AZUSA, Calif. -- Junior All-American Jenna Sagehorn led another balanced attack with a team-high 16 kills as Azusa Pacific, ranked No. 16 in the NAIA, rolled to a 3-1 win over visiting Cal Baptist, 30-25, 30-19, 25-30, 30-23, in Azusa.
The win is the Cougars' fourth straight win, and they move to 10-4 overall, 5-2 GSAC. Cal Baptist drops to 10-9 overall, 3-4 GSAC and sees its 3-match win streak come to an end.
Four Cougars registered at least 9 kills, and as a team, they hit an efficient .255. Sagehorn led the way once again with her 16 kills, committing just 2 errors in 43 attempts (.326).
Cal Baptist took the lead right out of the gate in game 1 before the Cougars caught them at 10-10. The Cougars led 16-15 before opening up a 19-15 lead with a Christy Kimmel kill and a Mahea Burgess ace sandwiched between a Lancer attack error. The never lost the lead and took the opening game, 30-25. Game 2 was tied 10-10 when the Cougars rolled off 12 of the next 13 points in the game to open up a 22-11 lead. Sagehorn registered a pair of kills in the run. The third game was tied 23-23 before the Lancers coupled a pair of aces with a pair of kills to take a 27-23 lead on their way to a game 3 win. In the deciding fourth game, the Cougars led 22-21 before reeling off 4 straight points, the final coming off one of Adrienne Pepe's 9 kills.
Pepe, Maria Abaca and Jenny Brickner each tallied 9 kills apiece. Pepe was near perfect, not committing an error in her 10 attempts (.900). At the net, the Cougars were near dominant, registering 13 total team blocks, including 9 from Roxanna Mercer, 7 from Brickner and 5 from Pepe.
The win tonight was crucial for the Cougars because of what lies ahead. Four straight matches against NAIA top 25 opponents looms on the Cougar slate. Up next is a date with No. 11-ranked Westmont Thursday night in Santa Barbara. Then the Cougars face No. 24 Christian Heritage, No. 4 Point Loma and No. 13 Biola in the days ahead.