Azusa Pacific 0
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- Fresh off the heels of a heartbreaking 5-game loss to No. 2-ranked Fresno Pacific Tuesday, Azusa Pacific was unable to rebound, suffering a 3-game sweep at the hands of The Master’s, 30-22, 30-21, 30-28, Thursday in Santa Clarita in both team’s regular-season finale.
The loss firmly places Azusa Pacific back on the bubble for the NAIA Region II Playoffs. The Cougars, 17-14 overall, 9-11 GSAC, must now sit and wait to see what happens with both Vanguard and Hope International this weekend.
Vanguard hosts No. 16 Westmont Friday, and Hope International hosts Christian Heritage Saturday. If both teams lose, then Azusa Pacific will likely be a lock for the playoffs. However, should one of them win, the Cougars will have to hold their collective breath and wait for the final NAIA Region II rating to be released late Sunday.
Rosemary Franklin had 11 kills and 11 digs, and Lacy Brueggeman had 10 kills and 19 digs to lead The Master’s in victory tonight.
All 3 games were for the most part tightly contested. The Cougars opened up a 9-5 lead to start, but the Mustangs answered to get right back in it. Leading 19-18, The Master’s outscored the Cougars 11-4 to close out the game. The Cougars opened up the second game with back-to-back setting errors, and the Mustangs led the entire way, opening up a 12-7 lead and not letting the Cougars get any closer.
The third and final game had 12 ties and 13 lead changes with the final lead change coming at 19-18 on one of Mary Franklin’s 5 solo blocks. The Mustangs opened up a 4-point cushion (24-20), and held the Cougars off for the rest of the way to get the win.
The Mustangs also reeled off 8 service aces and 11 team blocks. Franklin finished with 8 total blocks.
Three-time NAIA All-American Jenna Sagehorn led a balanced Cougar attack with a team-high 9 kills. She also had a match-high 22 digs to go along with 2 blocks. Katrina Anker continued her hot play with 8 kills and 7 digs.