Undefeated, No More
August 31, 2012
IRVINE, Calif. – On Friday, August 31st Coach Bobby Blanken and his stampeding Mustangs suffered the season’s first loss to Westminster College (UT), as the Griffins took the match in five sets ((22-25, 20-25, 25-17, 25-14, 11-15) at the ASICS/Wyndham Hotel Labor Day Classic at Concordia University in Irvine. After opening the 2012 campaign with six straight wins, the Mustangs fell to 6-1.
Friday’s first set featured four ties as the match remained relatively close all the way through. The Mustangs managed to tally a 6-1 run, tying the set at 17-all. Averaging a two-point deficit from the tie, the Mustangs trailed until Westminster sealed the set with a kill by Alexis Aalona.
Set two began with a strong start by the Mustangs as TMC boasted a 6-2 start. However, an error-plagued defensive effort on the part of the Mustangs crippled the lead and allowed Westminster to tie the set early on at 8-8. Similar to the first set, Westminster remained in control as the Griffins capitalized off a 5-0 run and showed their largest lead at 19-13. Allowing the Mustangs to answer back sporadically, Westminster concluded set two at 25-20 with a kill by Stephanie Jones.
Being down, but not out, the Mustangs showed resilience in the third set and brought the score to 3-1. After six ties, the Mustangs ran away with a 10-2 run and extended the set’s score to 16-9. TMC remained in control as the Mustangs displayed a valiant collaborate effort to put the set on ice at 25-17.
Set four was highlighted by a 14-2 run by TMC as Sam Newton (Madera, CA), Rachel Taylor (Sun Valley, CA), and Alyssa Gergins (Murrieta, CA) fought for a 25-14 victory that forced a fifth and final set. The Mustangs’ triumphant game four featured 11 kills, three errors, and a .235 hitting percentage.
The days' fifth and final set favored the Griffins as the Mustangs faced a 4-0 deficit. Managing to bring the game even at 9-9, the Mustangs defense collapsed as the Griffins closed the set and match with a 6-1 run, highlighted by a Jones' kill.
After the Lady Mustangs 3-2 loss, the squad had little time to prepare for a 3:00 PM showdown against Northwestern (IA).