Cougar catch-up: Last week in APU sports

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The acrobatics and tumbling team landed two big wins last week: first, it beat A&T; juggernaut Oregon on Monday, April 7 and on Saturday, April 12, it defeated Baylor. Photo credit: Kimberly Smith

Last week was a big one for Azusa Pacific’s acrobatics and tumbling team. Following a historic win against Oregon, the Cougars went to Waco, Texas, to face the Baylor Bears and came out with the 280.875-277.955 win to end their regular season.

Here is the rest of what happened in APU sports from April 7-13:

Baseball
The baseball team split the first of two doubleheaders against Hawai’i Pacific on Saturday, April 12. In the first game, the Cougars battled for three runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 5-3 lead, but gave up three runs in the bottom half of the frame, surrendering a walk-off win to the Sea Warriors and losing 6-5. In the ninth inning, sophomore left fielder Mitch Dergazarian hit an RBI single to center and junior first baseman Jordan Brower knocked in two runs with another single into center.

In game two, APU held the advantage after a four-run third inning and kept it for the entirety of the game, finishing with a 7-3 win. Dergazarian put the Cougars on the board in the third with a two-run single to right field, scoring sophomore shortstop Andrew Carillo and junior third baseman Blake James. Senior right fielder Matt Kimmel hit a double down the left field line to score junior center fielder Joseph Daris and Brower hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Dergazarian

Sophomore pitchers Joel Belk and Josh Staumont started for the Cougars. Belk pitched for eight innings, allowing 12 hits, five runs (two unearned) and three walks. He struck out only once in the no-decision. Staumont threw for 6.1 innings, allowing six hits, two runs and six walks. He struck out six in the win.

Softball

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Freshman pitcher Carly Xepoleas earned five wins in her last eight games. Photo credit: Steven Mercado

The softball team started its week with a non-conference doubleheader against Hope International. It allowed zero runs to the Royals in the 4-0, 6-0 sweep Tuesday, April 8.

The Cougars began the first of three road doubleheaders Thursday, April 10 against Dominican. APU fell behind 4-0 early in the first game and scored three runs but failed to tie the game in the 4-3 loss. In the nightcap, the Cougars forced a split against the Penguins by shutting them out 2-0. Freshman pitcher Carly Xepoleas led APU with her second consecutive shutout, allowing only three hits and walking only two. She struck out six in her 13th win of the season.

Azusa Pacific then traveled to Brisbane, Calif., to face Academy of Art for a four-game series. The Cougars landed their first PacWest Conference road sweep of the year with their 10-1 and 14-9 wins Friday, April 11. Xepoleas picked up two more wins, going the distance in the first contest and allowing only one run and five hits. In the second game, she allowed only one hit and zero runs in three innings.

Leading the Cougar offense was junior left fielder Sona Babayan in game one, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs. In game two, junior second baseman Katrina Oviedo led the charge, going 2-for-4 with five RBIs, including a three-run homer in the top of the sixth.

Saturday, April 12, six different players crossed the plate to score for the Cougars as they defeated the Urban Knights 6-4. Junior shortstop Desiree Chavez went 3-for-3 in the game, including an RBI single up the middle.

In the nightcap, the Cougars sealed the four-game sweep with Xepoleas’ fourth win in the three-day, six-game road stretch. She pitched five innings and allowed no runs, just four hits and a walk.

Leading the offense was Oviedo again, going 2-for-4 for two RBIs and scoring three runs herself. Her two RBIs came in the sixth inning from her second home run of the series. With these two home runs, Oviedo doubled her total amount of homers on the season.

The team has two remaining matchups this regular season. Its last road doubleheader will be Wednesday, April 16 against Vanguard.

Acrobatics and tumbling
The acrobatics and tumbling team faced off against Baylor for its last regular-season meet Saturday, April 12.

After the compulsory event, the Cougars were down 38.10-38.15 against the Bears. In the event, APU held the advantage in the acro heat (9.60-9.55) and the pyramid (9.85-9.65), but BU held the advantage in the toss heat (9.70-9.60) and the tumbling (9.25-9.05).

A dominant first heat in the acro event gave the Cougars enough breathing room to hold on through the three-heats schedule, winning the event 28.75-28.45.

Azusa Pacific won the pyramid event 29.30-29.15 in order to hold a slim lead over Baylor at halftime, 96.150-95.750.

The Cougars beat the Bears in all three heats of the toss event to win 28.90-28.20. However, it was the tumbling event in which the Bears battled back to make things interesting. Beating APU in five of the six sections, BU won the event 57.63-57.13. The Cougars held a lead of 182.18-181.58 going into the final event.

Azusa Pacific dominated in the team event for the second straight meet. The Cougars scored roughly two points better than the Bears (98.700-96.380), resulting in another big win for APU’s acrobatics and tumbling program.

The team now looks forward to hosting the 2014 NCATA National Championships Thursday-Saturday, April 24-26.

Men’s tennis

The No. 10-ranked men’s tennis team stretched its winning streak to five games with two dominating victories over Biola on Wednesday, April 9 and UC San Diego on Friday, April 11, respectively.

In the match against Biola, senior Freddy Wilkens played at the No. 1 spot for the third time this season and defeated senior Isaiah Pekary 6-0, 6-0 in 30 minutes. The Cougars held a 7-0 lead before the Eagles earned their only point of the day, and Azusa Pacific finished the match with an 8-1 victory.

Saturday, April 12, the Cougars’ final regular season match against UC San Diego was highlighted by freshman Pascal Engel’s fourth win at the No. 3 singles spot, defeating sophomore Ganesh Alagappan 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. Sophomore Jan Meyer and junior Gary Yam ended the regular season 6-0 as partners when they earned the win at No. 1 doubles by defeating senior Max Jiganti and junior Kona Luu, 8-3. No. 7-ranked Wilkens ended the regular season with his 19th consecutive singles win when he beat senior Rajeev Herekar 6-4, 6-2.

Azusa Pacific ended the season with a 17-5 mark, looking forward to the PacWest Conference tournament that starts Thursday, April 17 in Surprise, Ariz.

Women’s tennis

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The women’s tennis team finished the season with a 17-5 record, led by senior captain and No. 1 singles player Emily Harris. Both tennis teams head into the PacWest Conference tournament on Thursday, April 17. Photo credit: Steven Mercado

The women’s tennis team finished the season riding a six-game winning streak. Monday, April 7, Azusa Pacific defeated Cal State L.A. 6-3 and Saturday, April 12, the Cougars defeated UC San Diego 7-2.

In the Cougars’ second match against the Golden Eagles in seven days, APU triumphed yet again. The two teams were tied 3-3 after the day’s first six matches. The next three matches were decided in three sets. Freshman Natalie Johnson won her match against junior Sonia Landeros, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 and sophomore Lindsey Yeom defeated senior Tiffany Leung at No. 4 singles to clinch the win against Cal State LA. Senior Stephanie Quan won her match at the No. 5 spot against junior Victoria Vo after the latter retired during the third set (4-6, 6-4, 4-4).

APU continued its success Saturday in its victory against UCSD. After the first six matches, the Cougars already clinched the win through junior Danae Ingwaldson’s 6-2, 6-3 victory at the No. 3 spot against freshman Nava Nowamooz. Prior to Ingwaldson’s win, senior Kim Koetterheinrich logged her eighth consecutive triumph, against sophomore Lisa Asia, 6-2, 6-1. Yeom won the only three-set match of the day to seal the win, defeating freshman Sharon Theisen 6-2, 6-7, 10-8.

The women’s tennis team, like the men, finished the regular season with a 17-5 record. It also looks forward to the PacWest Conference tournament April 17.

Water polo
The women’s water polo team played two home matches Saturday, April 12. In the first match, it faced Division I Golden Coast Conference opponent Loyola Marymount and fell 13-5. APU bounced back in its evening matchup against Chapman, winning 15-6.

APU trailed LMU for the entirety of the match. Leading the Lions was senior driver Alexandra Honey, who scored five goals — as many as the Cougars together had. She was one of two players who scored more than once, the other being sophomore driver Kingsley Hill with two.

Freshman driver Megan Myers was the only Cougar who scored more than one goal.

However, APU responded in the later game against Chapman. Four Cougars scored multiple goals for the team: junior utility player Courtney Folsom (2), senior utility player Allison Gonzalez (2), junior utility player Taylor Whitney (5) and senior driver Megan Minekime (3).

The first quarter ended with APU holding a slim one-goal lead, but after scoring seven goals in the second quarter, the Cougars held a 10-2 lead that would not be flipped, eventually growing to the 15-6 final score*.

Track and field
The track and field team participated in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Saturday, April 12 in which several Cougars landed top-10 finishes*.

Sophomore javelin thrower Allison Updike led all athletes with her first place throw of 162 feet 2 inches and junior thrower Danica Dobosy passed the 50-meter Division II provisional qualifying benchmark for the fourth time this season with her throw of 52.26 meters.

Junior hurdler Tanner Henry led the men with a new personal record of 52.38 in the 400-meter hurdles. Senior mid-distance runner Riley McKee and sophomore sprinter Ronald Douglas also had notable performances. McKee finished in sixth place in the 800-meter dash with a personal best time of 1:52.56. Douglas finished fifth in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, clocking in his third 200 time under 22 this season.

Azusa Pacific now looks forward to a week that contains four events for the track and field team, highlighted by the Bryan Clay Invitational on Friday, April 18. It will be held at the Cougar Athletic Stadium.

*For full results, go to theclause.org/sports

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