AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific bounced back from Tuesday’s tough five-set loss to Biola with a three-set win (25-19, 25-13, 25-11) over San Diego Christian Saturday afternoon on Homecoming Weekend.
The Cougars were led by senior right side Whittany Radcliffe, who had an all-around outstanding game. “The team looks for me to bring a lot of energy and excitement to the team,” said Radcliffe, who expanded on the team's mentality of moving on after Tuesday's tough loss. “We knew after losing to Biola we had to come back and work on our rhythm, and take it as a chance to get better. Coach has been giving us things to work on, and that’s what we’re trying to get better at.”
She did more than just pump up the team’s energy level, collecting nine kills on 21 attempts with only two hitting errors. She also collected three assists, four digs, and four blocks.
Sophomore outside hitter Jackie Landers joined Radcliffe with nine kills, doing so also with only two errors but in a mere 14 attempts, finishing with a .500 hitting percentage. Senior libero Robin Portela contributed 13 digs, also a match-high.
“Whittany did well – she was efficent, didn’t make too many errors, and she was physical, which is something we’ve been working on with her,” Cougar head coach Chris Keife said. “She’s been our go-to player.”
Keife was also excited about the team’s performance as a whole, a 63-minute effort in which Azusa Pacific never trailed in the match.
“It was good to get every girl on the court, and it’s rewarding to the team as well. Everyone that went in contributed, did a nice job, and made some plays when they needed to.”
The Cougars combined for 11 total blocks in the three-set match, shutting down the San Diego Christian attack and keeping them at a .038 hitting percentage.
“Our height is one of our big advantages,” Keife said. “We were patient, and that’s one of the fortes we’ve had for the past three years with this team.”
Azusa Pacific has a big task ahead, taking on Vanguard next Tuesday in Costa Mesa, a match between GSAC foes just one game apart in the GSAC standings.