AZUSA, Calif. -- The NAIA’s No. 16-ranked Azusa Pacific began the second round of conference play in style as they swept San Diego Christian, 3-0, to improve to 15-5 overall and 7-4 in the GSAC.
It was another match in which the entire team played well as a unit as the Cougars dominated across the board winning 30-18, 30-20, 30-22. Although the Hawks got to within 5 points in the third game the outcome was never in doubt.
Jessica DeJager was 1 of 3 Cougars who tallied double-digit kills as she finished the match with 19 to go along with 6 digs. Chelsea Morgan had 14 kills and Colleen Walker added 11 kills and 5 digs. Middle blocker Jenny Brickner had 9 kills with no attack errors in 18 attempts.
Head coach Chris Keife was happy with their performance. “I thought our middles and outside hitters did a good job of putting the ball away,” he said. “We’ve been working with them a lot of that and they’ve been doing that more and more. I thought that overall we played well tonight. We just need to lower our errors a little bit.”
Defensively the Cougars were outstanding as the Hawks were only able to muster 29 kills and hit a collective .157. Libero Brittany Brown, who earlier in the day earned Region II Player of the Week honors, had 21 of the Cougars 74 digs.
Brickner assessed her team’s defense. “Sometimes in the third game we got to excited going for the block and touched too many balls instead of staying consistent,” she said. “But we played well and had no service receiving errors.”
The Cougars have dominated the series against San Diego Christian winning the past 12 matches. The Hawks have not beaten Azusa Pacific since Oct. 14, 1999.
Azusa Pacific’s schedule now takes another turn down a difficult road. The Cougars will face La Verne, an NCAA Division III power, at home this Thursday before resuming conference play the next night at Point Loma Nazarene. The following week features match-ups against No. 22 Biola and Vanguard.
“We’re going to get geared up to play a good team on Thursday night in La Verne and use that to help us prepare to face Point Loma,” said Keife.
The Cougars and Leopards will meet on Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. inside the Felix Event Center.