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SOU sweeps past Menlo, UC Merced

ROCKLIN, Calif. — The No. 21-ranked Southern Oregon University volleyball team swept through its first day at the William Jessup Invitational, downing Menlo (Calif.) and UC Merced as hitters Hannah Stadstad and Hailey Van Well combined for 46 kills Friday at Warrior Court.

The Raiders improved to 3-0 heading into today’s matches against William Jessup (Calif.) and Simpson (Calif.).

SOU opened the tourney with a 25-17, 25-21, 25-16 defeat of the Oaks (0-1) behind Van Well’s 15 kills and Stadstad’s nine kills and four blocks. Taylor Jackson was also in on four of the SOU’s nine blocks, and setters Hannah Randall (16 assists, 4 aces) and Gwen Sheldon (15 assists, 3 aces) led the team to nine service aces and a .200 attacking average.

In the 25-19, 25-23, 25-15 win against Merced (0-4), that average shot to .360 as Van Well (10 kills) and Stadstad (12 kills) attacked at a .541 clip on their 34 combined attempts.

After leading the Raiders with 13 digs in the morning session, senior libero Kadyn Jones followed up with 16 more against the Bobcats. Van Well added eight digs on the day, and Karina Oliveira had nine against Menlo.

“Our floor defense was exceptional and I saw the team do some things in that arena that I’ve not seen often in my career at SOU,” Raiders head coach Josh Rohlfing said after the first match. “They definitely demonstrated a high volleyball IQ, and once again our outsides played at a very high level.”

Simone Gordon contributed six kills in each match. Against Merced, Randall totaled 16 assists and Sheldon had 12, and both registered two of SOU’s 12 aces.