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Raiders up to No. 5 in NAIA poll

The Southern Oregon University football team will be toting its highest in-season ranking in over 12 years when it welcomes Montana Western to Raider Stadium this Saturday.

As the result of a couple high-profile upsets during their bye week, the Raiders (5-0 overall, 4-0 Frontier Conference) ascended two spots to No. 5 in the NAIA's fourth poll of the 2014 regular season. Since starting at 22nd in the preseason, they've moved up in four straight polls.

Top 25 voters haven't been this impressed with the Raiders during a season since they held the No. 2 post after opening 2002 with a win, though they promptly tumbled seven spots due to a loss in the second week.

SOU was also ranked fifth in the 2012 postseason rankings following a 9-3 campaign that included a run to the NAIA quarterfinals, but peaked at No. 10 prior to the playoffs.

Carroll went up one spot to No. 4, Eastern Oregon went from 17th to 15th and Rocky Mountain went from 18th to 17th.

This week's 1 p.m. contest will be SOU's first on the new synthetic field turf at Raider Stadium. The 2014 SOU Sports Hall of Fame class – which includes the 1967-68 men's basketball team, the 1978 men's track and field team, former wrestling and wrestling coach John Speasl, and former basketball player Ryan Harbert – will be honored at halftime.

Free Operation Red t-shirts will be given to the first 700 fans, while Rogue Credit Union members will be admitted free of charge. Saturday's is also the Asante Breast Cancer Awareness Game, so pink pom-poms will be handed out to the first 240 students.

SOU volleyball players honored

Southern Oregon's Motade Atanda and Emma Gasman were named the Cascade Conference volleyball players of the week on Monday.

Atanda had 31 kills over the weekend to earn offensive player of the week honors, while Gasman had three solo blocks and eight assisted blocks to earn the league's weekly defensive award. 

Atanda also had 17 digs, three assists and four blocks in SOU's wins over Northwest and Evergreen State.

The Raiders (14-3, 8-1 CCC), who have won nine of their last 10 matches, travel to face Oregon Tech on Wednesday.