September 18, 2012
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - Leaving Bross Gym on Tuesday night, the Lady Mustangs implemented a skill that can’t be taught or learned during practice…Resilience.
Coming off the heels of a sweep delivered by the NAIA’s No. 4 ranked Biola University on Saturday night, TMC looked to rebound in the season’s second Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) match-up against the Royals of Hope University. After three scrappy matches, the Lady Mustangs did exactly that, and extended their season record to 14-2 (1-1 in GSAC play).
In a neck-and-neck battle in set one, TMC waded through an error-prone match to prevail 25-20. The first meeting between the GSAC rivals featured four ties through the entire match. Notching 15 kills, seven errors and hitting .235 in the showing, TMC managed to secure the match at 25-20 with a kill by Sam Dougherty (Madera, CA). Dougherty’s evening consisted of 15 kills (seven of which aired in game one) and 13 digs.
Tightening up their defense even more, the Mustang’s second set consisted of just six errors while putting away 12 kills for an evening high .250 hitting set. The game also saw two five-point runs that laid the path for a 25-15 routing of the Royals.
With momentum weighing heavily in favor of the Mustangs, the squad made quick work of HIU and concluded the evening with a 25-16 dominating performance in the third set. Ashley Newton (Henderson, NV) had a phenomenal showing in the third and final set as the sophomore outside-hitter led the Mustangs with five kills. Newton tallied nine kills, one error, and a hitting percentage of .500 throughout the course of the evening.
“We as a team want to continue to improve against every opponent until our final game,” reports Mustang coach Bobby Blanken. “We know that when we play teams that are in the top tiers & have a lot more of physical presence, we must minimize errors and play a type of defense that frustrates our opponent. Tonight we showed we can play that way, but we have got to get it better as we get deeper into our season.”
Even though the Mustangs proved they can play with a resilient attitude, it’s clear that the squad has much to learn in the remaining 15 games on their schedule. Looking to extend their conference record and adapt to more challenging offensive schemes, TMC will face Vanguard University (9-7, 1-1 GSAC) on Saturday night at 7:00 in Costa Mesa.