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A Perfect Beginning

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August 26, 2005
Jason Cannon
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AZUSA, Calif. -- If the prevailing thought was the youthful element of the Azusa Pacific volleyball team would take awhile to gel together, their play today was a resounding argument to the contrary.

The NAIA’s No. 17 ranked Cougars (2-0) swept a pair of matches today at the 22nd annual Fresno Pacific Invitational besting both Notre Dame de Namur this morning and, later in the day, Menlo, both by convincing 3-0 scores.

“I thought we did very well today,” said head coach Chris Keife. “The young players did a tremendous job of playing within the system.”

Azusa Pacific blistered Notre Dame de Namur (0-1) 31-29, 30-23, 30-14 in their opening match posting a .370 hitting percentage as a team. Freshman Brittany Brown recorded 14 kills in her first match as a Cougar and Colleen Walker had 12 kills while Chelsea Morgan added 11. The approach, in addition to the results, pleased Keife.

“Our team showed great composure. We lowered our number of errors and controlled the ball. We want to continue to be consistent and fine tune some of the weaknesses that we saw today,” he said.

The afternoon match against Menlo (0-2) had similar results with the Cougars winning 30-21, 30-20, 30-28. With a win in their opening match tomorrow, Azusa Pacific would equal their 2003 start of 3 consecutive victories.

The Cougars will face the NAIA’s No. 20 ranked Bellevue (0-2) and No. 19 Savannah Art & Design (0-2) tomorrow beginning at 9 a.m.