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Crusaders Win Advantage

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Published
November 14, 2002
By
Gary Pine
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AZUSA , Calif. – If there is a bright side, it is that fact that Azusa Pacific gets to play another match this season in the Felix Event Center.

The NAIA’s No. 6-ranked Point Loma Nazarene rallied from 2 deficits in 2 different games, including a 2 game-point situationw, to knock off No. 11 Azusa Pacific, 23-30, 30-28, 30-25, and 34-32, in an entertaining GSAC match. As a result, Point Loma edges Azusa Pacific for second place in the GSAC and therefore earns a first-round bye in next week’s NAIA regional playoffs. Azusa Pacific, on the other hand, will host a first-round match on Tuesday (Nov. 19) against an opponent yet to be named.

Down 1-0 in the match and 27-25 in the second game, Point Loma refused to go quietly into the night and rallied to score 5 of the game’s next 6 points to beat the Cougars 30-28 and even the match at 1 game apiece. The Cougars, though, were their own worst enemy, committing 2 attack errors and a game-deciding setting error to give the Crusaders 3 of their final 5 points.

Point Loma then used a 12-5 run to overcome a 2-point deficit and close out game 3 with another victory, assuming a 2-1 match lead in the process.

Facing elimination in game 4, Azusa Pacific charged back from a 29-27 hole to find itself serving for a game-4 victory at 30-29. However, All-GSAC setter Sola Del Rio slipped a set just over the net to tie the game at 30-30. Moments later, she again pulled the same play to tie the game at 32-32. She then served up an ace to put Point Loma up 33-32, and the Crusaders walked away with the match victory when Azusa Pacific misfired on an attack on the next play.

Rochelle Short led Point Loma with a match-high 22 kills to go along with 12 digs. Jamie Robinson added 16 kills, including a crucial one that tied game 4 at 31-31.

Azusa Pacific was paced by sophomore Marie Abaca who had 17 kills. All-American Jenna Sagehorn added 15 kills and 14 digs.