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Ristvedt leads SOU past NWC

ASHLAND — Taylor Ristvedt bought some time for Southern Oregon to find its footing during a tenuous first set. Once the No. 9-ranked Raiders did, Northwest Christian was overmatched Friday night at Lithia Motors Pavilion.

Ristvedt finished with 13 kills and five blocks in a 25-23, 25-20, 25-14 sweep that made the Raiders 16-1 overall and 9-1 in the Cascade Conference. In a first set that saw 11 ties and four lead changes, the junior right-side put down eight kills without an error — her high in a single frame this season — and SOU didn’t trail the rest of the way.

Makayla Hoyt added 12 kills and three of the 10 total blocks that allowed the Raiders to hold the Beacons (6-9, 1-7) to a pedestrian .076 attacking average. Outside hitter Malie Rube had seven digs, middle Elliott Cook was in on a team-high six blocks and libero Emma Ryan dug up 13 balls.

The Raiders were down 20-19 after five straight NCU points in the first and pulled even on a service error. At 22-22, Ristvedt smacked a kill, teamed with Hoyt for a blocks and put down one more kill to give three of the final four points and the set to SOU.

Hoyt and Rube combined for nine kills during a second set in which the Raiders pulled comfortably away from a 10-10 tie with a run of seven unanswered served up by Kiley Barcroft. They dominated the third with four more blocks, pushing the Beacons in to 11 errors compared to five kills in the set.

SOU setters Natalie James (22 assists) and Hannah Bogatin (16) directed a .241 attack.

The sweep was SOU’s seventh in as many home matches and 14th of the season.

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