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SOU ROUNDUP: No. 11 Corban handles No. 5 SOU in straight sets

SALEM — An early fight for first place in the Cascade Conference was called earlier than expected on Friday night as 11th-ranked Corban continued its home dominance with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-17 defeat of No. 5 Southern Oregon at the C.E. Jeffers Center.

Corban (8-3 overall, 5-0 CCC) attacked from all angles in hitting .294, the highest average for a Raider opponent in 2019. Freshman middle Lanae Wohlmacher - who started the night averaging less than a kill per set - was the unlikely star with 11 kills on 15 attacks.

SOU (13-2, 4-1) was the fifth top-15 team the Warriors have defeated this season. They’re the last unbeaten left in conference play and, since the start of 2017, they’ve won 26 of 27 home matches.

The Raiders limited Corban’s top hitter, Cassie Cunningham, to six kills on 19 swings, and forced their second-leading hitter, Avari Ridgway, to commit eight errors on her way to eight kills. The other eight Warriors who cracked the kill column, however, combined for only four attacking errors.

Taylor Ristvedt provided a bright spot on SOU’s side with 13 kills on a .276 clip, lifting the Raiders’ team average to .135. Ristvedt also assisted four of their six blocks.

Hannah Bogatin recorded a team-high 17 assists with seven digs and Emma Ryan had 11 digs.

The Raiders were crisp to start the first and second sets, but Corban ended them on runs of 22-10 and 23-14. In the third, the Warriors never trailed.

SOU will try to bounce back at 7 p.m. today at Northwest Christian.

Men’s Cross Country

SOU WINS CCC PREVIEW: At Cotage Grove, Brandon Kelsey and Alex Harbert-Castro were at the front of a tight-knit pack of Southern Oregon University runners who delivered a team win for the second-ranked Raiders at the Cascade Conference Preview Meet.

In an 8,000-meter trek at Middlefield Golf Course, the Raiders put all five of their scorers ahead of 19th-ranked Eastern Oregon’s fourth and Oregon Tech’s third, accumulating 42 points to EOU’s 58 and OIT’s 80 in their first outing of the season.

SOU’s scorers finished within 30 seconds of each other. Brandon Kelsey, a senior All-American, placed fifth in 26 minutes 29.4 seconds. Harbert-Castro, a junior, was sixth in 26:35.8, and sophomore Deklan Humble cracked the top-10 in 26:43.5 for ninth place in the 62-person race.

Kevin VanDyke (26:52.0) was 13th and Gabe Loader (26:59.3) 14th to round out the scoring for the Raiders. Their next two finishers were making their collegiate debuts: 17th place Shea Van Butler (27:04.9) and 23rd-place Jensen Salvatori (27:26.9).

“I thought our spacing, one-through-five and one-through-seven, was really good,” SOU coach Grier Gatlin said. “We definitely have a lot of room for improvement though.”

Northwest (Wash.) senior Riley Sine was the individual medalist in 25:42.9, beating runner-up Alex Navarro of Eastern Oregon by 16 seconds.

The Raiders are scheduled to compete next at Sacramento State’s Capital Cross Challenge on Sept. 28.

Women’s Cross Country

RAIDERS THIRD: At Cottage Grove, Sydnee Kizziar’s eighth-place finish helped the sixth-ranked Southern Oregon University women’s cross country team to third in the team standings at the Cascade Conference Preview Meet.

The Raiders raced shorthanded, without all-conference runner Ariana Toland and Southern Utah University transfer Emma Admundsen, but with 74 points were just two behind Eastern Oregon. Defending national champion Oregon Tech, ranked No. 14, won it with 47 points.

Kizziar, a sophomore from Folsom, Calif., took over SOU’s No. 1 spot and completed the 5,000-meter run at Middlefield Golf Course in 18 minutes 40.8 seconds.

The Raiders’ other four scorers finished with 33 seconds of each other: 12th-place Shayla Potratz (18:54.5), 17th-place Kira Morrow (19:13.4), 19th-place Haylee Brodahl (19:17.3) and 23rd-place Maya Smith (19:27.1). Madison Willhoft was the next placer, finishing in 19:34.9.

Warner Pacific freshman Amelia Pullen was the individual winner in 17:46.0, comfortably ahead of Northwest Christian runner-up Anika Rasubala (18:09.7). All five Oregon Tech scorers placed top-15.