OIT Volleyball Earns ‘Verizon Team of the Week’ Honors
PORTLAND, Ore. – A pair of Cascade Collegiate Conference volleyball teams have been recognized as co-recipients of the conference’s Verizon Team of the Week honors after stunning performances against the NAIA’s four-time defending national champion in their respective season openers last weekend.
Both Southern Oregon and Oregon Tech opened their 2011 campaigns with huge victories over Fresno Pacific University in the Paul Elliott Invitational in Ashland last week. Fresno Pacific entered the season as the top-ranked team in the country, a position it has occupied for much of the last four seasons.
First up was SOU, one of the CCC’s preseason favorites and ranked 14th in the NAIA’s preseason Top 25. The Raiders, playing before a crowd of 750, defeated Fresno Pacific 3-1 on Friday.
Less than 24 hours later it was Oregon Tech’s turn. The Owls, picked to finish seventh in the CCC, rallied from a 2-1 deficit to hand the Sunbirds a 15-8 setback in the deciding fifth set. The 3-2 win marked the first victory over a No. 1-ranked team in OIT volleyball history. The Owls were led by Joey Parnell and Mindy Nalder who each had 16 kills in the win. Krystie Vea had a game-high 25 digs, with Parnell adding 14 and Nalder 11. Sarah Sveden had 34 assists for Oregon Tech.
“This team worked very hard to take advantage of the opportunity playing the No. 1 team,” said Oregon Tech coach Jason Corwin. “There were several critical contributions, most notably our seniors who would not let the match end, our bench which was ready to play, and our setters who were able to adjust our game plan on the fly. I think this weekend of Cascade Collegiate Conference matches shows what a great conference we have. We are excited about what this season has in store for us.”
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