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Senior Smash

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Photo by Holly Magnuson
Christy Cain finished with eight kills, and was part of six blocks in the final home match of her career.

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November 9, 2013
Chris Baker
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AZUSA, Calif.-- With the Azusa Pacific women’s volleyball team on the verge of a 3-0 win over Chaminade, senior middle blocker Christy Cain did something she hadn’t all season: served the ball. The Mill Creek, Wash. native, who was playing in the final home match of her four-year career, tentatively stepped back to the service line and delivered an ace. It was that kind of senior day for the Cougars, who closed the regular season home schedule with a sweep of the Silverswords (25-14, 25-17, 25-18) on Saturday afternoon.

“I thought we played well today. Our girls wanted to close out not just the home season well, but the seniors final home match of their careers. Towards the end I wanted to get Christy to do something she didn’t normally do, and it also worked out having all three seniors on the floor. And on top of that she surprised us with an ace,” said head coach Chris Keife. “We did a very nice job at the serving line. This is the first time we’ve played back-to-back-to-back matches in three days at home, and we’re doing it again next weekend on the road. We need to close out our season well in order to go in the direction we want to as a team, and go into the playoffs playing well.”

The Cougars put together one of their most impressive matches of the year, finishing with a .266 attack percentage, and getting nine service aces to improve to 19-8 (11-6).The Cougars’ three seniors, Cain, Lauren Edwards, and Emily Ingalls, were honored before the match, and all had a hand in the victory. Edwards tallied eight kills, two assists, and two block assists, while Ingalls recorded two aces and two digs. Cain hit a blistering .471, with eight kills on 17 swings, and also registered two solo blocks, and four block assists.

Azusa Pacific didn’t trail in any of the three sets, and limited Chaminade (9-14, 6-12) to a .124 attack percentage.

Mattie Shelford was the lone player to finish with double-digit kills, netting a match-high 12 kills on 20 attempts, while adding two block assists. Joy Reinke added eight kills and eight digs, while Ashley Swatek tallied a team-high 14 digs.

Azusa Pacific will conclude the regular season next weekend, with three matches in a three day span against Notre Dame de Namur, Holy Names, and Dominican. The Cougars will then compete in the NCCAA Regional championship on Friday Nov. 22 where they’ll play for a chance to advance to the national championships in Kissimmee, Fla on Dec. 2-7.