HILO, Hawaiʻi-- After suffering its first losing streak of the season, a skid that reached four matches with a 3-0 loss at BYU-Hawaiʻi on Oct. 10, the Azusa Pacific women’s volleyball team extended its winning run to three with its second road sweep of the season, defeating Hawaiʻi Hilo 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-21) to close out its four-match island swing.
The Cougars got 21 kills from junior hitter Jackie Landers, while senior setter Sophie Burns orchestrated an efficient offense with 33 assists, helping the team to finish with a .341 attack percentage to end its first Pacific West trip to Hawaiʻi with a 3-1 mark.
Landers, whose 310 kills rank second in the PacWest, had seven kills in each set, recording nearly half of the team’s kills on 38 attempts (.447). Freshman libero Ashley Swatek had another good performance, notching 14 digs and three assists, while Ashley Vander Tuig posted seven kills and four blocks. Joy Reinke finished with five kills, two blocks, and nine digs.
In the first set the Vulcans (4-13, 4-7) and Cougars (14-7, 6-5) battled to a 9-9 tie before Azusa Pacific took control with a 5-1 run before taking the first game 25-21 on Reinke’s third kill of the night. UHH’s Bria Morgan, who led all players with 24 kills, tallied 10 in the opening set.
The second set was tightly contested through the first 17 points, with the Cougars holding onto a 9-8 edge. But an 11-5 run, which saw kills from four different players, including three from Landers, helped Azusa Pacific to take a 2-0 lead with a 25-16 win.
In the third set Mattie Shelford registered all five of her kills, spiking the match-clinching point off a set from Tristan Racich. Shelford notched five kills on just eight attempts. Hawaiʻi Hilo hit .190 in the match, but recorded only two blocks against an Azusa Pacific team that has been blocked nearly 10 times per match this season.
Jolie Au led the Vulcans with 30 assists, sending over half of her sets to Morgan, who finished the night with 60 attack attempts. Morgan was the only player to record a double-double, posting 24 kills and 10 digs.
Lauren Edwards and Hayley Beetstra each had two kills, while Emily Ingalls chipped in with five digs.
With the win Azusa Pacific improved to 14-7, and got back to over .500 in PacWest play. The Cougars’ lengthy road trip continues with a match at Dixie State (Utah) on Saturday before Azusa Pacific returns to the Felix Event Center to face Cal State San Marcos on Tuesday Oct. 23.