ASHLAND, Ore. –  After knocking off Life Pacific in the first match of the season on Saturday morning, the Lady Owls Volleyball team kept that momentum rolling, improving to 2-0 on the year with a convincing 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-14) win over Simpson. The Red Hawks fell to 0-4 on the year as they had no answer for Oregon Tech’s size as the Owls notched their second straight win Saturday night at the SOU Volleyball Invite at Lithia Motors Pavilion.

“Today was a good start to our season,” said Head Coach Andrew Clifton. “We have a few things to clean up before next week’s games, but I am happy with our overall effort. I am also very proud of Melody Edwards. She brought solid blocking and hitting to the court today. Her growth has been amazing to watch this last off season.”

Edwards, the Owls’ 6-foot-3 sophomore middle, went for 10 kills on just 16 swings for a .562 average. Camryn Johnson, the 6-foot junior outside, totaled eight kills on just 13 swings. Ashley Ripplinger, the 6-1 freshman middle, put down five more kills on seven attacks, lifting OIT to a collective .346 average compared to Simpson’s .000.

Junior setter Jaime Toedtemeier orchestrated it and wrapped a sharp outing with 25 assists, five service aces and four kills of her own.

OIT dominated every set, going up 6-0 in the first, 6-1 in the second and 11-3 in the third.

The Lady Owls’ defense stayed sharp after it posted 13 blocks in a four-set afternoon session victory over Life Pacific (Calif.). While amassing seven more blocks – Edwards, Johnson and Ripplinger were in on three apiece – they coaxed the Red Hawks into committing 21 attacking errors, and Aubrey Kievit highlighted the back-row efforts with 11 digs.

Simpson, which was led by Lily Johnson’s 13 kills, dropped to 0-4.

In total Edwards posted 21 kills and Johnson had 18 on the day.

The Owls will return to Ashland next weekend for the second annual Raider Invitational, starting with matchups Friday against William Jessup (Calif.) and Jamestown (N.D.).

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