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LOCAL ROUNDUP: No. 6 SOU routs UC Merced

ROCKLIN, Calif. — The completion of a perfect stay at the William Jessup Invitational on Saturday put the Southern Oregon University volleyball team at 9-1 as it turns its attention to a Cascade Conference title defense next week.

The sixth-ranked Raiders had little trouble during their third and fourth matches in two days at Warrior Court, where they took 12 of 15 sets overall. They defeated UC Merced by scores of 25-17, 25-22, 21-25 and 25-19, and Simpson (Calif.) in a 25-17, 25-22, 25-20 sweep.

Taylor Ristvedt compiled 20 kills on the day, including 12 in the first match, and Maddie Pernich had 18, including 12 in the second.

With 41 kills on the weekend, Ristvedt became the eighth player in team history to go over 1,000 in her career.

Against Merced, she was complemented by senior outside hitter Nila Lukens’ sharpest outing of the season, a nine-kill effort on a .471 attacking average. Makayla Hoyt had nine kills on 19 swings, Elliott Cook added nine kills and four blocks, and Emma Ryan led the team with 16 digs.

The Raiders dominated Simpson from the outset with 10 consecutive points in the opening frame and eight straight in the second. Ristvedt added eight kills to Pernich’s 12, Kya Knuth and Myla Norvell had nine digs each and setter Hannah Bogatin recorded three service aces.

Tehani Faitau led the Raiders with 34 assists on the day. They hit .256 in the first match and a season-best .326 in the second.

SOU will open CCC play with four straight matches at Lithia Motors Pavilion, starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Oregon Tech and 1 p.m. Friday against Walla Walla (Wash.).

Prep Volleyball

TORNADO FALLS: At Beaverton, North Medford took second in its pool before falling to defending Class 5A state champion Corvallis in the quarterfinals of the Southridge Invitational in prep volleyball action Saturday.

Playing its first match of the season, the Black Tornado fell to the Spartans, 25-11, 22-25, 15-7.

North Medford went 4-2 in pool play to place second in its pool and advance to bracket play.

“The kids played hard with a lot of heart and our outsides, Lauren Barry and Catherine Rostel, were pretty good for us,” said North Medford head coach Malcolm Munson, who did not have statistics from North’s season opener. “Offensively and defensively, they were very good.”

Munson also praised North middle blocker Jenna Sandstrom.

The Tornado beat Lebanon twice, Lakedridge and Glencoe in one-set pool play matches, and lost to Glencoe and Lakeridge.