AZUSA, Calif. -- There is no arguing that this is the busiest Saturday in Azusa Pacific athletics history, and it’s most likely to be one of the most significant as well.
Seven of Azusa Pacific’s current 8 in-season sports will be in action over the next few days culminating in a “Super Saturday” in which 5 teams will be competing in their respective NAIA championships and another will be playing a nationally-ranked team in a key inter-sectional game.
The action begins Thursday (Nov. 18) when the NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team opens play in the Rotary Classic at Jackson, Tenn., against No. 9 Freed-Hardeman University at 5 p.m. (PST). The game will feature live video streaming along with live stats and an audio broadcast.
Friday (Nov. 19), the Rotary Classic continues with a rematch of last year’s NAIA national championship game between top-ranked Union University and Azusa Pacific. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. (PST) and again can be followed on the Internet.
Back home in Azusa that night, the NAIA’s No. 1-ranked Azusa Pacific men’s basketball team hosts Black Hills State University (S.D.) at 7:30 p.m. Live stats and an audio broadcast are available for the game.
The national championship action begins early Saturday morning with the Azusa Pacific men’s and women’s cross country teams competing in the NAIA meet in Vancouver, Wash. The Cougar women, ranked No. 3 in the nation, have their eyes set on another championship performance while the Cougar men are gunning for a Top Ten finish. The women’s race begins at 10:30 a.m. (PST), followed by the men’s race at 11:45 a.m. (PST). Results of the meet can be viewed on the NAIA website.
At 11 a.m. (PST), the first of back-to-back NAIA soccer championship opening round games gets underway at the Cougar Soccer Complex. The No. 3-ranked Cougar women take on William Jessup University with the winner advancing to the NAIA tournament in Decatur, Ala., Nov. 29. Following the women’s game, the No. 16-ranked Azusa Pacific men’s team hosts No. 11 Vanguard University in a rematch of last week’s Golden State Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament title game. Kickoff for that game is a 2 p.m., and the winner will move on to the NAIA Tournament in Mobile, Ala., beginning Nov. 29. Both soccer game can be followed on the Internet through live stats.
Meanwhile, in Helena, Mont., the Azusa Pacific football team, ranked No. 18 in the nation, will kick off its NAIA Football Championship Series first-round game against No. 2 Carroll College. A video stream and audio broadcast of the game are available for fans to follow on the Internet.
As the soccer and football teams conclude their games, the Cougar women’s basketball team will return to the court to close out the Rotary Classic against No. 19-ranked Bethel University at 5 p.m. (PST). Like the previous 2 women’s basketball games, this contest too can be followed on the Internet through a variety of formats.
The busy weekend concludes back home in the Felix Event Center Saturday night when the Cougar men’s basketball team hosts La Sierra University at 7:30 p.m.
The Cougars will be facing a variety of weather conditions as they travel about the country this weekend, and ironically, it’s the women’s basketball team, while playing indoors, that has the best weather. Clear skies and 70-degree temperature is forecasted for Jackson, Tenn., this weekend, while the cross country teams will be running in mud, rain and 45-degree temperature in Vancouver, Wash. In Azusa, an 80-percent chance of steady rain threatens the 2 NAIA soccer games. Meanwhile, the football team will be playing in the worst conditions in program history. Snow and a high of 14-degrees are called for in Saturday afternoon’s NAIA playoff game.
To follow each team’s play and results, click on the following links: