After the conclusion of fall sports, Azusa Pacific sports fans can rejoice in knowing their Cougars lead the Cornerstone Cup race by a score of 50-20. The matchups between the schools have not disappointed.
Ten points are awarded to the school with the most head-to-head victories in their respective sports. During the fall sports season, APU faced off against Biola in seven sports: Volleyball, Women’s Soccer, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Cross Country, Men’s Cross Country, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Basketball.
The Cornerstone Cup matchups are heavily anticipated by students, faculty and especially the athletes. This was evident at women’s basketball game versus Biola on Saturday night.
“We knew it was going to be a big turnout,” said junior guard Rachel Bozlee.” “We love the support, it gets us all hyped.”
Bozlee also added that the crowd inspired her big shooting night. She hit four 3-pointers and totaled 23 points in a 82-53 blowout win over the Eagles. Fourth year head coach T.J Hardeman commended Bozlee’s work ethic leading up to her big night.
“There is nobody who practices shooting more than Rachel,” Hardeman said.
The men’s basketball team had a tough act to follow. However, they came out on top, 84-72, in a game with the most fan attendance of the season. APU’s student section, better known as The ZU, came prepared with posters to distract and heckle Biola athletes.
Volleyball began the Cornerstone Cup with two thrilling games. APU entered the rivalry game with an undefeated conference record and Biola entered with only 2 losses in PacWest play. The first matchup was won by Biola in five sets (18-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-7). It was a game that broke the Cougars’ nine-game win streak. The second game against Biola carried more weight and motivation for senior outside hitter Natalie Klapp, who was determined to claim one final victory over the Eagles in her last season at APU.
“The importance of the game set in that if we don’t win we could lose conference,” said Klapp. “The first game, I had nerves. Once those were gone, everything got better.”
Klapp contributed 15 kills on 40 attacks as well as 15 digs on the defensive end. She gives credit to the APU faithful for showing their support when the team needed it.
“The past two seasons we went to five sets with them at home. The crowd was amazing and the energy was great … It’s always fun to beat Biola,” Klapp said.
The home, 3-1 (25-17, 29-27, 16-25, 26-24) win split the series evening the score at 5-5 to start the Cornerstone Cup.
On the field, the Men’s Soccer team took care of business with a 1-0 win over the Eagles. junior midfielder Arturo Astorga’s 78th minute goal sealed the win for the Cougars. In soccer, each team only plays once, unlike volleyball and basketball, making this win crucial in the Cornerstone Cup race. This victory pushed APU’s lead to 20-10 after the 1-1 tie in Women’s Soccer, which gave both teams five points.
Cross country split the points 10-10 with Biola winning the men’s side and APU winning the women’s side keeping the lead for APU steady at 30-20.
Women’s and Men’s basketball total 30 points in the Cornerstone Cup race and conclude a sweep of Biola basketball teams in the 2018-2019 regular season. This leaves the lead at 50-20 in favor of APU.
There are still plenty of Cornerstone Cup matchups left in the Spring Season. The Sports are listed as follows: men’s tennis, women’s swim & dive, women’s tennis, baseball and softball, men’s track and field and women’s track and field.