AZUSA, Calif. – What was supposed to be a battle between a pair of NAIA Top 20 teams was anything but that as No. 8-ranked Biola took advantage of careless play on the part of No. 14 Azusa Pacific to post an easier-than-expected 3-game sweep, 30-18,30-26, 30-26, at the Felix Event Center, Tuesday evening.
Led by sophomore Hannah Timboe’s team-high 20 kills (a 3-game season-high for her as well), Biola constantly pounded the ball by Azusa Pacific’s GSAC-leading defense (2.87 blocks/game). And when Biola wasn’t earning its points, Azusa Pacific was handing them to the Eagles on a silver platter with a host of attack, service and setting errors, 33 in all (15 attack, 10 setting, 8 service). In the second game alone, Azusa Pacific consistently missed opportunities to either take the lead or tie the game with 12 errors, including 4 serve miscues.
The Cougar defense, which managed just 1 block for the match, had no answer for Timboe or All-GSAC senior Michelle Warkentin, who had 12 kills.
Midway through the opening game, Biola used a 10-2 run to take a 23-12 lead, following the play of Amber Steig who tallied 3 of her 11 kills during the run. In the second game, Azusa Pacific never trailed by more than 3 points until the end but it couldn’t regain the lead again after going up 7-6. The Cougars led 6-5 in the third game before Biola went on a 9-3 run to move away and clinch the match victory.
All-American senior Jenna Sagehorn led Azusa Pacific with a match-high 21 kills. All-GSAC sophomore Jenny Brickner had 12 kills on 18 attempts without an error (.667).
With the loss, Azusa Pacific falls to 12-6 overall, 4-3 in the GSAC. With the victory, Biola becomes the first team this season to sweep Azusa Pacific and in the process assumes sole possession of third place in the GSAC, moving to 5-2 in conference play and now 17-3 overall.