FRESNO, Calif. -- Melissa Boer and Kate Alderson combined for 46 kills as the NAIA’s No. 20-ranked Point Loma Nazarene upset No. 7-ranked Azusa Pacific, 3-2, to capture a third place finish in the Region II volleyball tournament, Saturday, at the Special Events Center in Fresno, Calif.
The Sea Lions trailed 2 games to 1 before rallying to win 30-20, 22-30, 21-30, 30-28, 15-13.
Jenny Brickner had 21 kills and Chelsea Morgan added 20 for the Cougars in the match.
The No. 3-seed Azusa Pacific was plagued by 10 hitting errors in dropping the first game before rallying to take the next 2 games. Brickner and Morgan were not alone in their solid performances as Jessica DeJager and Megan Burch tallied 17 kills apiece.
“Point Loma played well and you have to give them credit,” said head coach Chris Keife. “They played with high emotions and continued to fight even though they were down 2-1.”
The Sea Lions battled back in the fourth game as they hit .319 and worked their way back into the match. The deciding fifth game saw Point Loma sprint out to a quick 5-1 lead before a Cougar timeout helped settle them. Azusa Pacific got back into it quickly and had the score tied late before being edged, 15-13.
The Cougars’ Allison Kincheloe had 69 assists and 13 digs while Brittany Brown paced the team with 22 digs.
While Point Loma Nazarene (21-13) clinches a spot in the national tournament, the Cougars (24-9) must now wait until Sunday to learn their fate.
For Azusa Pacific it wasn’t the way it wanted to finish the regional playoffs after knocking off Concordia in the first round but Keife knows his team learned from the experience.
“We can take this as a positive. We played flat tonight but the girls can learn from that,” he said.
In the Region II champion ship match the top-seed Fresno Pacific defeated the No. 2 seed California Baptist, 3-1, to claim the automatic bid.