EL CAJON, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific wrapped up a winning week with a three-set road sweep over San Diego Christian Saturday, a 25-21, 25-13, 25-12 win that took just 63 minutes to complete.
Fresh off back-to-back five-set wins against highly-ranked opponents, the battle-tested Cougars have now won three in a row to bounce back nicely from a stretch where they suffered four defeats in six matches. With the win, the NAIA’s No. 8-ranked Azusa Pacific grabbed sole possession of third place in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings, improving to 4-2 in GSAC play and 17-4 overall.
The Cougars’ .383 attack percentage was its third-highest mark this season overall, and it was the first time Azusa Pacific had posted a hitting percentage over .300 against a conference opponent. Season kills leader Whittany Radcliffe led the way with 12 kills in 24 attempts, and sophomore outside hitter Jackie Landers added 10 kills in 15 attempts. Neither committed an attack error, and after getting settled into the match with a five-error opening set, Azusa Pacific committed only two more attack errors for the rest of the match.
Freshman outside hitter Hayley Beetstra played in two of the three sets, and her five kills came in 10 errorless attempts. Senior libero Robin Portela was the match digs leader with 12, and junior setter Sophie Burns was the only player in the match to reach double figures in two statistical categories, picking up 10 digs to go with 23 assists in full-time action due to the absence of senior setter Raechel Jones, who remained out of the lineup for the second consecutive match. Burns also served a pair of aces.
San Diego Christian’s kill leaders were Lauren Phillips and Rachel Allen, each finishing with seven kills, and Stephanie Rice collected a team-high eight digs for the Hawks.
The Cougars trailed 19-18 in the opening set before closing out the set with a 7-2 run. An 8-0 run midway through the second set turned a narrow 11-10 Azusa Pacific lead into a 19-10 margin, part of a 13-1 run that got the Cougars to set point in the second frame. Azusa Pacific never trailed in the third set, surrendering consecutive points only three times in the entire set in a 25-12 win.
San Diego Christian remains winless through six GSAC contests, and the Hawks have a 5-15 overall record on the year.