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SOU netters rally past No. 12 Corban in five sets

ASHLAND — There was a growing sense on Friday night at Lithia Motors Pavilion that Southern Oregon might have to wait until 2020 to win a regular-season set against Corban before Maddie Pernich and Taylor Ristvedt swiftly interjected with other plans.

The 12th-ranked Warriors, who swept their first matchup with No. 9 SOU in Salem, won the first set decisively and led the second 19-12 but couldn’t sustain momentum. Behind Ristvedt’s 17 kills and Pernich’s 14, the Raiders charged back for a 20-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-17, 15-10 Cascade Conference win, their seventh in a row.

The second-place Raiders (22-3 overall, 13-2 CCC) now lead Corban (15-7, 12-4) by two matches in the loss column with five left to play. They also stayed one back of first place, keeping pace with third-ranked Eastern Oregon ahead of next Friday’s tilt in La Grande.

Pernich totaled all four of her second-set kills without an error as SOU closed the frame with a 13-4 run, scoring seven straight at one point to take a 24-22 lead. When the Raiders ran away with the fourth - starting with a 4-1 lead and never trailing thereafter - she recorded seven kills on 13 swings with one error.

Ristvedt took over the tiebreaker with four kills, but the Raiders benefited from some sloppy Warriors play that included two ball-handling errors and two non-attacking over-hits that landed out of bounds. Tied 8-8, Elliott Cook put away a kill that was followed by two bad sets, putting SOU firmly in control.

The Raiders got stronger as the night went on in the back row: Emma Ryan led the team with 18 digs, Sara Fanger had 12, and Kadyn Jones and Ella Ristvedt combined for 17. The setters were also stellar in a .242 attack, as Hannah Bogatin recorded 30 assists and six digs and Tehani Faitau had 24 assists and a season-high five aces.

Cook and Makayla Hoyt added 10 kills apiece.

The Warriors slowed SOU’s attack down sporadically, totaling eight blocks in their two set wins and two combined in the their three losses. In the fourth, they went on an 11-0 run.

“I’m really proud of the way we fought through some mental struggles,” SOU coach Josh Rohlfing said. We were a little up and down at times in the beginning, but the way we adapted to what Corban did throughout the match was really special.”

Sarah Randall had 12 kills with no errors and assisted four blocks, while Avari Ridgway (11 kills) and Jacquelyn Clark (8 kills) were in on six blocks apiece. Kealani Ontai registered 18 digs and Jadyn Mullen had 28 assists in a .231 attack.

Three of SOU’s four home matchups against NAIA Top 25 opponents have gone to five sets. The Raiders had dropped just one set in their previous six outings.

ROGUE CC 3, CLACKAMAS CC 2: Rogue Community College fought back after dropping the opening set to outlast Clackamas Community College in a five-set thriller, 21-25, 25-18, 25-10, 18-25, 15-10.

The win improved the Ospreys to 22-2 overall, 10-1 in the Northwest Athletic Conference. Clackamas fell to 10-20, 2-9 in the NWAC.

Women’s Soccer

SOUTHERN OREGON 3, WARNER PACIFIC 0: At Ashland, for the first time in October, one of the subjects of Southern Oregon’s halftime chat was protecting a lead at Raider Stadium.

The Raiders enjoyed that luxury after scoring three times in the first half of their win, their second straight victory going into Sunday’s 10 a.m. home finale against Multnomah.

SOU (7-5-2 overall, 4-3-2 CCC) had only scored one first-half goal in its previous five games, and hadn’t secured a first-half lead in six. Senior forward Mia Volpatti changed that in the fourth minute, when Trinity Rhoades led her into the left side of the box for a quick strike. It turned into Volpatti’s first goal of the season and the 11th of her career, putting her in the top-15 on SOU’s all-time list.

In the 40th minute, Ruth Hegstad’s corner kick ricocheted from player to player before finding Michala Denn for a point-blank shot fired into the net. Two minutes later, Sarah Mauk got lined up with the right post inside the box and converted for her second goal – giving fellow freshman Mia Santander her first collegiate points with the assist.

Denn, a junior defender, has recorded points in four of SOU’s last five games. The goal was her third of the season.

The Knights (3-9, 3-5) didn’t register their first shot until the 74th minute. SOU ran up a 30-2 disparity, and Knights keeper Alyssa Guthrie made eight saves.

The shutout was SOU’s second in a row and sixth of the season, though keeper Jessie Selby didn’t need a save to complete it.

The Raiders have defeated WPU in five consecutive seasons. They’re now unbeaten in 15 of their last 16 home games and haven’t lost to the Knights in Ashland since 2008.

Men’s Soccer

SOUTHERN OREGON 3, WARNER PACIFIC 1: At Ashland, Southern Oregon broke open a scoreless game with three straight goals inside the final 23 minutes to pull out a key win at Raider Stadium.

The Knights (8-5-1, 5-4-1 Cascade Conference), could have forced a tied in third place with SOU (9-5-1, 7-2-1) with a win, but instead the Raiders ran their unbeaten streak to five games with three left to play in the regular season.

Freshman Alan Gaytan recorded two assists and freshman Adrian Villegas tied SOU’s single-season goals record with his 10th during the decisive push. They hooked up for the go-ahead score in the 68th minute, when Gaytan sent a cross from the left side that Daniel McDevitt let through the Villegas, who sent a centered strike inside the left post.

McDevitt got his turn in the 74th after retrieving Austyn Ciampa’s long pass near the end line and dotting a precision shot from inside the left post and through the side of the net.

The Raiders completed the rally in the 82nd off of Gaytan’s corner kick, which he directed to Ciampa in space for a 25-yard dart the went just under the crossbar for his first goal of the season.

Warner Pacific didn’t get on the board until Franklin Cordon deposited his sixth goal in the 84th.

The Raiders compiled a 16-8 edge in shots and Wyatt Zabinski made three saves.

Their CCC home unbeaten streak went to 18 games going into Sunday’s 12:30 p.m. home finale against Multnomah, before which they’ll recognize 12 seniors likely appearing at Raider Stadium for the last time.

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