Rohlfing nets 200th win as Raiders rout NW Christian
EUGENE — Southern Oregon volleyball coach Josh Rohlfing's 200th career victory was met with little resistance Friday by Northwest Christian, as the 16th-ranked Raiders cruised 25-19, 25-20, 25-17 to grab the milestone in straight sets.
Corynn Kopra had a match-high 15 kills for the Raiders (23-3 overall, 16-3 Cascade Conference), who improved on their league-best attacking average with a .289 clip that consisted of just nine attacking errors. The Beacons (14-12, 7-12), on the other hand, committed 23 attacking errors and hit .112.
The victory brought the Raiders within one win of clinching the No. 2 seed in the CCC tournament and a bye to the semifinal round, which will be hosted by league champion Eastern Oregon next Friday. They close out the regular season Saturday at Corban with a 5 p.m. meeting.
SOU never trailed in the first or third sets, and broke a 13-all tie in the second with a 6-1 run. Tyana Andrews posted five of her six kills in the opening frame, Kopra had five in the second, and Kopra and Gasman had seven apiece in the third. Gasman finished with 11 kills on 19 attacks without an error, adding six digs and three assisted blocks.
Lauren McGowne, the NAIA's leader in assists per set, raised her average from 11.8 to 11.9 with 39 assists. She also had 13 digs, while Andrews collected 13 and Ashlyn Flynn 14.
Rohlfing, in his ninth season as head coach, became the fastest to reach 200 wins of the three SOU coaches who've done it. His win percentage of .763 (200-62) ranks seventh among all active NAIA coaches.
An already festive evening was made sweeter Friday by the 13th-ranked Southern Oregon University men's wrestling team, which turned in five bonus-point wins for a 27-14 season-opening win over 17th-ranked Menlo at Riehm Arena.
In front of a large partisan crowd that included a group of SOU wrestling alumni on hand for 60th-season opener and the first men's and women's intertwined dual, Menlo initially subdued the celebration by claiming decisions in the first two bouts.
But, starting with Trevor Hancock's 2-minute 13-second pin of Christian Racimo in the 141-pound bout, SOU claimed six of the final eight weight classes.
Two-time All-American Tyler Cowger put SOU up for good with a 13-0 major decision against Jeff Uyesaka at 149 pounds, and 157-pound redshirt-freshman Kyle Sether followed him with another convincing major decision – an 11-2 upset of Rogelio Bravo that made the score 14-6 at intermission.
C.J. McKinnis, another freshman at 165 pounds, picked up where the Raiders left off after the break with a 53-second pin of Joseph Jauregui in his first collegiate match. After Justin Lozano got the Oaks back on the board with a major decision, SOU 184-pounder Ryan McWatters (ranked fourth in the NAIA) just missed a technical fall in a dominant 24-11 defeat of Nate Rodriguez.
Raider heavyweight Alejandro Sandoval ended the night on a high note by controlling Brady Rivera with a 2-0 decision that was padded with riding time.
Sixth-ranked Troy Lakin (125) and Logan Eaton (133) claimed decisions for Menlo, and 15th-ranked Kenny Steers (197) claimed a major decision.
The Raiders are now 24-3 all-time against Menlo and have won the last 14 head-to-head matchups. SOU has also won four straight season-openers.
Kal Holliday made Raider history Friday night at Riehm Arena by becoming the first victorious Southern Oregon women's wrestler in the program's inaugural dual against Menlo.
Holliday scored a 10-0 technical fall against Brittany Woods-Arson in the 130-pound matchup that ended in the first round. In the very next match, 136-pounder Chloe Spencer became the second Raider to notch a win with a 10-0 technical fall of her own against Melanie Cordero that took 2:05.
Those were SOU's only wins of the night against the 12th-ranked Oaks, who took the dual by a 42-10 score. The Raiders had to forfeit three weight classes, which put them in an immediate 18-0 hole.
Menlo got bonus-point wins from 116-pounder Cady Chessin (technical fall), 123-pounder Bianca Arizpe (technical fall), 143-pounder Lahi Kanakanui (pin) and 155-pounder Iman Kazen (technical fall). Rachael Chinn claimed the only decision of the night, 4-0 in the 170-pound weight class.
SOU returns to the mat Sunday at the Pacific Open in Forest Grove, which begins at 9 a.m.