Raiders rout NWC, advance to CCC final
ASHLAND — The stage is set for a rubber match between the Cascade Conference’s regular-season co-champions after Southern Oregon finished off Northwest Christian in a hurry on Friday night, 25-15, 25-18, 25-14 in the semifinal round of the CCC Championships presented by U.S. Bank at Lithia Motors Pavilion.
Taylor Ristvedt, who was named the CCC Player of the Year for the second straight season on Thursday, delivered again with 15 kills on 29 attempts. The senior led SOU (28-3 overall) to a .409 attacking average, its best of 2019 against any team not named Multnomah or Walla Walla.
The seventh-ranked Raiders will host fourth-ranked Eastern Oregon in the tournament final for the second year in a row at 3 p.m. today. The teams split their regular-season meetings, both in five sets. SOU will attempt to win back-to-back tourney titles for the first time since 2010 and 2011.
The Beacons, making their first-ever appearance in the semifinals, wrapped up at 13-15.
SOU found holes in their defense often while completing a sweep of the head-to-head season series. Maddie Pernich complemented Ristvedt with 13 kills on 19 attacks, good for a team-best .632 attacking average. Makayla Hoyt (8 kills) and Elliott Cook (6 kills) dominated the middle, combining for 14 kills on 24 swings and seven assisted blocks.
The Raiders amassed just nine attacking errors on 88 attempts. With six of those totaled on Beacons blocks, only three were unforced.
“That was about as efficient as I’ve seen us this year,” SOU coach Josh Rohlfing said. “Our whole focus was to be poised throughout and I felt like we accomplished that. I was really impressed with our offense against a really good team.”
Setters Tehani Faitau (22 assists) and Hannah Bogatin (19 assists) ran the show. Emma Ryan had 17 digs and Kadyn Jones added seven with two aces.
The Raiders trailed 11-10 in the first set before going on a 6-0 spurt, during which they got three kills from Ristvedt and two from Cook. They maintained control with sideout percentages of 77 in the second set and 73 in the third, and ended the match with a 7-0 run sparked by three kills apiece from Cook and Pernich.
Taylor Gould’s seven kills led the Beacons. Makenna Northern had 22 assists, four kills and four digs.
The Raiders will put a 13-match winning streak on the line Saturday. Ten of those have been sweeps, including each of the last four.
Eastern Oregon also swept its match against 13th-ranked Corban, improving to 29-2.
SOUTHERN OREGON 77, ANTELOPE VALLEY 75: At Klamath Falls, Southern Oregon forward Jordan Hunt scored a season-high 22 points, a handful of which decided the game in the final minute-plus of the 18th-ranked Raiders’ win at the Lithia-Oregon Tech Classic.
Hunt went 8-of-11 from the field, adding four steals and two blocks, and his rebound put-back with 1:06 to play gave the Raiders (2-1 overall) a 74-73 lead. After Allex Austin took it back for the Pioneers with two free throws, Hunt made a pair from the stripe at the other end to put the Raiders up for good with 27 seconds to go.
UAV (4-2) had one last chance, but Ronnie Rousseau III got caught in the air near the baseline and threw the ball away to Tez Allen with two seconds left.
Rousseau — a starter at Missouri State before joining UAV this season — had 29 points for the Pioneers, whose impressive start has included wins over Vanguard (Calif.), the 15th-ranked team at the NAIA Division I level, and NCAA Div. II squad Dominican (Calif.).
Another Raider forward, Tate Hoffman, recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds despite struggling from the field.
Senior guard Conor Carroll came off the bench to score 12 by hitting all four of his 3-point attempts, and his third of the first half gave SOU its biggest lead at 41-31.
Aaron Borich added nine points and three assists. Kerry Cook went 2-of-2 from downtown and scored nine points, adding a few clutch free throws.
The Raiders shot 44 percent from 3-point range (12-of-27) and 48 percent from the field, assisting 17 of their 23 makes. Allen had a team-high five assists.
SOUTHERN OREGON 77, SIMPSON 67: At Klamath Falls, facing a six-point deficit moments into the second half, a dominant third quarter gave Southern Oregon its second win in as many matchups with Simpson (Calif.) at the Lithia-Oregon Tech Classic.
Junior forward Kenadee Honaker registered the first double-double of her career with 12 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals off the bench - shooting 4-of-6 from the field and establishing the tone with five offensive board as the Raiders improved to 2-2.
In the swing quarter, SOU outscored Simpson (1-6 overall) by a 26-13 margin while getting seven points apiece from posts Bryanna Raff and Kami Walk. The Raiders kept the Redhawks at 3-of-20 shooting in the frame and — after scoring just eight points in the second quarter — at one point rattled off a 16-2 run.
Walk, a freshman from Eugene, finished with 12 points, and Raff added nine points and five rebounds.
Senior point guard Daranda Hinkey had her best outing of the season, going for 13 points on 3-of-7 accuracy from downtown with four assists and two steals. Delaney Sparling hit three 3-pointers, Syd’Nee Fryer contributed seven points and nine rebounds, and Dominique Harding had eight points.
Collectively, the Raiders shot 43 percent from the field — their best mark of the season — and went 8-of-26 from outside.
Brianna Clark scored 16 points while Whitney Armstrong and Precious Jackson both had 10 for the Redhawks, who finished at 34 percent from the field.
SOUTHERN OREGON 36, WARNER PACIFIC 16: At Portland, Southern Oregon recovered from a tough trip to Montana with four pins against Warner Pacific, defeating the Knights convincingly in Cascade Conference dual action on Friday night at Bart Valentine Court.
Lorenzo Vasquez (125 pounds), Alex Rendon (141), JJ Talavera (157) and Noah Talavera (174) each won by fall for the Raiders, who improved their record to 1-2. Tanner Sallee (184) and Josh Hammers (197) padded the final score with forfeit victories.