PORTLAND, Ore. -- Azusa Pacific refused to make the same mistake twice. After winning their first 3 matches last weekend at the Sunbird Invitational, the Cougars lost their tournament finale in disappointing fashion. However, this weekend the Cougars (7-1) notched four consecutive wins ending the suspense of how they would respond to a close match by defeating Lubbock Christian (Tx.), 3-1, after splitting the first 2 games.
Again the Cougars spread the wealth as they had 5 different players record double figures in kills. Sophomore Alison Pattison had 33 digs and freshman setter Allison Kincheloe finished with 53 assists and 11 digs as the Cougars are off to their best start since opening the 2001 season 8-1.
Senior Jenny Brickner had 14 kills and freshman Brittany Brown had 13 kills in a match that featured the first game Azusa Pacific lost all weekend. After Lubbock Christian defeated the Cougars in the second game 30-26, they responded by outlasting the Chaparrals 31-29 swiping away momentum and setting up their 6-point win in game 4.
“Everyone played very well,” noted head coach Chris Keife. “Brickner and Brown did a good job of maintaining consistency. We were pressured in the match against Lubbock but we maintained our composure and didn’t crack.”
Earlier in the day it was another 3-game sweep for the Cougars as they victimized NCAA Division II member Humboldt State 30-28, 30-25, 30-16. Azusa Pacific outhit the Lumberjacks .212 to .023 as Chelsea Morgan recorded 13 kills. Brown added 8 kills and 8 digs and Pattison had 16 digs in the match.
“As coaches we wanted the girls to understand how to prepare for every match,” Keife said. “We want them to be focused, disciplined, and prepared mentally. They did that consistently today.”
Azusa Pacific, ranked No. 17 in the NAIA, will take a 4-match winning streak into Golden State Athletic Conference play on Tuesday in El Cajon, Calif. when they take on San Diego Christian at 7 p.m.