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RAIDER ROUNDUP: SOU splits on Day 1 of Invitational

Ex-Crater standout Kievit breaks OIT school volleyball record

ASHLAND — Southern Oregon nearly followed up a season-opening sweep of Park Gilbert (Ariz.) with an upset of No. 11-ranked Concordia (Neb.) but came up short in the tiebreaker set and settled for a split Thursday in the Raider Invitational at Lithia Motors Pavilion.

In their 25-23, 25-17, 25-21 win over Park Gilbert, the Raiders got eight kills and 10 digs from junior outside hitter Mylena Testoni, making her SOU debut, and eight kills on a .471 average with four blocks from junior middle Sadie Byrd.

Taylor Russell and Gwen Sheldon combined for 28 assists, orchestrating a .245 team attack. Simone Gordon contributed seven kills and assisted three blocks, while Karina Oliveira logged 16 digs before her day ended due to injury.

Concordia — which opened with a defeat of No. 19 Oregon Tech — prevailed by scores of 25-18, 19-25, 25-13, 21-25 and 15-12 in the nightcap against the Raiders. Leading 10-8 in the fifth set, they went on a 4-1 run bookended by Kalee Wiltfong’s block and Rebecca Gebhart’s service ace.

Ashley Keck totaled 19 kills on 51 swings to lead three Bulldogs in double figures. Bree Burtwistle finished with 50 assists and 10 digs.

Trailing 12-4 in the fourth set, the Raiders climbed back into the match with six blocks, four of which Byrd was in on. They ended up with 13 blocks in the contest, led by Byrd’s eight, and got stellar floor defense from Testoni (12 digs) and Kayla Neidigh (22 digs).

Haley Van Well had a team-high 14 kills and Carol Melo added nine on 13 attempts to go with four blocks.

Van Well accumulated 19 kills on the day. Gordon and Testoni had 15 apiece.

The Raiders were set to play their final game of the Invitational at 3:30 p.m. Friday in a rematch with Park Gilbert.

For Oregon Tech, former Crater High standout Aubrey Kievit broke a 10-year-old school record in a four-set loss to Concordia (Neb.) and the Owls were later swept by Park (Ariz.).

The Owls (0-2) fell in an offensive battle against Concordia – 29-31, 26-24, 25-19, 25-17, while Park used 12 service aces to their advantage in a 15-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20 win.

Kievit was the story in the opener, recording 32 digs in the contest — the most in a four-set match in program history. The senior surpassed the previous record of 30, set by Marie Baumann in 2012.

Women’s Soccer

WESTMONT (CALIF.) 1, SOU 0: At Santa Barbara, Calif., Reese Davidson struck with a penalty kick in the 70th minute for the lone goal in No. 8-ranked Westmont (Calif.)’s 1-0 win over Southern Oregon on Thursday at Thorrington Field, spoiling keeper Jessie Selby’s excellent season-opening performance.

Selby picked up nine saves — four in the first half, five in the second — to keep the Raiders close despite some lopsided shot totals. She guessed right on Davidson’s PK, too, but the kick beat her to the right-pocket spot.

The Warriors, who appeared in last year’s NAIA national quarterfinal round, had advantages of 23-7 in shots and 10-2 in shots on goal. Their keeper, Kailey Meyer, denied Madison Childers and Malaika Quigley from converting SOU’s only on-target attempts.