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Ace is the Place

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Published
November 9, 2002
By
Micah McDaniel
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Azusa, Calif.

Westmont 3, Azusa Pacific 0

The weather outside was frightful, and the fire inside was not delightful. Neither was the Cougars' task of receiving the Westmont serves.

The NAIA’s No. 5-ranked Azusa Pacific thought it could get out of the rain and into the warm comforts of the Felix Event Center, but when it rains it pours as the Cougars fell in 3 games to No. 13 Westmont, 30-26, 30-24, 32-30, snapping their 4-match win streak.

The Warriors jumped on the shoulders of the red-hot Patti Scofield, and she did all she could to carry them. The Cougars had no answer for the 6-0 outside hitter, who recorded a match-high 20 kills and 12 digs. Westmont also caught fire with its serve, slicing through the Cougar defense for 14 aces.

Twice the Cougars opened up 6-0 leads, in the opening game and the third and deciding game, but Westmont refused to buckle. In the opener, the Cougars led 6-0 before Westmont rallied to tie the game 12-12. The Warriors led 18-17 when they rallied off 9 of the next 11 points to assume complete control. Fittingly, Scofield ended the game with a kill.

Westmont again led 18-17 in the second game, but this time the Warriors reeled off 4 straight points to take a 22-17 lead. The Cougars again could get no closer than 3 points as Scofield killed off 4 of the final 5 points.

The Cougars seemingly jumped to life in the final game, taking a 6-0 lead before Westmont rallied to tie the game 9-9. Azusa Pacific surged back ahead 21-14 when Westmont committed 3 straight attack errors. A T.J. Gause kill gave the Cougars a 28-22 lead, and it seemed as if the Cougars were ready to take over. But Scofield answered yet again with a kill that sparked a 10-2 Warrior spurt to close out the match. Again, it seemed almost scripted as the Warriors caught and passed the Cougars with 4 straight points all during Scofield’s serve.

NAIA Player of the Week Jenny Brickner led the Cougars with 12 kills and 9 blocks. She continues her torrid pace, hitting at a .550 clip. Maria Abaca added 11 kills and 8 digs. Jenna Sagehorn chipped in with 9 kills and a team-high 11 digs.

With the loss, Azusa Pacific drops to 19-6, 14-4. Westmont improves to 20-6, 12-6.