HONOLULU, Hawai‘i-- After a disappointing five set loss on Thursday night, the Azusa Pacific women’s volleyball team got back on track with a 3-0 sweep of Hawai‘i Pacific on Saturday. The Cougars led from start to finish in the opening set, before taking a 2-0 lead following an 8-2 run to close the second in their second Pacific West Conference road win of the season.
“We had a rough match on Thursday, so to come back and get a win against a really good team feels really good. The girls did a really nice job tonight,” said head coach Chris Keife. “We executed well, we served really well, and we served aggressively. On Thursday we had a ton of service errors, and weren’t being aggressive, but tonight we did a good job.”
Azusa Pacific recorded 10 more kills than the Sea Warriors (7-4), who upset No. 5 ranked (NCAA Division II) BYU-Hawaii earlier this season. Christy Cain and Mattie Shelford each tallied team highs in kills (10), while Jaden Louie led Azusa Pacific with 18 assists in the win.
The Cougars grabbed a 1-0 lead after a first set that saw Azusa Pacific lead from start to finish. The Cougars jumped out to a 4-0 lead, and led by as many as 11 before posting a 25-15 win in the first game. In the second set, however, Hawai‘i Pacific went ahead by as many as six, taking a 14-8 advantage on a Kasey Thompson kill. But the Cougars fought back to make it a 17-17 contest before closing the game on an 8-2 run to rally for a 25-21 victory.
In the third the Cougars and Sea Warriors were tied at 15-all, but a 10-5 spree clinched Azusa Pacific’s fifth PacWest sweep of the season.
The Cougars held a .215-.136 attack percentage advantage, and committed only three service errors after finishing with 11 service errors in Thursday night’s loss. Alicia Utke registered eight kills and nine digs, and Tristan Racich assisted on 14 Cougar kills. Lauren Edwards notched nine kills, while Joy Reinke tabbed three kills and 14 digs in Azusa Pacific’s second match in a three-game conference trip to the Hawaiian Islands.
Ashley Swatek recorded a 13 digs with four assists, and Hayley Beetstra added on with two kills and two digs. Azusa Pacific will conclude its three match trip with a 5 p.m. (HAST) tilt with Chaminade on Saturday night.