AZUSA, Calif.-- The Azusa Pacific women’s volleyball team avenged an October road loss to Hawai’i Hilo on Friday night, defeating the Vulcans in straight sets (25-2-, 25-20, 25-22) after falling to the Vulcans in a five-set match back on Oct. 16.
“We weren’t happy with our performance against Hawai’i Hilo the last time we played, so we just came out and we made sure that we stayed really positive on the court,” said senior middle blocker Christy Cain. “We kept the ball in play and we executed the way we should have. There were times when we gave them a few runs, but our goal was to not let them have more than two points at a time.”
And the Cougars did just that, siding out the Vulcans at a 50 percent clip in the first set, and 51 percent rate in the second while holding Hilo to a .171 attacking percentage. Only Marley Strand-Nicolaisen and Kyndra Trevino-Scott registered double figure kills with 10 apiece.
“I thought we defended better this match than we did against them last time,” said head coach Chris Keife. “I know when we played them in Hawai’i we struggled with serving and we struggled blocking wise, so we did a much better job defending and blocking some of their better attackers tonight.”
While the Vulcans out blocked the Cougars, Azusa Pacific (18-8, 10-6) finished the match with a .246 attacking percentage. Cain tallied a match-high 13 kills, and sophomore outside hitter Mattie Shelford added 12. Junior outside hitter Alicia Utke registered three kills and 15 digs, while Joy Reinke tabbed five kills and 11 digs. Freshman middle blocker Ashley Midland finished the night with seven kills.
“Our middles did a nice job,” said Keife. “Ashley Midland did a nice job coming off the bench and Christy did another nice job. On top of that we had Mattie, who was scoring and doing a good job. We had three girls step up and hit for a high percentage and that helped us get the win.”
Azusa Pacific will close its home schedule on Saturday for Senior Day against Chaminade, who the Cougars defeated 3-1 in a road match on Oct. 19. Azusa Pacific will conclude the regular season next week before competing in the NCCAA regionals.