AZUSA, Calif. -- For Azusa Pacific head coach Chris Keife, one of the most important qualities his team can possess is a calm demeanor. By remaining even keel, Keife is looking to avoid the pitfalls that can cause a team to stumble if they get to high or low.
His team has followed his advice well so far in 2005 as they have navigated through their first 10 games with a 9-1 record after sweeping Embry-Riddle (Ariz.), 3-0, Thursday night at the Felix Event Center.
The NAIA's No. 11-ranked Cougars knocked off the Eagles 30-22, 30-19, 30-19 in the final match before Golden State Athletic Conference play gets into full swing this weekend. "The girls did a good job of playing our game," Keife said. "They were consistent with no highs or lows. We want to be known for our composure on the floor."
This team is a blend of youth and experience and both played well against an overwhelmed Embry-Riddle (0-7) team. Freshman Brittany Brown recorded a team-high 15 kills and 12 digs and junior Chelsea Morgan finished the match with 14 kills. Freshman Allison Kincheloe tallied 40 assists and 8 digs.
The balanced effort was needed early as the Cougars and Eagles were tied at 12-12 in the first game. However, Azusa Pacific managed to pull away and claim the first game behind 5 kills apiece by senior Colleen Walker and Morgan.
From there the Cougars were able to take control and win their sixth consecutive match with plenty of contributors. Senior Jenny Brickner and freshman Megan Burch had 6 kills apiece for Azusa Pacific. Freshman Heather Flores' service game kept the Eagles off balance for portions of the evening. She finished the match with 4 aces.
The Cougars will play their GSAC home opener when they face Point Loma Nazarene on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Felix Event Center.