AZUSA, Calif. -- The last time Azusa Pacific and Vanguard got together things were a little different. Back on Sept. 16 the Lions outlasted the Cougars in a 5-game match that featured 2 teams looking to make some noise in the Golden State Athletic Conference.
Despite losing the match the Cougars played well enough to win and were confidant as they hosted the Lions this evening at the Felix Event Center. Azusa Pacific proved to be rude hosts as it whipped Vanguard, 3-0, to extend its winning streak to 6 matches. The Cougars dominated in winning 30-18, 30-25, 30-22 as they hit a blistering .388 in the match.
“We are playing really well at home right now,” said head coach Chris Keife. “We have been working with our hitters on lowering our errors in practice and tonight they did a good job.”
Indeed, the Cougars only committed 14 attack errors which were offset by their 68 kills. Setter Allison Kincheloe recorded 57 assists, 8 digs and 4 blocks as she moved the ball around effectively involving all of the hitters.
“I let her go by feel out there and she is confidant out there because we have 5 girls that can put the ball away on the court,” Keife said.
Jessica DeJager had one of her finest outings as a Cougar with 19 kills and just 3 errors to go along with 7 digs. “She is getting to a level now where she is really helping our team,” said Keife of DeJager, who was the Big West Freshman of the Year while at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Chelsea Morgan and Jenny Brickner combined for 27 kills and Colleen Walker had 10 kills and 8 digs for the Cougars.
The NAIA’s No. 15-ranked Azusa Pacific was also solid defensively as it held Vanguard to a .167 hitting percentage while recording 17 more digs.
The Cougars have now gained a foothold of third place in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Azusa Pacific is now 10-4 and leads No. 10 Concordia by 1 game in the standings after the Eagles were swept by No. 1 Fresno Pacific earlier today. However, the rest of the schedule is a challenge including contests against Concordia and No. 3-ranked California Baptist. First, however, Azusa Pacific squares off against the Sunbirds on Tuesday night at the Felix Event Center at 7 p.m.