RIVERSIDE, Calif.-- California Baptist overcame a 2-1 deficit, rallying for a 3-2 victory over the Azusa Pacific women’s volleyball team on Thursday night. The Cougars, who posted their first win against the Lancers in the Van Dyne Gym since head coach Chris Keife took over, nearly nabbed their second straight victory in Riverside before dropping the fourth and fifth sets in the teams’ second meeting this season.
Azusa Pacific won the second and third sets to take a 2-1 lead, but the Lancers limited the Cougars to a .057 attack percentage in the fourth, and a .077 clip in the deciding fifth to grab their second consecutive victory in the series.
Junior outside hitter Alicia Utke and sophomore setter Jaden Louie each finished with double-doubles in the loss, while Mattie Shelford had a team-high 14 kills. Utke tallied 13 kills with 14 digs, and Louie assisted on 33 Cougar kills to go with 11 digs in the match.
Christy Cain took part in five of the team’s 10 blocks on the night, getting four block assists and one solo block, while registering 12 kills. Ashley Swatek, the reigning Pacific West Conference Defender of the Week, had a match-high 18 digs, and chipped in with one assist, and Joy Reinke recorded nine kills and 15 digs.
The Cougars dropped the first set despite hitting .333 and holding the Lancers (15-7, 12-2) to a .250 clip thanks to five CBU aces. In the second Azusa Pacific sided out California Baptist 63 percent of the time, and hit .195 in the frame. In the third the Cougars continued to press the home team, tallying a match-high 16 kills.
But in the final two sets the Lancers limited Azusa Pacific’s attack, out-hitting the Cougars .421 to .077 in the fifth. CBU had four players finish with double figure kills while Taylor Parker had a match-high 50 assists.
Azusa Pacific returns home to face another top-tier PacWest team in Point Loma on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Cougars lost in three to the Sea Lions in San Diego earlier this season, and are looking to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since losing to CBU and Point Loma on Oct. 1st and 3rd respectively.
Saturday’s match will also be a Pink Out, where fans are encouraged to wear pink to help raise awareness for breast cancer. Fans can purchase $2 raffle tickets for a $100 gift card to the APU Computer Store, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.