October 8, 2013
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – After a promising first set in which the Lady Mustangs (14-4, 4-2 GSAC) bested Concordia (15-0, 5-0 GSAC) 25-21, the Eagles answered back by taking three consecutive games, beating TMC 3-1, and extending their historic winning streak to 52 games.
Looking to set the tone for the evening, the Lady Mustangs came out swinging in front of an electric home crowd. TMC’s student section’s energy, coupled with 16 kills, helped lift the Lady Mustangs past the Eagles to the tune of 25-21.
“I was happy with the way that we competed in game one,” commented head Coach Bobby Blanken. “I’m very proud of our team for executing the way that we practiced. However, our inexperience surfaced in the remaining sets.”
The Lady Mustangs’ inexperience showed when Concordia rocketed out to a 6-0 run early in the second set. And while the TMC posted a handful of runs averaging 2-to-3 points, the Lady Mustangs couldn’t cage the Eagles’ offensive efforts which concluded the set at 25-17.
Set three looked hopeful for a Lady Mustang comeback when TMC cut the Eagles’ lead to two points, bringing the set to 21-23. A kill from CUI’s Kaitlyn Platt followed by a Lady Mustang attack error finished the set at 25-21.
The fourth set was tight between the two squads, as the score was brought to a tie on seven separate occasions (1-1, 3-3, 5-5, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10). But, a 15-3 run posted by the Eagles demolished the No. 13 nationally ranked Lady Mustangs’ dreams of topping the nation’s No. 1 ranked team, and concluded the set at 25-13, ending the match at 3-1.
Sam Dougherty (Madera, CA) posted 11 kills, Aubrey Bekendam (Orland, CA) tallied 23 assist, while Rebecca Peluffo (La Crescenta, CA) chipped in 8 digs. Overall, TMC earned 36 kills, 33 assists, and 32 digs.
Further commenting on TMC’s efforts, Blanken stated “All in all, it’s encouraging to see our team can compete with the best in the nation.”
The Lady Mustangs will now look to rebound against a talented San Diego Christian (4-13, 2-4 GSAC) Saturday night in El Cajon. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m.
“San Diego Christian looks better than last year,” commented Blanken. “We can’t look beyond them. They run a strong offense, and compete well with the other teams in the NAIA.”