SOU volleyball team runs win streak against OIT to 34
SOU Sports Information
KLAMATH FALLS — The 10th-ranked Southern Oregon volleyball team is just one win out of first place in the Cascade Conference after keeping its relationship with Oregon Tech one-sided on Friday night at Danny Miles Court.
The Raiders (18-3 overall, 9-2 CCC) made a short weekend even shorter by getting in and out with a 25-16, 25-19, 25-19 win, their 34th in a row against the Owls (11-10, 4-7) and fourth straight head-to-head sweep.
OIT had no answer for All-American middle Makayla Hoyt, who led the Raiders with 10 kills on 20 attacks while assisting three of their seven blocks. Sisters Taylor Ristvedt (9 kills) and Kylie Ristvedt (8 kills) combined for 17 kills and a .424 attacking average, adding two assisted blocks apiece.
Meanwhile in La Grande, No. 7 Eastern Oregon stormed back from a 2-0 sets deficit to hand No. 5 Corban its first CCC loss, leaving them with matching 10-1 circuit records. SOU, which is off until a trip to Portland next weekend, will see both teams again over the next three weeks.
The Raiders were never in danger against the Owls, taking over with leads of 13-5 in the first and 5-1 in the second. In the third, they broke away from a 12-12 tie with a 6-1 spurt.
Junior middle Elliott Cook had a team-high four blocks - marking the 12th time this season she’s reached that number — to go with five kills. Nila Lukens contributed six kills on 13 attacks from the outside, while Tehani Faitau’s 20 assists bumped the team average to .297.
Emma Ryan led the back row with 11 digs. The Raiders had only one reception error in service after leaving the first matchup against the Owls without any.
Nicole Reyes had a team-high seven kills for the Owls but totaled six errors. Their team attacking average of .060 was their lowest against SOU since 2016.
SOUTHERN OREGON 2, COLLEGE OF IDAHO 0: At Ashland, Southern Oregon’s freshmen, Adrian Villegas and Sam Walker, handled the scoring and the Raider defense didn’t give up a shot on goal until 12 minutes remained in a breezy win at Raider Stadium.
SOU (6-5 overall, 4-2 Cascade Conference) has defeated the Yotes (4-5, 2-4) in five straight head-to-head matchups, the latest being its fourth win in five games overall.
Senior midfielder Kelly Gieber took over sole possession of SOU’s career assist record with his 17th in the eighth minute. Daniel McDevitt started the play by finding him in space on the left sideline. After making a run, Gieber led Villegas into the box, and he punched it in with his right foot as keeper Parker Billings came out to try to meet him.
Villegas now has eight goals, including four in CCC play. With total 20 points, he’s one away from matching SOU’s single-season record.
Gieber was also involved in Walker’s fourth goal of the season. When his corner kick in the 83rd minute was batted away, it skipped to Walker all alone for a straight-on 13-yard shot that beat Billings into the lower left corner of the net.
SOU keeper Wyatt Zabinski only needed one save for the Raiders’ fourth shutout. It was the 26th solo of Zabinski’s career, and SOU’s 14th in its last 16 home games.
SOU outshot C of I, 15-6. Ben Bechor had the Yotes’ only one on target.
The result put the Raiders in a tie for third place. At 11 a.m. Saturday they’ll host Eastern Oregon, which dropped to 2-4 in CCC play with a 4-0 loss on Friday at Oregon Tech.
SOUTHERN OREGON 1, COLLEGE OF IDAHO 0: At Ashland, Michala Denn’s first goal at Southern Oregon couldn’t have come at a better time in a Cascade Conference draw at Raider Stadium.
The offense on both sides was unassisted and unconventional, and opened up when freshman reserve Kaitlyn Ramon broke a scoreless tie in the 83rd minute with her first goal as a Yote. With 1 minute 58 seconds left in regulation, Denn struck back by taking on the defense herself to salvage a point for the Raiders.
C of I (3-3-4 overall, 2-2-2 CCC) has already tied more games than any CCC team in three years with six regular-season games left to play. The Raiders went to 5-3-2 overall and 2-1-2 in conference play heading into today’s 1:30 p.m. matchup with sixth-ranked Eastern Oregon, which took its first loss on Friday at Oregon Tech.
The game only featured five shots on goal before Ramon put the Yotes in front. After dribbling into the box with a defender on her back, momentum caused her to fall near the goal and onto the ball. When she got up, the ball was still at her side, and she shot between two defenders and off the fingertips of SOU keeper Jessie Selby with just enough juice to get past the line.
Denn’s goal was nearly as odd. The junior defender - a North Medford High product and George Fox transfer - tried to go through the defense on her way to the box but had the ball knocked away twice. It went to a teammated the first time, and the second time it deflected off of a Yote’s foot and bounced back to Denn, who went in from 20 yards out to beat a couple more defenders and set up a four-yard shot that snuck inside the right post.
The Raiders avoided being shut out in back-to-back CCC regular-season games for the first time since 2012.
They controlled the action with nine of the overtime session’s 11 shots, but C of I keeper Kylee Atkins made four saves in that time to preserve the draw. She finished with eight to Selby’s four.
SOU’s Baylee Touey led all players with three on-target shots.