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COLLEGE ROUNDUP: SOU ties No. 8 Westmont

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — For the first time since 2011, the Southern Oregon University women’s soccer team took a point off an NAIA Top 25 opponent Monday with a 1-1 draw against No. 8 Westmont at Thorrington Field.

In the 24th minute, Aislinn Waite passed up the field to Mia Volpatti, who led Kiani Pandoliano into the box for a shot that skipped from the right side to just inside the left post and gave the Raiders (1-1-1) the advantage. It was the second goal for Pandoliano, a freshman from Vancouver, Wash., in as many games; she also tallied the go-ahead score in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Ottawa (Ariz.).

Volpatti was credited with the assist, her second of the season.

Westmont (3-0-1) accumulated 20 shots to SOU’s six and put nine on goal, including Eliya Lowe’s equalizer in the 69th minute. After the Warriors sent a kick into the box, Lowe picked up a loose ball that found its way past Raider defenders and took a clear shot from up close.

SOU keeper Kailey Lemon made eight saves, giving her 23 through three games.

A win would’ve been the Raiders’ first against a Top 25 foe since they knocked off No. 21 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) in 2009. Their only other was in 2001, against No. 8 Concordia (Ore.).

They’ll appear at Raider Stadium for the first time this week, at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Menlo (Calif.) and 11 a.m. Sunday against UC Merced.

CCC Awards

SOU VOLLEYBALL TEAM, FOUR RAIDERS HONORED: The Southern Oregon University volleyball team, two of its members and two Raider football players were awarded for their weekend efforts with conference honors on Monday.

The No. 13-ranked SOU volleyball squad was named the Cascade Conference Adidas Team of the Week after running its record to 10-0 with three wins in a CCC-opening road trip, highlighted by five-set defeats of No. 15 Eastern Oregon and No. 7 College of Idaho. No team had swept the EOU-CI road swing since the Raiders last did it in 2005.

Two of the culprits, Makayla Hoyt and Taylor Ristvedt, received individual accolades. Hoyt was voted the CCC’s defensive player of the week for amassing 32 kills and 16 blocks on the trip. In the match at C of I, she had 15 kills and 12 blocks, matching the highest total for a Raider in the last decade in the latter category. Ristvedt, the CCC’s attacker of the week for the second time this season, finished the trip with 42 kills and 13 blocks. She was one off a career-high with 22 kills at C of I and delivered four in the tiebreaker set.

For the Raider football team, Devvon Gage was voted the Frontier’s defensive player of the week and Marcus Montano the special teams player of the week. Gage had eight tackles in Saturday’s 32-13 win at Eastern Oregon — becoming the sixth player in team history to go over 300 tackles in a career in the process — and a 55-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Montano converted field-goal attempts of 44 and 42 yards, marking the first game in his career with multiple 40-yard makes.

Both squads are home this week: The Raider volleyball team hosts Walla Walla (Wash.) at 7 p.m. Thursday, and the Raider football team hosts College of Idaho in its home debut at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Football

OLSON SHINES IN FIRST START: Montana junior linebacker Dante Olson, a graduate of Ashland High, made the most of his first start as a Grizzly, making big play after big play against the thirteenth-ranked Northern Iowa Panthers.

His impact hasn’t gone unnoticed either, with the Medford native collecting a pair of weekly honors as the ROOT Sports Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week and the College Sports Madness Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week. He was also an honorable mention for the STATS FCS National Defensive Player of the Week.

Olson logged a game-high 13 tackles on Saturday and tallied a statistic in six of the nine defensive categories by adding a sack, an interception, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. He was also right there to recover one of UNI’s three fumbles but was unable to come up with the ball.

Olson’s 13 tackles were tied for the most in Big Sky play in week one and were the most of any Big Sky player against a Division-I opponent. Nationally, his 13 tackles tie him for the tenth-most in all of FCS football on week one and were the most tallied against a top-25 opponent.

In his first game as a starter, his 13 tackles are a new career-high, and his interception (which he returned 26 yards) was the first of his career. The sack was the third of his career.

Despite not starting until his junior season, Olson has already had a decorated career at UM. As a sophomore, he was named second-team All-Big Sky for special teams and won the Hauck Family Special Teams Player of the Year award for a second-straight season. As a true freshman, he was named the Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year as well.

These are the first Player of the Week honors of his career.

Olson is also a decorated student as a two-time Academic All-Big Sky selection with a 4.0 GPA. In his time away from the football field, he also mentors a class of underprivileged kids in Northern California.

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