular-season games left — next Friday against Providence (Mont.) and Saturday against Carroll (Mont.). Both are slated for 4:30 p.m. starts at Raider Stadium.

SOU took the points lead from Rocky Mountain (9-1 CCC), which won't play its 11th conference game until today against Eastern Oregon. Rocky wraps its schedule next week in Washington at Evergreen and Northwest, the fourth- and fifth-place teams in the standings.

The shutout was SOU's ninth in conference play and fifth in a row. In it, the Raiders only let the Owls (6-7-1, 5-5-1) get off four shots, and Wyatt Zabinksi saved the only one on goal.

The Raiders put four shots on goal, but the first career goal for Hansen, a sophomore from Sacramento, was the only one that mattered. The assists was Afenegus' second of the season and 13th of his career.

SOU is 3-0 in three matchups against Oregon Tech.

Women's Soccer

OREGON TECH 1, SOUTHERN OREGON 0: At Klamath Falls, Cassidy Gosvener's unassisted score in the 52nd minute stood as the game-winner.

Gosvener punched in her seventh goal of the season after beating a defender, putting a strike into the lower-left corner of the goal out of keeper Hannah Ceciliani's reach.

Ceciliani kept SOU in it by making six saves, including four in the second half. But the Raiders generated just two shots on goal — off the feet of Makena Totushek and Trinity Rhoades — and none after halftime.

SOU went to 8-7 overall and 5-4 in Cascade Conference play, dropping into a three-way tie for fifth place. The Owls (8-6, 6-3) took over sole possession of fourth place.

The Raiders had been unbeaten in their previous six meetings with OIT. Entering the day, they'd also been 4-0 in 1-0 conference games this season.

Volleyball

SOUTHERN OREGON 3, WARNER PACIFIC 0: At Ashland, if momentum was what the Southern Oregon volleyball team needed for the home stretch, the Raiders have it in their corner now after completing a weekend sweep and running their winning streak to five matches.

Warner Pacific, which forced the Raiders to overcome a 2-0 sets deficit five weeks ago in Portland, gave SOU no problems this time around in a 25-19, 25-14, 25-19 decision that appeared to be one of the team's sharpest this season.

Elliott Cook had 11 kills, Malie Rube notched seven on 13 attacks and Makayla Hoyt had six to go with five blocks as the Raiders hit .245 collectively — over their season average for the fifth match in a row. During the streak, they've dropped only one set.

At 14-7 overall and 11-5 in Cascade Conference play, the Raiders moved into a fourth-place tie with Northwest (Wash.) with next weekend's trip to Washington for matches at Evergreen and Northwest looming.

Natalie James enjoyed a standout night at setter with 22 assists, nine digs and four of SOU's five service aces, and she ended the match when she had the final say in a lengthy rally with a dump over the net that went for her first kill. She and Hannah Bogatin (15 kills) also helped Taylor Ristvedt to seven kills and Ariana Sattler and Dani Johnson to four apiece.

A .073 attack for the Knights (4-12, 4-12) — the fourth-lowest for an SOU opponent this season — was the product of eight Raider blocks and more sturdy play in the back row, where Ashlyn Flynn corralled 23 digs and Kiley Barcroft had 15.

Janessa Mast, the CCC's most proficient attacker, tallied 15 kills for the Knights but needed 40 attacks and totaled seven errors in getting them. She added 12 digs, while setter Kealia Rosa had 27 assists and 11 digs.

The Raiders only trailed once in the first set, at 1-0, and never in the second. In the third, they switched a 9-8 deficit to a 17-10 lead during a run in which Ristvedt had a couple kills and WPC committed four errors.

Dating back to 2012, the Raiders have won 11 in a row against the Knights.

Cross Country

WARRIOR INVITE: At Rocklin, Calif., Jessa Perkinson cruised to another easy victory and the top-ranked Southern Oregon men beat out No. 4 College of Idaho for a team title at William Jessup's Warrior Invite.

Perkinson won the 5,000-meter women's race by 34 seconds with a time of 17 minutes flat as the Raider women were fourth of seven teams. In the men's 8K, SOU's Kevin Poteracke (24:50.2) placed third and Ryan Alexander (24:58.1) fourth of 114 total finishers, and the Raiders amassed 43 points to C of I's 49 in a 12-team field.