AZUSA, Calif.-- What a difference a day makes. Less than 24 hours after a brutal 3-1 loss to Academy of Art on Friday night, the Azusa Pacific women’s volleyball team resembled the squad Cougar fans had come to know over the first month of the 2013 season with an impressive sweep of Dixie State (25-19, 25-21, 25-20) on Saturday in the Felix Event Center.
Azusa Pacific posted a .273 attack percentage, and sided out the Red Storm at a 72 percent clip to grab its second win over Dixie State (9-7, 6-4) this week.
“I wish as a coach I would understand how we can be so good after performing on a lower level the night before. A lot of it has to do with learning and growing. We have a lot of youth still. And we’re still trying to put it all together on a regular basis,” said head coach Chris Keife.
“We served great. Last night we didn’t. We controlled the ball really well. Our setters did a nice job of running the offense and the balls were there for the hitters to put on the floor. It’s great to get a win going into Hawai‘i. We’ve had a tough five matches so it’s good to buckle down and get a victory going into another three tough matches on the road.”
Jaden Louie and Tristan Racich orchestrated the Cougar offense, combining for 47 assists. Mattie Shelford had a match-high 14 kills, with Christy Cain finishing with 10 kills on 21 swings. Joy Reinke and Alicia Utke each tabbed eight kills and double-digit digs, with Utke recording 15 in the win.
Hayley Beetstra registered five kills on nine attempts (.556), while Ashley Midland and Lauren Edwards rounded out the Cougar attack with three and two kills respectively. Azusa Pacific out-blocked the Red Storm 7-5, and limited Dixie State to a .155 attack percentage.
Ashley Swatek led the Cougar defense with 19 digs, while dishing out a pair of assists in a match where Azusa Pacific generated 17 more kills than the Red Storm.
The Cougars will now travel to Hawai‘i for a three-match trip beginning on Wednsesay. The Cougars will open against Hawai‘i Hilo before trekking to Oahu to face Hawai‘i Pacific and Chaminade on Friday and Saturday.