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Volleyball dominates APU with sweep

Eagles make statement by winning in three sets.  |  Caitlin Blackmon/THE CHIMES

 

Volleyball returned to action against archrival Azusa Pacific University in a Cornerstone Cup match at Chase Gymnasium on Oct. 7. They avenged their five set loss from two weeks ago at APU with a 3-0 sweep of the Cougars in a very impressive overall team effort, backed by a raucous student section.

Momentum shift

“Honestly, Azusa did not play as well as they played the other night... so I think we played a little bit better and I think they didn’t play as good,” said head coach Aaron Seltzer.  

Momentum shifted back and forth between the two teams throughout the first set. APU runs forced Seltzer to use two timeouts, but Biola came out firing to eventually take the set 25-20. Sophomore outside hitters Brooke Watts and Sabrina Winslow each had key kills to keep the Eagles in the set.

The second set also went back and forth with neither team gaining a significant advantage until the score stood at 23-23. Two kills from freshman middle blocker Bekah Roth and junior opposite hitter Karly Dantuma closed the tight set out for the Eagles as they took a 25-23 win.

Determined to close out the match, the Eagles came out focused in the third set with excellent defense and effective hitting, jumping out to an early 10-7 lead. They would not relinquish that lead the rest of the way.

With the score 22-18, following two straight APU points, junior setter Brinley Beresford placed a perfect tip into a gap in the Cougars defense to swing the momentum back to the Eagles. After the Eagles and Cougars exchanged points, an APU serve sailed long and Biola celebrated a stunning 3-0 upset win over their biggest rival, giving the Cougars their first PacWest loss of the season.

'we can conquer the world now'

Watts racked up 11 kills, Winslow tallied eight and junior middle blocker Sierra Bauder garnered seven. Beresford played at an elite level all night long, dishing out sets from all areas of the court to pick up 17 assists.

“I think we can conquer the world now, that was our biggest lump to get over, and so now I feel like we’ve just got all the confidence,”  Winslow said.

Seltzer and Winslow both mentioned the Eagles’ improved blocking as a key to their victory. Beresford, Bauder and Roth all picked up four blocks to lead a dominant defensive effort from the Eagles. The strong back row play of senior libero Tess Van Grouw anchored Biola as she tallied 12 digs.

“The longer the season gets strung out the more healthy we get... getting some of them back has helped, so looking forward to it’s gonna be fun,” Seltzer said.

The Eagles return to action at home against Chaminade at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10.  

 

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