Here is a rundown of all the excitement from last week.
Sports are finally back in full swing at Azusa Pacific, after nearly a year of continuous postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19 safety measures. Though it is hardly business as usual for APU athletics, several teams are either currently competing or preparing to compete in the coming weeks. Here is a recap of last week’s action.
Men’s tennis went undefeated in a hectic four-game week. They are now 4-2 on the season and undefeated on home court.
March 2 – W, 6-1 vs UC Riverside
Though UCR competed with a limited roster, APU earned their first victory of the season in commanding fashion. They split the two doubles matches that were played — winning the third by forfeit — but won four of the five singles matches. It was a win against a Division I program as well, making the victory for APU even more special.
March 5 – W, 6-0 vs Point Loma
The Cougars dominated the Sea Lions in their first conference matchup of the season, claiming all 6 points against their California rival. Junior standout Jakob Schnaitter continued his undefeated singles campaign and also helped earn a doubles point alongside 2020 ITA All-American Leyton Bohren.
March 6 – W, 6-1 vs Colorado Mesa
APU continued their win streak against Colorado Mesa. Their 6-1 victory was an all-around team effort. The Cougars were able to consistently win the first set of their matchups and played with a lead for most of their first match of the day.
March 6 – W, 4-3 vs Hawai’i Hilo
In the most exciting matchup so far this season, the Cougars pulled out a 4-3 victory against PacWest rival Hawai’i Hilo. The two squads split the No. 2 and 3 doubles matches. This put all the pressure on the No. 1 matchup to give their team the advantage for singles. The pairing of Bohren and Schnaitter won their superset 6-4, ultimately giving APU the edge they needed. With the impressive stature of these two teams, they will likely meet again this year under a big spotlight.
March 8 – L, 5-2 vs Weber State
Coming off that matchup against Hawai’i Hilo, the Cougars could not pull out the win against an outer-conference opponent in the Weber State Wildcats. Although the Cougars pulled out the early match lead after Ryan Nuno and Sam Sippel won the second doubles match 6-2, APU would go on to lose the double point. The Wildcats won three straight sets in the No. 5, 3 and 4 single matches, essentially giving them the victory by the end of the day.
March 4 – W, 7-0 vs Chapman
The women’s tennis team opened their 2021 season with a commanding 7-0 victory over Chapman. The Cougars did not lose a single match — doubles or singles — the entire day. In the three doubles supersets, APU only lost 4 games.
March 5 – W, 6-0 vs Point Loma
The Cougars improved to a 2-0 overall record against Point Loma. The day was full of tightly contested matches which are not represented by the 6-0 final score. APU’s top pairing of Petra Ivankovic and Anna Savchenko went 24 extra points to defeat PLNU’s best doubles team. Each APU singles victory took only two sets.
March 6 – W, 7-0 vs Colorado Mesa
In their third contest in three days, APU continued to dominate, defeating Colorado Mesa 7-0. The Cougars didn’t lose a match for the second time this year, and each of the singles matches took only two sets.
March 2 – W, 8-0 & W, 5-0 vs Saint Katherine
The Cougars swept Saint Katherine with two shutout victories in their second doubleheader matchup of the season. An offensive onslaught helped the Cougars gain an eight-run lead by the bottom of the 6th, invoking the mercy rule and ending the first game. Aly Montesino only allowed two hits on the day, earning her first win of the season.
The second game of the day got off to a slower start, but APU put together an outstanding team pitching performance. In the bottom of the third, senior Becca Jewett accounted for three runs, driving in two on a single before scoring herself on a fielding error.
March 6 – W, 5-0 & L, 1-0 vs Biola
APU went 1-1 against PacWest rival Biola to begin Southern California pod play. The Cougars shut out the Eagles in their first matchup thanks to a terrific pitching performance from Elizabeth Phillips, who only gave up three total hits. APU had a quiet game on offense, but still found a way to move runners around the bases to win 5-0.
The Cougars were shutout in the second game of the day. Biola maintained a 1-0 lead the entire game with solid pitching.
March 6 – W, 12-8 vs Loyola Marymount
After their first game against UC Santa Barbara was canceled, APU water polo defeated Loyola Marymount 12-8 for its first win of the year.
The Cougars took a first-quarter lead of 5-2. Their offensive attack was led by sophomore Milena Guzman Ortiz who finished with four goals and two assists. Though LMU had opportunities to tie the game, APU maintained its lead throughout the game. After scoring twice at the beginning of the second half, the Cougars remained in control for the rest of the contest.
March 8 – W, 3-1 vs Alaska Fairbanks
Volleyball began their season at the Felix Event Center against a familiar opponent in Alaska Fairbanks. Last season, the Cougars conquered the Nanooks 3-1, and that is exactly what they did Monday morning. Thanks to the play of Annaka Jorgensen, who had a game-high 13 kills, and Bailey Hennington, who finished the game with 24 digs, APU won 3-1 and started their season off on a positive note.
Coming up this week
While students will enjoy some time off of school, it will be a busy week for APU athletics.
Men’s tennis has two matchups this week against Pac West rivals Biola and Concordia. Women’s tennis will play Fresno Pacific and Concordia. Softball has two scheduled doubleheaders, the first against San Diego Christian and the second against Saint Katherine again. Water polo will play their second game of the season against the Top 15 ranked Fresno State.
Baseball will also be back this week as well, as they will play their fourth game against Westmont before two doubleheaders against Fresno Pacific.
Reminder: Fans aren’t allowed at APU athletic events. All games can be live-streamed on the athletics website for free. To watch all the action, click here.