The Master's College volleyball team fought all night long but lost a tough road match to No. 8 Fresno Pacific on Tuesday night. The Sunbirds took the match 3-1 (25-18, 18-25, 25-19, 26-24) which puts TMC's record at 17-11 (5-8) as Fresno now stands at 14-6 (10-3).
The first set of the match was controlled by Fresno the entire time as the home team never trailed. Master's hung around early in the set with the help of kills from Jenna Kapuscinski, Ashley Newton, and Samantha Dougherty, but Fresno flew through the set with their great offensive pressure. The Sunbirds largest lead of the set was nine points which came at the 23-14 point. The final tally in the first set was 25-18.
In the second set TMC came back strong to even the match at one game apiece. This time it was the Lady Mustangs who would take over early and set the tone. Coach Blanken's team limited their errors in the second set and had stellar fundamental execution which is something Coach Blanken has been emphasizing all year. Alyssa Gergins and Jamie Long both had service aces, and five different Lady Mustangs contributed kills along the way. TMC took the set 25-19.
After the first two sets it was anyone's match to take. The two teams were even early on in the third set, but after tying the game at 4-4 Fresno would go on to take the lead for good. The Lady Mustangs went on a 3-0 run to draw the score to 18-16, but would never get any closer. Fresno capitalized on numerous errors by TMC. Coupling those errors with another strong set from their offense helped Fresno to a 25-19 win in set three.
The easy thing for the Lady Mustangs to do after being down on the road 2-1 to the No. 8 team in the nation would have been to stop competing. The Lady Mustangs had other plans and pushed Fresno to the limit in the fourth set. Both teams battled the entire set as neither team had a lead larger than five throughout the decisive set. TMC once again played fundamentally sound and limited errors. After Fresno built their lead to 17-12, Master's went on an 8-0 run to take the lead at 20-18. Samantha Dougherty and Tami Brown had two kills each in the run. The Sunbirds would prove to be a little too much in the end, however, and went on to win the set 26-24 and the match 3-1.
Alyssa Gergins lead the Lady Mustangs with 21 assists, and Rebecca Gieske had a game-high 22 digs. Samantha Dougherty and Tami Brown each had 11 kills for the Lady Mustangs.
Coach Blanken's squad will host No. 17 Point Loma on Saturday night. Game time is set for 7:00 pm.