Lady Mustangs Ground Hawks in Regular Season Finale
November 16, 2013
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – In its regular-season finale, The Master’s College volleyball team took San Diego Christian in three sets, bringing the squad's overall record to 19-8 and 8-6 in conference play. With the win, the 16th-ranked Lady Mustangs clinched fourth place in the Golden State Athletic Conference.
Also on Saturday, the Lady Mustangs celebrated the efforts given by Samantha Dougherty (Madera, CA) and Rebecca Peluffo (La Crescenta, CA), the squad’s two four-year senior athletes. Notably, the crowd that flooded Bross Court for the ceremony not only helped honor the two seniors' outstanding efforts, but also played a key component in Saturday’s victory.
“Tonight was special for both Sam and Rebecca because they played not only for the crowd, but also for another chance to make a playoff run,” commented head coach Bobby Blanken. “I couldn’t be more proud of their efforts.”
Set one remained close until the very end when an attack error on the part of San Diego Christian’s Natalie Williamson ended the set at 27-25. The night’s second frame was a different story as TMC mustered an early commanding lead, ultimately leading to a 25-14 finish. Determined to take at least one set away from the Lady Mustangs, the Hawks jetted out to a strong start in the third frame until TMC tied things at 11-11. From there, the two teams battled until the Lady Mustangs eked out a 25-21 victory, closing the match at 3-0.
All along, The Master’s College’s student section rallied the girls to victory with boisterous cries of “BLEED BLUE - GO GOLD”.
“The support we got tonight was amazing,” assessed Blanken. “I’ve been told by many that Bross Court is the hardest place to play in the GSAC. I feel that this is the case not just because of the structure of the gym, but because of the fans we’ve been blessed to have. We’re really fortunate to have the support from the student body.”
And while Dougherty earned a double-double with 12 kills and 13 digs followed by Peluffo, who posted 12 digs, Ashley Newton (Henderson, NV) stole the show with 14 kills and produced a .500 attack percentage.
“One thing we’ve been working on a lot this year is establishing our middles throughout the match, and Ashley was phenomenal,” commented Blanken on Newton’s efforts. “I’m really proud of her and the work she has put in.”
So for now, the Lady Mustangs will enjoy their victory over the Hawks. But, the squad won’t be able to celebrate too much seeing as next Saturday is the NAIA Women’s Volleyball National Championship Opening Round.
Based on their 2013 record, TMC is a shoo-in for the opening round, but will not know when or where they will play until Sunday evening.
The final Coaches' Top 25 Poll will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. CST, along with the 36 qualifiers in the 2013 NAIA Volleyball National Championship Opening Round. Teams ranked #13-20 in the Coaches' Poll will host an opening round match. The 24-team Opening Round pairings will be announced on Monday, Nov. 18 at Noon CST via a live graphical show on www.NAIA.org.
The Master’s College Athletic Department will post Saturday, November 23rd's NAIA Opening Round playoff information as soon as it receives word from the NAIA Sports Information staff. Please check back for more information.