Southern Oregon University Volleyball Head Coach Josh Rohlfing talks with players during game against Corban at Bob Rheim Arena on Friday.(PHOTO BY: LARRY STAUTH JR)

SOU coaches, 3 players collect awards

The Southern Oregon University volleyball team’s coaching staff and three student-athletes have earned American Volleyball Coaches Association Northwest Region awards, the AVCA announced Wednesday.

Josh Rohlfing, SOU’s 12th-year head coach, was voted NAIA Northwest Region Coach of the Year. Kori Iverson, in her third season on staff, was voted the Northwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year. Junior right-side hitter Taylor Ristvedt and sophomore middle Makayla Hoyt were selected to the 14-person All-Region team, and sophomore middle Elliott Cook received honorable mention.

The Raiders (27-3) are currently back at the NAIA Volleyball Championships for the first time since 2015 after capturing Cascade Conference regular-season and tournament titles. As it stands, their winning percentage (.900) is the best in team history.

Ristvedt was previously voted the Cascade Conference Player of the Year, while both Hoyt and Cook attained All-CCC status. Ristvedt has led the team in kills 19 times this season, averaging 3.4 per set on the 10th-highest attacking average (.356) in the NAIA. Hoyt ranks fourth nationally in attacking efficiency (.397) and owns the highest average for a Raider in a single season since Crystina Brazie in 1993, posting 2.7 kills and 1.1 blocks per set.

Cook has matched Ristvedt’s attacking average and adds 2.2 kills and 0.9 blocks, but in CCC matches she led the circuit with a .390 average.

Prior to this season, the Raiders hadn’t produced two players on the same team with 200-plus kills and .300-plus attacking averages since 2007. Cook (224, .356), Hoyt (285, .397) and Ristvedt (345, .356) have all achieved the feat, leading the team to its most efficient attack since 1995.

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