Road Win For Volleyball At Westmont
Behind sophomore Samantha Dougherty's 18 kills, 16 digs, and three service aces, the Lady Mustangs emerged victorious from Westmont's Murchison Gym, defeating the host Warriors 18-25, 25-18, 25-18, and 29-27.
The Warriors took the first set on the strength of three 3-0 runs, and one 4-0 run as TMC was unable to adjust defensively to Westmont's attack.
The second set started similar to the first with Westmont taking an early 3-1 lead. The Lady Mustangs stormed back though, taking a 6-4 lead on a Dougherty kill. The teams then faced three ties, at seven, eight, and nine, before Westmont pulled ahead by three on two TMC attack errors. Master's responded though with a 14-4 run, forcing Westmont into seven attack errors of their own. TMC then finished the set on a kill by Victoria Callihan.
The Lady Mustangs continued the momentum from their game two victory, jumping out to leads of 9-0 and 11-2. Westmont would not go easily however, getting back into the game with a 5-0 run of its own. After the fifth point in Westmont's run, Coach Bobby Blanken called a timeout and his team responded by giving him four straight points. Master's lead grew to 22-11 before sloppy play slowed the game down, allowing Westmont to crawl back into the game. TMC finished it off though at 25-18.
The Warriors were determined to defend their home court in the final set, gaining an early 7-3 lead when Blanken took another well-timed timeout. The Lady Mustangs came out of the timeout and went on a 5-0 run, highlighted by two more Dougherty kills. Both sides went back and forth with the hosts eventually leading 21-19. From that point on in the deciding set, there were four lead changes and seven ties before TMC finished its opponent off with two straight points.
When asked about his team's success coming out of the timeouts called by him, Blanken instead deflected the praise to his players saying, "I attribute that to the leadership on the court."
Success on the road, especially with a lively crowd as Westmont's, is never an easy thing, not when your rotation features six freshmen or sophomores. Blanken however was proud of the way his young players responded. Setter Alyssa Gergins is only a freshman, but Blanken described her as demonstrating "great leadership," an assessment that was backed up with her 21 assists.
Blanken also commended freshman Stacey Jones who has ably stepped in for Tami Brown who has been out battling illness. Blanken calls the freshman from Phoenix, Arizona a "gamer who has filled a roll nicely."
The Lady Mustangs play four of their next five at home in Bross Gym and will be in action Saturday night against San Diego Christian.
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