AZUSA, Calif. -- In the closest finish in the history of the Pacific West Conference Commissioner’s Cup award, Azusa Pacific claimed second place behind California Baptist University as the Cougars wrapped up the school year with four top-four finishes in the PacWest spring sports season.
“I’m pleased with what this type of finish represents for us at this time,” Azusa Pacific Director of Athletics Gary Pine. “We remain focused on our progress through the final stages of our transition to NCAA Division II, but the excellence our teams have been able to achieve throughout this process gives us a great measuring stick for where we would like to be in the competitive Division II landscape. I am extremely proud of our student-athletes and coaches for their strong finish.”
California Baptist and Azusa Pacific each sponsor 11 of the PacWest’s 13 sports, and the Cougars ended up with 137 points to finish just a half-point behind CBU’s 137.5-point total in the Commissioner’s Cup. The award ended up going to the Lancers with points for several sports allocated using head-to-head tiebreakers. Conference ties impacted one or both schools in five different sports, including a second-place tie in baseball thanks to a series split between the rivals on the final day of PacWest competition this year.
Azusa Pacific claimed two PacWest titles in its second year of membership, claiming second place four times and finishing in the PacWest’s top-five in every conference sport the Cougars sponsor. In the fall, women’s cross country won its second consecutive PacWest championship while women’s soccer claimed its first PacWest title. In winter sports, the Cougars were the conference runner-up in women’s basketball while finishing fourth in men’s basketball, and men’s tennis and baseball each posted runner-up finishes to lead the spring sports season. Softball finished third and women’s tennis fourth to close out the year.
The PacWest Commissioner’s Cup is based on the average finish of each school in all conference sports. Regular-season standings are used for baseball, basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball, while the results of the conference championships are used in the sports of cross country, golf and tennis. For the 2013-14 competition, men’s and women’s track and field was not included because it falls below the threshold of having at least six schools compete. When teams are tied in the standings, the tiebreaker of head-to-head competition (if the teams have played a conference contest against each other) is used to break the deadlock; otherwise, the points awarded to those positions are added together and distributed evenly among the schools.