LA MIRADA, Calif. -- Junior Kim Russell put together a fabulous match with 14 kills in just 27 swings to lead the NAIA’s No. 3-ranked Biola University to a 3-set sweep of No. 8 Azusa Pacific, 25-21, 25-17, 25-21, in a Golden State Athletic Conference match Tuesday evening in Chase Gymnasium.
The 6-foot Russell went 12-for-21 hitting, without an error, over the final 2 sets to lead the Eagles to a surprisingly easy victory and their third season sweep of Azusa Pacific in the past 4 years.
Azusa Pacific struggled from the opening serve of the match and never led until putting together a mini 8-3 run to assume a short-lived 11-8 advantage early in the third set. On the strength of Russell, Biola roared back to take a 14-12 lead and never trailed again, using a 10-6 run to assure there would not be a fourth set.
The Cougars, who erred on 3 successive attacks after Russell opened the match with a kill, hit at a .176 pace, committing 18 errors against 36 kills. On the other hand, Biola, which also got 10 kills in 16 attempts from Amy Mosbar, hit at a fine .330 pace (49-15-103).
Junior Whittany Radcliffe was the only Cougar who registered double-digit kills, equaling Russell’s match-high 14 kills. No other Cougar had more than 5 kills, while Biola also had Nicolette Mather with 9 kills and Tavea Hampton with 7.
With the victory, Biola not only becomes the first GSAC team to sweep the season series from Azusa Pacific this year, the Eagles are also the first team to sweep the Cougars in 3 sets this season.
Biola improves to 22-5 overall, 13-2 in the GSAC, while Azusa Pacific falls to 23-5 overall, 10-5 in the GSAC.