Azusa Pacific University Women’s Volleyball beat Westmont College 3-0, adding another win to their record.
It was a night full of victories in the Felix Event Center for Azusa Pacific University’s Women’s Volleyball team on Thursday night. The Cougars swept Westmont College 3-0, putting their record at 16-9. Senior Annaka Jorgenson also scored her 1500th kill. She is the fourth person in APU history to achieve that milestone.
“I’m just thankful for everyone that contributed for that even to be a goal that I could accomplish,” said Jorgenson.
APU came into Thursday’s matchup with a win against the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and a record of 15-9. In their previous game against Westmont, the Cougars won in four sets, by a final score of 3-1. Westmont came into the match looking for a win, coming off a loss against Biola 2-3 and a record of 11-13.
This is Westmont’s first year competing in the PacWest Conference. They were previously participating at the NAIA level before being unanimously voted into the NCAA DII conference in 2021. The Cougars were also an NAIA school before transitioning to the NCAA DII level in 2011.
“It’s always been a good rivalry,” said coach Chris Keife.
The Cougars started the match with the first serve. Westmont was quick to gain a three-point lead on APU with two kills and an ace, setting the score 0-3. APU kept their composure and brought the score back within two points. Another run from the Warriors gave them a five-point advantage, forcing APU to take a timeout.
After the time out, points were exchanged on both sides. Serves from sophomore Hailey Patino allowed the Cougars to gain momentum and score three straight points, 15-15. Kills from Kyra Palmbush and Kendyl Macaskill gave APU the lead 17-16. The Warriors didn’t let up on their attack, scoring another four straight points, 17-20.
APU’s momentum shifted with a kill from Jorgenson. This marked her 1500th career kill and forced Westmont to call a timeout. Four straight serves from Macaskill made it a tie game, 21-21. A kill from Katelyn Sonnier gave the Cougars the ball and a chance for the win, 23-23. Blocks from Sonnier and Palmbush on the next play made it game point, 24-23. A final kill from Palmbush ended the first set, 25-23.
The Warriors served first for the second set. Several net violations for Westmont gave APU a running start, 5-2. A long 17-touch rally ended in Warrior point, 5-4. The Cougars were unfazed, maintaining their lead for several plays. The Warriors fought back hard, bringing within a one-point lead, 14-13.
Miscommunications, net violations and double touches for Westmont allowed APU to pull away 18-15. The Cougars were on a roll and the Warriors couldn’t catch up. Kills from Jorgenson, Macaskill and Palmbush gave the Cougars another run, 24-21. A final service ace from Paige Johnstone ended the second set 25-1.
The third and final set of the match began with a serve for the Cougars. APU quickly set the tone and pulled away. Five straight serves from Johnstone gave APU a five-point lead, 8-3. Seven consecutive serves from Macaskill expanded the Cougar lead 15-4. Points were exchanged for a while before APU pulled away again 20-8. Jorgenson continued to be relentless on the net, scoring nine more kills in the third set.
“She’s one of a kind,” said Keife
Westmont didn’t give up. They continued to fight back, cutting APU’s lead down to seven. The Cougars regained possession on a kill from Jorgenson. Johnstone ended the third set with four serves and a game-ending ace, 25-13.
“I think we can use this momentum to go into the last three games of the season and try to keep it going,” said Macaskill.
The Cougars only have one home game out of the three games left in the season. Their next game will be against Concordia University Irvine on Nov. 11 in Irvine, California. The next home game will be on Nov. 16. APU will finish out the season at Biola University on Nov. 18.