A Splitting Image

August 22, 2014

La Mirada, Calif. – On Friday, The Master's College volleyball team, who currently ranks 19th in the NAIA, finished its time at the 2014 Biola Red-Lion Anaheim Summer Slam tournament by falling to No. 13 Dordt College in an early morning 3-2 loss, but bounced back in the nightcap by beating receiving-votes Concordia University of Oregon with a thrilling 3-2 victory. TMC's overall record improves to 2-3.

Game 1: #13 Dordt College: 3, #19 TMC: 2

Stats:

The Lady Mustangs’ late-game heroics came up short Friday morning when the Dordt College Defenders rallied past TMC in the fifth frame by producing a 15-10 win, claiming the match with a 3-2 victory.

“We had a great battle against Dordt today,” commented head coach Allan Vince.  “Despite losing 15-10 in the fifth set, our passing, serving, and defense created a foundation for excellence and success.  We are putting ourselves into a good rhythm and are creating ways to score.”

Dordt opened with a 25-20 victory in the first frame, only to have TMC answer back with a 25-17 win in the second set. The Defenders silenced TMC with a 25-10 third-set victory, but faced a relentless Lady Mustang attack in the fourth set when TMC responded with a 25-20 win. Ultimately, Dordt dodged TMC’s blooming offensive efforts with a 15-10 decisive victory in the final set.

Ashley Kuhlman (Henderson, NV) led TMC’s offensive assault with 10 kills, while freshman standout Morgan Koch (Auburn, CA) tacked on nine kills of her own. Aubrey Bekendam (Orland, CA) tallied 28 assists and 18 kills, while Emily Clark (Lake Forest, CA) also posted 18 digs.

“The girls are fighting and scrapping,” further commented Vince. “They are playing these big teams very well.”

Game 2: #19 TMC: 3, (RV) Concordia (OR): 2

Stats:

Determined to end their time in La Mirada on a high note, the Lady Mustangs fought through another five-set match against Concordia University of Oregon in the nightcap. This time, TMC emerged victorious with a 3-2 win over the Cavaliers.

“Ashley Kuhlman, Aubrey Pyburn, and Aubrey Bekendam created a stellar offensive performance by each contributing 11-plus kills and hitting above .330” said Vince. “We created scoring opportunities tonight with our defense and got our offense running the fast plays we are capable of. Bekendam made smart plays at the right time and scored big.  No one could stop the middle attack from Kuhlman, as she hit .419 with 15 kills.”

The Lady Mustangs’ shining moment came in the fifth set when the score was tied at 12-12. After an attempt to slow down TMC with a timeout, the Lady Mustangs came back and made three straight plays to earn the win.

“It was a team effort and we won because of it,” further assessed Vince. “This tournament tested us in many ways and we have come out of the kiln stronger and more fired up for this season.”

Emily Clark’s defensive efforts were highlighted in Vince’s post-game interview as the sophomore defensive specialist posted 20 digs.

“Emily and her defensive crew made consistent plays to pass the ball for scoring opportunities. I am proud of her leadership in the back row.”

Looking ahead, the Lady Mustangs will take to the road on Monday for a helpful tune-up scrimmage at Azusa Pacific University, only to return on Tuesday to the friendly confines of Bross Court for their 7:00 pm home opener against West Coast Baptist College.