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Short End of the Stick

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September 25, 2003
Micah McDaniel
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Point Loma Nazarene 3
Azusa Pacific 1

AZUSA, Calif. -- Senior All-American Rochelle Short recorded a match-high 27 kills to lift the NAIA’s No. 5-ranked Point Loma Nazarene to a 3-1 (27-30, 30-26, 30-28, 30-16) GSAC victory over No. 15 Azusa Pacific in Azusa.

The win, which is the Sea Lions’ tenth in the past 11 matches in Azusa, gives them sole possession of second place in the GSAC at 5-1 in conference play, 12-1 overall. Azusa Pacific drops to 12-5 overall, 4-2 in the GSAC.

The Cougars, who were again without the services of starting right side Roxanna Mercer, who has missed each of the past 2 matches the first of her 4-year career, battled tough from the get-go and played solid volleyball for the first 3 games. However, Point Loma flexed its nationally-ranked muscle and took over during the final points of the third game and completely dominated the fourth.

After a back-and-forth battle in the first 3 games, Azusa Pacific took an early 4-3 lead in the fourth game on one of Jenna Sagehorn’s team-high 16 kills, but it was the Cougars’ last lead of the night as Short at the Sea Lions took over.

Short tied the game at 4-4 with a kill. She then took serve, and by the time she was finished, Point Loma rattled off 10 straight points to open up an insurmountable 13-4 lead.

A pair of Christy D’Jernes kills sandwiched around a Point Loma attack error brought the Cougars to within 6 at 14-8, but the Sea Lions scored 5 straight to open up an 11-point (19-8) advantage. The Cougars got no closer than 7 (21-14) before Short finished the match scoring 4 of the Sea Lions’ final 9 points, all on kills.

Already a 2-time GSAC Player of the Week, Short made a strong case for a third award in 4 weeks as she added 4 aces, 5 digs and 3 blocks. Jennifer Gilbert added 19 kills and 14 digs. All-GSAC Carolina Sbodio finished with 14 kills and 21 digs.

Sagehorn’s 16 kills led the Cougars’ balanced attack, and she also finished with 11 digs. Her younger sister, Joelle, also had 11 digs. D’Jernes and Maria Abaca both chipped in with 7 kills. D’Jernes added 8 digs and 5 blocks.