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Senior Slam

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Photo by Holly Magnuson
Robin Portela and Raechel Jones fittingly notched career milestones on senior night.

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Published
November 5, 2011
By
Chris Duke
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AZUSA, Calif.-- Azusa Pacific had a record setting senior night with a four set win over The Master’s (25-15, 20-25, 25-18, 25-20) placing the Cougars at a solid two games above Fresno Pacific in second place in the GSAC standings.

Seniors Robin Portela and Rachel Jones each set personal and school records by the second game of the match.

Portela broke her own program-record for single-season digs (606), as she only needed only two heading into Saturday’s match. The senior libero collected 11 digs on the night, escalating her season total to 616, with three matches still to go in regular season play. Portela is the only player in Azusa Pacific history to post back-to-back 600 dig seasons

“I think my continued success and improvement is only testament to the fact that we as a team are gaining depth. If I have a good game it’s because the block is doing its job and volleyball is about as team-oriented as it gets. My success is only a reflection of the team’s success,” said Portela.

Jones came into the night only four digs away from the 1,000 dig milestone. During the second game, Jones dug an attack, leading to a Whittany Radcliffe kill, which made her the third player in program history to have 3,000 assists and 1,000 kills in a career.

“It was nice that it happened on senior night. It’s kind of a realization that my four years are almost up. It’s sad, but then again, we won on senior night so that was awesome.”

The victory over The Master’s was closer than the score may have showed. The Cougar’s dominated the first game, but the next three were no easy task. However, Head Coach Chris Keife was still pleased with the win.

“[They’re] a really good team. But our seniors have put in the time in and the energy into the past four years, and it’s nice to see them go out on top like this. It’s always good to win on senior night.”

Jackie Landers led the team with a match-high 14 kills, while Amy Alkazin finished with a double-double (10 kills, 15 digs) to go with her five blocks. Seniors Krista Brenner and Marguerite Hanna good nights. Brenner led all payers with seven blocks and Hanna notched 11 kills and nine digs. With the win, the Cougars improved to 25-6 overall and 12-4 in GSAC play. Azusa Pacific will host Westmont in the Felix Event Center next Tuesday at 7 p.m.