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SOU’s Melo earns NAIA weekly award

ASHLAND — Southern Oregon middle Carol Melo has been upgraded to the NAIA Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week, the national office announced Tuesday, a day after collecting Cascade Conference honors.

As SOU won 3-1 on Friday at Warner Pacific and 3-0 on Saturday at Multnomah, Melo totaled 19 blocks – the most for any Raider in back-to-back matches since 2014. The 5-foot-11 sophomore from Miguel Alves, Piauí, Brazil — who transferred prior to this season from Barton C.C. (Kan.) — assisted 10 of SOU’s 13 blocks against the Knights, easily eclipsing her previous season-high of seven blocks, then went for eight assisted and one solo the next night against the Lions.

Her efforts helped the Raiders (9-7 overall, 4-7 Cascade Conference) hold their opponents to attacking averages of .120 and .118.

Over nine matches this season, Melo is averaging 0.94 blocks per set and 0.53 kills on a .312 average.

She and the Raiders will play three at Lithia Motors Pavilion matches this week, opening the homestand at 7 p.m. tonight against Oregon Tech.