Previewing Cougars through spring break

Acrobatics and Tumbling (0-1)

Acrobatics and Tumbling lost its only meet this season, losing by a slim 253.565 to 249.020 to Hawaii Pacific to open the season. The Cougars’ next action is a road trip to West Virginia to take on Glenville State on March 8, and then a tri-meet against Fairmont State and Gannon. The Cougars were picked fourth in the preseason rankings while Glenville State was picked 11th of 13, Fairmont State 7th and Gannon 9th.

Last meet: L, 249.020-253.565 vs. Hawaii Pacific

Upcoming:

@ Glenville State at 6 p.m. March 8

@ Fairmont State at 6 p.m. March 10

vs. Quinnipiac at 6:30 p.m. March 15

Baseball (4-8)

The baseball team struggled through nonconference play, finishing 4-8 with one game remaining against Cal Poly Pomona. In a four-game series, the team managed splits against Western Oregon and Northwest Nazarene, but were swept by Cal State Monterey Bay. The Cougars will kick off their conference schedule with a road trip to Hawaii. The Cougars will play eight games in a week between four-game sets against Hawaii Pacific and Hawaii-Hilo.

It’s been tough sledding offensively for the Cougars; the team’s .207 batting average is currently last in the PacWest and would have been second to last in the country a season ago. However, the team has seen solid performances out of junior lefty Johnny Reid, who has allowed only 5 earned runs over 18 innings of work while striking out 20. The back end of the bullpen has been stellar as well, with sophomore Dillon Miyashiro, junior Billy Sanford, and senior Royal Bradley allowing a combined two runs over 26 innings.

Last game: W, 6-2 vs. Northwest Nazarene

Upcoming:

@ Cal Poly Pomona at 6 p.m. Feb. 24

@ Hawaii Hilo at 4 p.m. March 5

@ Hawaii Hilo (DH) at 6 p.m. March 7

@ Hawaii Hilo at 6 p.m. March 8

@ Hawaii Pacific (DH) at 2 p.m. March 12

Men’s Basketball (19-6)

An 83-74 win over Concordia on Feb. 19 put the Cougars in the driver’s seat for the PacWest regular season title at 19-6 (13-4 PacWest). The team just needs to sweep through a road trip to Hawaii in order to secure the title.

A loss would make the Cougars one of five teams with five conference losses and thus relying on help in order to repeat as champions. From there, the Cougars will look to the PacWest tournament where final regular season rankings will determine the seeding for the top six conference teams.

The winner of the tournament automatically qualifies for the NCAA West Regional, where the team is also hoping to repeat as West Region champions and advance to the NCAA elite eight for back-to-back seasons.

After hosting as the top seed a year ago, the team appeared in seventh in the first rankings of the year. The Cougars need to remain in the top eight to make the tournament.

Last game: vs. BYU-Hawaii* (No result at time of print)

Upcoming:

@ Chaminade* at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25

@ Hawaii Hilo* at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27

@ PacWest Tournament March 3-5

Men’s Tennis

Led by the No. 1 ranked singles player in the nation, senior Jan Meyer, the 11th ranked Azusa Pacific men’s tennis team began the season 5-1, with the lone loss coming against UC San Diego, which began the year ranks second in the region. The toughest test remaining for the Cougars is a March 1 home match against Hawaii Pacific, last year’s national runner-up and the top-ranked team in the region.

Last meet: W, 7-2 vs. Point Loma

Upcoming:

vs. Holy Names at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26

vs. Western New Mexico at 10 a.m. Feb. 27

vs. Rollins at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 29

vs. Hawaii Pacific at 1:30 p.m. March 1

vs. Barry at 1:30 p.m. March 7

vs. Emory at 1:30 p.m. March 9

vs. Palm Beach Atlantic at 1:30 p.m. March 11

vs. Connecticut at 1:30 p.m. March 15

Softball (7-4)

The Cougars swept a doubleheader against Adelphi (N.Y.) on Feb 19. The wins moved the Cougars to 9-4 as they finished up the majority of their nonconference schedule. The road toughens for the Cougars as defending national runner-up Dixie State comes to Azusa to begin PacWest play March 4. Azusa Pacific currently leads the PacWest in averages at .358 on the season.

Senior Pitcher Narissa Garcia is amongst the best pitchers in the PacWest, posting a 2.30 ERA and a 5-1 record thus far.

Defending and Preseason Player of the Year junior infielder Nicki Sprague is putting together another solid year, hitting .436 with 15 RBIs.

Last game: W, 8-3 and 4-3 vs. Adelphi

Upcoming:

vs. Dixie State* (DH) at 4 p.m. March 4

vs. Dixie State* (DH) at 12 p.m. March 5

@ Academy of Art* (DH) at 12 p.m. March 9

@ Notre Dame de Namur* (DH) March 10

Swimming and Diving

See story on page 10.

Last meet: @ PCSC Championship, 6th of 10

Upcoming: @ NCAA Championship on March 9-12

Indoor Track and Field

The Cougars currently have 20 provisional qualifing marks for the NCAA championship meet, where the team took home two individual national titles a year ago. Shakiel Chattoo has the second highest heptathlon score in the country and could repeat Cougar Justin Balczak’s title from a year ago.

For the women, senior thrower Amber Panapa has the fourth best mark in the country so far.

Last meet: vs. NAU Tune-Up

Upcoming:

@ Rossi Relays, Feb. 27

@ NCAA Division II Indoor National Championship, March 11-12

@ Ben Brown Invitational, March 12

Water Polo

The Cougars have won five of six to bring their record to 5-7 on the year. They will kick off Golden Coast Conference play against San Diego State at home at the Citrus College pool.

Last meet: W, 14-3 vs. Redlands

Upcoming:

vs. San Diego State at 5 p.m. March 4

vs. Cal State Northridge at 10 a.m. March 5

vs. CSU Bakersfield at 4 p.m. March 5

@ Cal State East Bay at 12 p.m. March 10

@ Hartwick at 11 a.m. March 11

@ UC Davis at 3 p.m. March 11

vs. George Washington at 4 p.m. March 15

Women’s Basketball (22-3)

See story on page 10.

Last game: vs. BYU-Hawaii* (No result at time of print)

Upcoming:

@ Chaminade* at 5 p.m. Feb. 25

@ Hawaii Hilo* at 5 p.m. March 27

@ PacWest Tournament, March 3-5

Women’s Tennis (5-1)

The APU women started similarly to the men, jumping out to a 4-1 start with the only loss to Division I Cal State Fullerton. The team began the season ranked 14th nationally and 3rd in the West. Top singles player Natalie Johnson ranks 4th in the west region.

Last match: W, 9-0 vs. Stanislaus State

Upcoming:

vs. Western New Mexico at 10 a.m. Feb. 27

vs. Hawaii Pacific at 1:30 p.m. March 2

vs. Nova Southeastern at 12 p.m. March 5

vs. Barry at 11 a.m. March 8

vs. Palm Beach Atlantic at 1:30 p.m March 11

vs. Sonoma State at 1 p.m. March 14

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