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Raiders volleyball works to keep their edge before NAIA Tournament

With two weeks separating their Cascade Conference championship and the start of the NAIA pool play, the Southern Oregon volleyball team is working to stay focused.

Posted: Nov 25, 2019 7:07 PM
Updated: Nov 25, 2019 7:07 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. — A week has gone by since their Cascade Conference tournament clinching win. They still have another week before they play their next game.

With all the off-time between the two games, the Raiders have been focused on keeping their competitive edge with amped-up practices. The philosophy is if they treat every day like a game day, there won't be any first game jitters when they take on Indiana University-Kokomo on December 3rd to open up pool play.

"[Two weeks is] a long time to go without a match before playing at a super high level at nationals," senior libero Emma Ryan said. "So, during any drill that we are doing, or sixes, we need to push each other as hard as we can."

By playing hard against each other at practice, Ryan thinks her teammates will be even more prepared to adapt against an opponent they've never played before.

The Raiders want to carry the same momentum they picked up in the last half of the season, where they won their last 14 matches, including four over top-25 opponents.

"Treating every day like a game day. So waking up in the morning just excited to play," CCC setter of the week Hannah Bogatin said. "So it's just treating every day like it's a game day, eating the right foods, getting the sleep you need, recovering, all that."

The team will head out to Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday and get two days of practice before their opening matchup against IU-Kokomo at 9 am on Tuesday, December 3rd. The Raiders will then play No. 23 Bellevue University (Neb.) on Wednesday at 8 am before wrapping up pool play with a game against No. 12 Central Methodist University (Mo.) at 10 am on Thursday.

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