April 25th, 2012
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. –The Master’s College women’s volleyball squad has made three program-changing acquisitions that will help continue the Lady Mustangs on a trajectory of success.
Here are their stories:
Among the three newly-added Mustangs is Jessica Wilson, hailing from Rancho Cucagmonga, CA. Wilson, who is soon to transfer from Bethune Cookman University, will aid the Mustangs at the outside hitter position.
In her time at Bethune Cookman, located in Daytona Beach, Florida, Wilson was named the squad’s 2010 kill leader and the 2009 dig leader. Her high school profile includes being a three-year letter winner, first-team all-area during her junior and senior years and all-area honorable mention as a freshman.
“Her love for the Lord carries over into virtually everything she does,” said third-year Mustang head volleyball coach Robert Blanken. “The chemistry she possessed with the other teammates was unbeatable. My decision to pursue her was made after her visit to TMC.”
Wilson’s decision didn’t take long either.
In her visit to The Master’s College, Wilson was floored by the immense outpouring of hospitality and camaraderie shown by the Mustangs.
“I’m excited to be a Mustang,” Wilson states, “The Christian community and environment is a huge draw to me transferring to TMC. I look forward to the fellowship and spiritual growth. Attending The Master’s will further shape my understanding of the gospel and allow me to share my faith with others.”
With plans to continue her studies in accounting, the standout outside hitter looks forward to develop lifelong relationships with her teammates and bring glory to God while playing every game to the highest level.
Coming from the Northern California town of Orland, California, Aubrey Bekendam brings an impressive skill set to the Lady Mustangs.
Bekendam excelled at the crucial outside and middle back positions during her high school and club careers. Boasting 638 attack kills, 78 serving aces, 42 total blocks, 459 digs, 32 assists, and averaging 5.5 kills per game in her senior year at Hamilton High School, the 2011 North Section MVP and 2010-2011 first-team all-state athlete was also garnered the title of being the league's MVP during her sophomore, junior and senior years.
Bekendam also served as captain on one of the leading club teams in the state, the Shasta Creations.
At both the high school and club levels, Bekendam has established herself as a notable team leader with the potential of making great contributions on the collegiate level.
Bekendam is also no stranger to the Mustangs.
Coming from a lineage of Mustang athletes including past Lady Mustang basketball players and older sisters, Tanya and Brook, and current Lady Mustang basketball forward Lena Rivera, Aubrey looks to make her own mark as a Lady Mustang on the volleyball court. The highly-recruited outside hitter and setter chose to attend The Master’s College following a visit to the campus and seeing the potential to compete at the highest level, taking part in the campus community, and competing alongside fellow believers.
Coming from nearby Northridge, the standout middle blocker and 2011-12 Valley League MVP signed her letter of intent to The Master’s, leaving a multitude of heavily recruiting schools behind.
With plans to major in Biological Science (pre-medicine) and pursue a career in dentistry, Jones is confident she made the right choice in schools. “As soon as I took my first visit to the campus, I fell in love. Interactions within the classroom and with the college’s staff and teammates all solidified that fact that this is where the Lord wants me to be.”
But academics aren’t the only reason why Jones is excited for her new role as a Mustang.
“I chose to attend The Master’s College because my heart is in this school. Education-wise and athletically, I’m excited for what’s to come and what the Lord will teach me on and off the court,” Jones states. “I thank God for everything and every opportunity He has blessed me with. With only two years of club volleyball and playing all four years in high school, I never thought college ball was possible. I am so thankful!”
Jones was named the Northridge Academy High School varsity team captain from 2009 to 2012. In addition, she also joined the ranks of becoming first-team All-Valley League, and was also named “Best Defensive Player” from 2009 to 2010.
Blanken recognizes the talent the newly-added Mustang possesses and anticipates the incoming freshman to make major contributions to the squad.
“Among her qualifications and earned recognition, (Jones') character is what stood out to me the most.” Blanken comments, “She’s a great kid and always seems to draw the conversation back to the overall glorification of God. With her skills and her commitment to serve the Lord, she’s exactly what we’re looking for and brings what we need to the table.”
The Master’s College Lady Mustangs finished the 2011 campaign with a 20-15 overall record and 7-11 in the GSAC. The Mustangs' season will begin with a home opener against CSU San Marcos on August 21.