This week both acrobatics and tumbling kicked off their home opener with a tri-meet win, track and field athletes shined at the Long Beach Opener and men’s and women’s basketball advanced to the PacWest Tournament Final.
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams won two games before competing in the PacWest Tournament Championship game.
The women’s team was not only able to secure the Conference Title a few weeks ago, but they were also able to bring home the PacWest Tournament Championship on Saturday.
Coming in as the number one seed, the Cougars dominated Fresno Pacific in the first round. Kayla Shaw poured in 29 points and 10 rebounds to lead the team to an 83-58 win.
The following night, the Cougars found themselves in unknown territory down by 15 in the middle of the second quarter to number five Biola. APUwent on a 23-0 run to regain the lead early in the third quarter.
Between four players scoring double digits, the Cougars were able to pull off a 85-71 win to send them into the Final.
On Saturday, the women’s team defeated Academy of Art 60-49 to claim their first PacWest Tournament win since 2016.
Kayla Shaw earned the PacWest Tournament MVP after scoring 57 points across the three games. Laura Pranger, Alex Lowden and Paige Uyehara made the All-Tournament Team as well.
APU Men’s Basketball earned the number two seed entering the PacWest Tournament.
In the first round, the Cougars secured a 87-72 win against number seven Hawaii Hilo.Ken West led the Cougars with 21 points followed by Hayden Gray with 15 points.
In the semifinal game, they defeated number three Biola 75-54.McKleary Robertson and Sasha French led with 14 points a piece.
After a hard fought battle, the Cougars were unable to win the a PacWest Championship after falling to number four Academy of Art 73-70.
Justin Hemlsey and Ken West were named to the PacWest All-Tournament Team.
The NCAA Selection Show revealed the postseason fate of both teams. While the women’s team were guaranteed a tournament spot after winning their conference tournament, the men were not an automatic selection.
Despite the men needing an at large bid to qualify, both teams were selected to be the West Region #5 seed in the NCAA Division II March Madness Tournament.
The men’s team will play against Point Loma in San Bernardino on Friday.
The women’s team will face off against Cal State San Marcos on Friday.
Acro & Tumbling
The Cougars, now 3-0, grabbed a tri-meet win over Gannon University and Hawaii Pacific on March 1, posting a score of 275.600.
After losing the compulsory event by two-tenths of a point to Gannon, the Cougars came back with a win in the acro event from the 6-element team of Jacie Van de Zilver, Ellie Sousa, Madiha Morris and Payton Springer.
The group also recorded a 9.95 in the open pyramid event to take a six-tenths of a point advantage over Gannon and an eight point lead over the Sharks.
Morris and Van de Zilver put together another 9.95 score in the first toss heat after halftime. Van de Zilver, Jessica Gill, and Mckenna Dawson each scored a 9.85 or higher with their solo routines to extend their lead to more than four points over the Golden Knights before securing the win over both teams with a score of 93.05 in the team event.
The team will host East Texas Baptist in the Felix Event Center for their next meet on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Track & Field
Over the weekend, APU competed at the Long Beach Outdoor Opener where three new athletes posted provisional marks and 23 Cougars had Top-10 finishes.
Raymon Harper took first place in Men’s High Jump after clearing 2.06m (6’ 9”) which also surpassed the nationals provisional mark of 2.05m.
On the women’s side, Jenny Sandoval ran a personal best of 4:32.35 in the 1500 and secured a second-place finish. In her 400m Hurdle debut, Jordan Hammond delivered another provisional mark with a time of 1:02.14– finishing fourth overall.
The next outdoor meet, the Franson Classic, will be on Saturday, March 19, hosted by Azusa Pacific on their home turf.
Additionally, Azusa Pacific will send 13 athletes to the 2022 NCAA DII Indoor Track and Field Championship meet which will be held on March 11th & 12th in Pittsburgh, Kansas.
The 10 athletes competing on the women’s side include Chin Agina, Alysa Henry,Sara Wagenveld, Mechaela Hyacinth, Marian Ledesma, Alayna Verner and Jaylah Walker. They will also send a 4×400 Meter Relay team with Kiayra Holmes, Verner, Walker and Ledesma and a Distance Medley Relay with Mikalya Akers, Briseida Garcia Meza, Walker and Ledesma.
This is the most that Azusa Pacific has sent to Indoor Nationals.
Three men will represent the Cougars in Kansas: Raymon Harper, Jermel Jones and Aaron Worrell.