AZUSA, Calif.-- Azusa Pacific claimed its second consecutive come-from-behind win on Tuesday night, defeating Cal State San Marcos in five sets (27-25, 20-25, 15-25, 25-15, 15-10) in the Felix Event Center in a non-conference contest.
After winning the first set 27-25, Azusa Pacific dropped sets two and three, but eventually came back with decisive wins in the fourth and fifth set to post the victory. Junior outside hitter Jackie Landers led the team with seven kills on 12 swings and no errors in the final two sets.
"Jackie did a great job tonight," head coach Chris Keife said. "She was the go-to when we needed a big kill and she found the floor."
After trailing 2-1, the home team began to dominate in the fourth set. With the score tied at 3-3, Azusa Pacific rattled off 10 straight points thanks to eight Azusa Pacific kills. The team held onto its lead to win the fourth set 25-15, forcing a deciding fifth set.
"We switched some things up in sets four and five," Keife said, "...and the girls had a good spark out there. They showed some heart and effort and they executed at a high level."
Azusa Pacific won the first four points behind the serve of freshman Ashley Swatek and switched ends with an 8-3 lead. However, Cal State San Marcos (20-12) rallied to tie the score at 9-9. Azusa Pacific held on with kills by Joy Reinke, Landers, and Lauren Edwards to eventually win the final set 15-10. Azusa Pacific had a .412 kill percentage in the fifth set.
Edwards finished the match with nine kills on 19 attacks with only one error for a .421 kill percentage, while also adding nine blocks.
Early in the first set, Azusa Pacific trailed by as many as five, but came back to tie the score at 19-19. After that point neither team led by two until the score was tied at 23-23. Azusa Pacific claimed the first set point, but San Marcos wiped it away with a kill by Taylor DeGraaf.
Another Degraaf kill gave San Marcos its first set point. Senior Sophie Burns set freshman middle blocker Ashley Vander Tuig for the kill on the ensuing play to save the set point. Azusa Pacific then won each of the following two points on attack errors by Cal State San Marcos to win the set 27-25.
Azusa Pacific totaled 17 attack errors in sets two and three, which was more than double the amount in the other three sets combined. San Marcos capitalized to win both sets with four blocks in the second and five service aces in the third. Andi Vondermann paced San Marcos with eight kills in the two sets combined.
"In sets two and three I thought we were just careless and sloppy, and it showed with what happened on the court," Keife added. "We weren't taking care of the ball. We just didn't manage the game well."
Vondermann registered 15 kills and four aces in the match along with four blocks and a pair of digs. DeGraaf added a team-high 19 kills and 13 digs.
Landers and Burns each registered double-doubles in the five-set win. Landers led the Cougars with 22 kills and tallied 13 digs, while Burns notched 50 assists and 19 digs.
Swatek had a team-high of 26 digs, while serving as the team won nine consecutive points in the fourth set as well as the first four points and last two points of the final set.
Azusa Pacific will resume Pacific West Conference play as the team tries to get a season sweep against Dixie State in the Felix Event Center on Saturday.
Cal State San Marcos will play again tomorrow night at La Sierra in Riverside.