The Azusa Pacific volleyball team began their season at the annual Cougar Classic tournament hosted by Cal State San Marcos on Sept. 6-7. The tournament began with the Cougars going head to head against Western New Mexico in a game one thriller. 

New players shined and declared themselves as leaders for the Cougars. Freshman Annaka Jorgenson led APU with 14 kills and a hitting percentage of .400. Junior transfer Mina Andjelkovic had 30 assists, and helped spark a 9-1 point run late in the game to take the lead at 23-18 in the second set. 

WNM fought back to bring the score to 23-21, but the Cougars sealed the victory with two kills from Jorgenson and senior Julianne Miller. APU went on to win three sets in a row in a dominant first match. 

Game two of the tournament saw the Cougars face off against the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds in four hard-fought sets. APU took the first two sets, but the Greyhounds fought back to win the third set. The Cougars battled back to win the fourth set 25-21. 

The top performers of the second match were senior Sara Wagenveld with 15 kills and Jorgenson with 14. This victory marked a perfect day one for APU in the Cougar Classic. 

Day two of the Cougar Classic started with a matchup against Cal State San Marcos. The Cougars fought hard for three sets but dropped the match by a final score of 25-22, 25-23 and 25-17. This match marked the first loss of the tournament for APU. Miller led the Cougars with nine kills and four blocks in the match. 

The second match of day two was against Saint Martin’s. The Cougars had a dominant performance, winning the first two sets by more than 12 points. Jorgenson paced the team with nine kills, seven digs and two blocks. 

Miller’s 10 blocks (over the whole weekend) placed her in the top three of the all-time PacWest block leaders. She has a career total of 360 blocks, and is just 34 blocks shy of breaking the record.

APU is now 3-1 on the season preparing for the West Region Showcase, hosted by Cal State Los Angeles this weekend. The Cougars will take on Cal State L.A. and Central Washington. On Saturday, the Cougars will battle Alaska Fairbanks and Cal State East Bay, finishing the four-game tournament before the start of the PacWest regular season.