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COLLEGE ROUNDUP: SOU volleyball impresses in sweep

ASHLAND — Using Bushnell as a measuring stick, the Southern Oregon University volleyball team experienced its most significant growth spurt yet Friday night at Lithia Motors Pavilion.

The Raiders, after being swept by the Beacons a month ago, returned the favor with a 25-23, 25-23, 25-12 Cascade Conference decision for their highest-quality win of the season.

Redshirt-freshman outside hitter Hailey Van Well poured in 16 kills on 29 swings and sophomore middle Carol Melo was in on six of the Raiders’ nine blocks. Their play at the net translated to a lowly .134 team attacking average for the Beacons (17-4 overall, 13-4 CCC), who had won 10 of their last 11 matches coming into the night.

“I’m just so proud of the way we blocked against a really good team,” SOU coach Josh Rohlfing said. “We were in the right spots, made adjustments, and sustained our focus on every point. That’s the team I know we can be and I felt like this was a big step forward.”

The Raiders bumped their record to 12-10 overall and 7-10 in the CCC entering Saturday’s 7 p.m. match against first-place and No. 5-ranked Corban. The victory was their first against a team with a winning conference record.

Sadie Byrd, Simone Gordon and Hannah Stadstad assisted three blocks each and combined for 15 kills on 39 attacks. Shelby Young contributed seven big kills — including four in the second set, where the Raiders rallied back from a 22-18 deficit with six straight points.

Setters Taylor Russell (20 assists) and Gwen Sheldon (18 assists) led SOU to a .277 collective attacking average. Kadyn Jones’ 11 digs and Karina Oliveira’s nine helped keep the Beacons’ attack down on the other side.

Shay Coons led Bushnell with 12 kills and Payton Jones went for nine kills.

ROGUE CC 3, CLACKAMAS CC 0: At Grants Pass, Catherine Rostel had 11 kills and Devin Ireland contributed 30 assists to lead Rogue Community College to a straight-set win, 26-24, 25-14, 25-19.

Mackenzie Ososke and Toni Stevens each had seven kills and Jeanie Palsis added 19 digs for the Ospreys (16-7, 7-4) in the win over Clackamas (4-13, 2-9).

Men’s Soccer

ROGUE CC 3, PORTLAND CC 1: At Grants Pass, Rogue Community College secured at least a second-place conference finish after a first-minute goal by Randy Rodriguez set the tone for the Ospreys.

Rodriguez later set up Jhoel Sarraude for his 16th goal of the season in the 27th minute to give the Ospreys (8-1-2, 6-1-2) a 2-0 lead at the break.

Portland Community College (2-5-3, 2-4-3) cut its deficit in half in the 79th minute but a penalty kick goal by Jonny McCoy in the 83rd minute sealed the victory.

Women’s Soccer

SOU 3, BUSHNELL 0: At Ashland, Southern Oregon moved into a second-place tie in the Cascade Conference behind the Raiders’ sixth win in seven outings.

SOU (9-4-1, 7-2 CCC) got goals from Gabbie Johnson, Phoebe Bunn and Natalie Paul, while goalkeeper Ashlynn Hernandez contributed her fifth shutout and the team’s eighth overall.

The Raiders climbed in the standings over Corban, which will visit Ashland at 1:30 p.m. Sunday on the heels of its 1-0 loss to first-place Oregon Tech. The Owls remain three points up at 8-1, and SOU remains tied with College of Idaho behind them.

Bushnell fell to 4-11 and 2-8 in the CCC.