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Coyotes rally past Raiders in CCC semifinals

LA GRANDE — Denying the College of Idaho volleyball team a spot in the Cascade Conference tournament championship match continued to be a dubious assignment Friday in the semifinal round.

Second-seeded and 15th-ranked Southern Oregon had C of I in a 2-1 sets bind, but the third-seeded and 25th-ranked Coyotes used a furious finish to win 25-19, 19-25, 19-25, 25-16, 15-8 at Quinn Coliseum.

Yotes libero Kilee Lopez transformed into a wall late, controlling 10 of her match-high 30 digs in the fifth set. All-conference middle Kylie Porter notched five of her 21 kills in the fifth, and All-American setter Sierra Porter had 54 assists.

The Yotes (20-10) will appear in their 10th straight CCC title match Saturday against either No. 1 seed Eastern Oregon or No. 4 seed Northwest.

The Raiders (24-4) will wait to learn their fate Sunday when the final NAIA Top 25 poll is released, and Monday when the NAIA Championship opening-round pairings are announced. They'll have to remain in the top-23 to host an opening round match on Nov. 21.

Four Raiders reached double digits in kills: Corynn Kopra (13), Laura Morse (12), Emma Gasman (11) and Tyana Andrews (10). Courtney Macklin also had eight kills on 14 attacks for SOU, which hit .253 as a team.

That number was boosted especially, though, in the second and third sets, when the Raiders dominated with attacks of .581 and .500. After losing the first set, they trailed the second 18-15 before going on a 10-1 run.

The Raiders finished by hitting -.053 and .000, thanks to Lopez and six Yotes blocks in the frames.

C of I's attack of .273 was also problematic, considering CCC opponents previously hit .149 against the Raiders. Randi Sturtz had 14 kills, Katy Robinson (11) and Jackie van Vliet (10) combined for 21, and even Sierra Porter had seven on 11 attacks.

Kylie Porter, as usual, was the real nuisance. She hit. 370 with those 21 kills, and finished with 65 kills against SOU this season.

Lauren McGowne went for with 46 assists, five digs and four kills. Four Raiders also hit double-figure dig totals: Ashlyn Flynn (17), Kopra (15), Morse (12) and Andrews (10). Macklin had seven blocks, and Gasman added five.

SOU and C of I have gone to five sets three times in their last five meetings. The Raiders have lost in the semis four years in a row.

Women's Basketball

At San Jose, Calif., Southern Oregon can come home happy with the last three quarters of its exhibition game Friday against San Jose State, but it was the first quarter that made all the difference in a 92-78 loss at The Event Center.

Senior point guard Ashley Claussen scored a career-high 26 points to make the 16th-ranked Raiders respectable in a game they trailed 26-8 after the first stanza and 69-40 late in the third. The Spartans, who compete in the NCAA Div. I's Mountain West Conference, were outscored by SOU in the second (25-20) and fourth (27-20) quarters.

Claussen — who posted 11 points and 11 assists in SOU's 110-91 exhibition loss at SJSU last year — went 7-of-15 from the field with three 3-pointers and 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. Autumn Durand scored all nine of her points at the line and added six boards. Demi Sahlinger and Courtney Setzer chipped in eight points apiece.

The game was a counter for SJSU, its first of the season.

SOU shot 39 percent (21-of-54) and was haunted by 33 turnovers. SJSU also shot 39 percent (32-of-83) but turned it over 10 fewer times and picked up 24 offensive rebounds.

Four Spartans scored in double figures: Riana Byrd (16 points, 6 rebounds), Aniya Baker (13 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds), Jasmine Smith (10 points, 11 rebounds) and Paris Baird (10 points, 4 rebounds).

The Raiders (2-0 overall) return to Riehm Arena for Sunday's 2 p.m. game against Pacific Union. It'll be there last home game on the SOU campus before moving to Ashland High for the remainder of the season while McNeal Hall undergoes a complete renovation.