IRVINE, Calif. -- The NAIA’s No. 20-ranked Concordia defeated No. 8-ranked Azusa Pacific, 3-1 (30-26, 18-30, 30-27, 30-25), in Golden State Athletic Conference action, Saturday night, in Irvine, Calif.
The Eagles outhit the Cougars .181 to .151 but were not able to put away Azusa Pacific easily. Several Cougars had match-high totals including Allison Kincheloe whose 44 assists and 16 digs led all players.
Jessica DeJager had a match-high 16 kills to lead the Cougars.
After Concordia took a 7-4 lead in the first game, the Cougars rallied to knot the score at 10-10. However, the Eagles promptly responded with a 5-0 run that provided a comfortable lead en route to the 30-26 win.
Azusa Pacific quickly responded in the second game by jumping out to a 4-0 and cruised in capturing game 2 by a 30-18 score. Chelsea Morgan recorded 5 kills in the game.
The third game was full of tension as the teams stayed close to one another throughout. Concordia and Azusa Pacific traded the lead 6 times and were tied on 11 points, including 24-24 after a service ace from Brittany Brown. After the score was again knotted at 25-25, Concordia put together a 5-2 run to end the game on a kill by Lindsey Sommer.
The Cougars sought to tie the match up at 2 games apiece and got the fourth game off to a good start with an early 6-3 lead. However, the Eagles came back to tie the game at 8-8 before reeling off 8 of the next 11 points to assume a 16-11 advantage. They would go on to win the game, and the match, 30-25.
“Give Concordia credit because they played well,” said head coach Chris Keife. “They played good defense and made some shots we didn’t control well. We need to continue working on maintaining consistency.”
Jenny Brickner also contributed 10 kills and 5 blocks.
Azusa Pacific (13-4, 5-3) will next be in action on Thursday, Oct. 6, when the host No. 3-ranked California Baptist at the Felix Event Center at 7 p.m.