August 22, 2012
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Coach Bobby Blanken and his Lady Mustangs kicked off their 2012 campaign with ferocity as TMC upset No. 23 CSU SanMarcos Cougars in front of a packed home crowd on Tuesday night in four sets (23-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-16) at Bross Gymnasium.
TMC and CSUSM traded scoring spurts in the first set which kept the match close at 12-12. The Mustangs would then give up a 20-14 lead as the Cougars would capitalize off a 11-3 run. With the game tied at 23-23, the Cougars did not allow TMC to take the lead back as Taylor Degraaf would tally the final point and allow CSUSM to take the set by a score of 25-23 with one of her game-high 13 kills.
In the second set, the two teams rallied back and forth as they battled to an 18-18 tie. TMC’s Ashley Newton (Henderson, NV) came up big and secured the set at 25-23. Newton later finished the night with 12 kills and four digs.
The Mustangs then used the momentum provided by 600 some-odd attendees and battled through a close third set. Both teams jockied for the lead until the Mustangs went on a 6-3 run. Master’s lead grew to 19-15 before sloppy play slowed the game down, allowing CSU San Marcos to crawl back into the game. TMC finished off the set at 25-22 with a decisive kill by Ashley Newton.
The Mustangs came out swinging in the fourth set as coach Blanken and his squad notched an early 8-2 run. TMC never really let the Cougars back into the game as the Mustangs secured the victory at the tune of 25-16. In all, the Mustangs delivered a barrage of attacks and hit .323 on the evening.
“Our girls have been working really hard with two-a-days for the past two weeks” states Mustang coach Bobby Blanken on the season opener. “We’re very happy with the way that we prepared. With the squad practicing in the heat for the past two weeks, it’s moments like these that make all the hard work pay off. However, this is the beginning of a long journey and we don’t want to put the ‘cart-in-front-of-the-horse’.”
The Mustangs have little time to dwell on their victory as the squad will travel to Biola University and participate in the 2012 Biola Summer Slam. The Lady Mustangs will return to action on Thursday afternoon as they take on #8 Lewis & Clark State (ID) at 12:30 PM.