Lady Mustangs Regain Hope
September 24, 2013
FULLERTON, Calif. – Four days ago, The Master’s College women’s volleyball team opened up Golden State Athletic Conference play against conference rival and third-ranked Biola. In La Mirada, the Eagles beat the Lady Mustangs 3-1 and sent TMC back to Placerita Canyon with an overall record of 10-3, and 0-1 in conference play.
That same night, just a few miles away in Fullerton, Hope International also fell in its GSAC opener against 17th-ranked Vanguard in three sets. So, it was no secret that Tuesday’s match, which pitted TMC against the Royals, featured two opponents hungry to get their first conference victory.
“Conference play is tough and it always has been,” commented Mustang volleyball head coach Bobby Blanken. “The GSAC presents some of the biggest challenges in the nation and Hope International is no exception.”
Motivated to not succumb to an 0-2 conference start, TMC fired out of the gates in set one with an 8-3 lead. Holding on to the lead for the rest of the set, TMC finished things with a 25-18 win.
Set two was almost a mirror image of the first as the Lady Mustangs opened with an 8-0 run highlighted by two Allison Child (Shingle Springs, CA) kills. The Lady Mustangs’ offense and defense synergized the rest of the set, leading to a 25-13 victory.
However, the evening's third set was a battle from the start as the Royals tied the Mustangs eight separate times. An attack error by Hope’s Ryleigh Campbell broke the final tie and gave TMC a 19-18 advantage. From there, the Lady Mustangs reeled off a 6-3 run, securing the set at 25-21.
With the win, the Lady Mustangs’ 2013 record now sits at 11-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Sam Dougherty (Madera, CA) led all scorers with 15 kills, while Aubery Bekendam (Orland, CA) posted 30 assists, and Rebecca Peluffo (La Crescenta, CA) chipped in 25 digs. Collectively, TMC earned 41 kills, a .262 attack percentage, 36 assists, and 55 digs.
“They [Hope] have greatly improved since last year,” further commented Blanken. “We knew we were going to have to defend well against their high-octane offense. More importantly, we had to take care of the ball when it was on our side.”
TMC, which rankes 21st in the Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, now focuses on Saturday when No. 17 Vanguard rolls into Bross Court for a GSAC showdown. But, if anything, Tuesday night’s victory over the Royals was good enough to put the Lady Mustangs back on track, good enough to aim the squad in the trajectory of another national tournament appearance, and more importantly, good enough to regain hope.