SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- With a pair of five-set victories to open pool play, Azusa Pacific clinched a spot in the single-elimination bracket of the 2011 NAIA Volleyball National Championship. Updated game notes and team statistics are available in the game notes link below, and the NAIA offers live stats and live video coverage of every match of the single-elimination bracket. The Cougars take on Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) at 10 a.m. (CST), meeting up with the Warriors in national tournament competition for the third consecutive year.
The winner of Friday morning's matchup between Azusa Pacific and Lewis-Clark State will move on to a 5:45 p.m. (CST) quarterfinal matchup against top-seeded Concordia (Calif.).
Game Notes: Click Here
NAIA Championship Page: Click Here
Single-Elimination Live Stats & Results: Click Here
Live video ($9.95 per day or $14.95 for full tournament pass): click here.
FRIDAY MATCH NOTES
COUGARS AT THE TOURNAMENT: Azusa Pacific claimed the NAIA’s first volleyball national championship in 1980, and the Cougars are making their 10th national tournament appearance all-time. After going 2-1 in pool play, Azusa Pacific maintains its all-time tournament win percentage of .667, going 28-14 all-time. The Cougars have moved out of pool play and are now appearing in the single-elimination bracket for the fourth straight season.
HISTORY LESSONS: Azusa Pacific set the program’s regular-season wins record with 28 victories, finishing with 14 wins in 16 matches to close out the regular season. With a pair of pool play wins, the Cougars clinched just the third 30-win season in the program’s history. The 1980 team that won the NAIA’s first volleyball national championship went 43-8, and the 1991 squad that advanced to the quarterfinals finished with a 34-8 record.
MILE MARKERS: Azusa Pacific head coach Chris Keife picked up his 200th career coaching victory this season, and he’s now just one win away from winning his 200th while at Azusa Pacific (Keife posted 20 wins in 2003 at Hope International). In addition, senior libero Robin Portela holds the program’s records for single-season (728) and career (2,296) digs. In Thursday’s loss to Rocky Mountain, Azusa Pacific set the program’s single-season record for team digs with 2,457 digs on the year to eclipse the program mark of 2,052 set in 2000.
SERIES HISTORY: Azusa Pacific is 1-4 all-time against Lewis-Clark State, with all five contests occurring on a neutral floor, and they have split a pair of previous national tournament meetings. The Cougars won in four sets in pool play in 2009, and L-C State picked up a four-set win when the programs met in the playoff round a year ago.