Raiders drop a pair at Biola Invite

LA MIRANDA, Calif — Getting settled in with a new attack against two nationally ranked teams turned out to be too much to ask of the Southern Oregon University volleyball team Thursday at the Biola Invitational.

The Raiders took a pair of losses to start their season, falling first against the host team, No. 4 Biola, 25-20, 20-25, 25-13, 25-15. Westmont, ranked 16th in the NAIA, later swept the Raiders by scores of 28-26, 25-21 and 25-15.

SOU never found its stride offensively. The Raiders attacked at an average of .108 in the opener and followed that performance with at a .068 clip.

Senior hitter Liz Madden racked up seven kills in both matches to lead SOU while Paula Pinheiro had 12 kills on the day and Mona Goudarzian 11. Senior libero Renee Yomtob had a team-high 36 digs.

Lindsay Verboort, a junior seeing her first action at setter for SOU, tallied 16 assists against Biola and 13 against Westmont. Freshman Lauren McGowne added 25 assists over the two matches.

Ashland native Sam Boehnke got in on six blocks in the first match and four in the second. She chipped in seven kills against Biola.

Biola got 15 kills from Alyssa Mason and 12 more from Chelsee Arnitz. Westmont also had two attackers with double-digit kill totals: Madison Serrano (16) and Jessica McCann (13).

The Raiders will wrap up play at the tournament today against two more ranked opponents: No. 18 Cal-State San Marcos at 9 a.m. and No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) at 5 p.m.

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