September 9, 2014
IRVINE, Calif. – Earlier this afternoon, The Master’s College women’s volleyball team learned it had fallen out of the ranks of the NAIA’s Top 25 teams for the first time since the fall of 2012.
Looking to climb back into NAIA’s Top 25 poll, the Lady Mustangs traveled to Irvine with the hopes of upsetting GSAC rival Concordia University, who currently ranks third in the NAIA.
Unfortunately, after four sets, the Eagles (13-1, 1-0 GSAC) lived up to their No. 3 ranking, beating the Lady Mustangs 3-1 (25-20, 25-16, 19-25, 25-16).
With the loss, TMC’s 2014 record moves to 8-5, and 1-0 in conference play.
“We have the physical game to beat Concordia, but we let down mentally more than they did at impact times,” commented head coach Allan Vince on the loss. “We won the third set because our game was on and we gave them no solution. Each team found new ways to exploit weaknesses. It was a true game of cat and mouse, but Concordia ended up putting together a more consistent mental and physical game.”
With the score tied at 18-18 in the first set, the Eagles produced a 5-2 run, taking the set at 25-20.
Besides an early 1-1 tie, Concordia dominated the second set for the entirety, cruising to a 25-16 victory.
However, the Lady Mustangs came alive in set three, battling to hang in with the NAIA juggernaut. Chloe DeAngelis sealed the third set with a decisive kill, giving the Mustangs a 25-19 victory.
In the fourth set, TMC started with a 3-0 lead, but the Eagles rallied to regain the lead, blitzing to a 25-16 victory.
Morgan Koch (Auburn, CA) earned 10 kills, while Ashley Kuhlman tallied nine. Aubrey Bekendam (Orland, CA) chipped in 26 assists, while Emily Clark led TMC’s defense with 17 digs. As a team, TMC posted 46 digs, 39 kills, 37 assists and produced a .129 attack percentage.
“We played tough and found ways to win, and I am very happy with tonight as we took the best team in league to four sets,” said Vince. “We had some solid plays out of Morgan who was nailing kids with her kills.”
Things don’t get any easier for the Lady Mustang’s and their hopes to break back into the NAIA’s Top 25 poll as the squad is now tasked to take down GSAC opponent Vanguard on Saturday in Costa Mesa.
The 17th-ranked Lions currently boast an 11-4 record and are also looking to earn their first GSAC victory after falling to No. 6 Biola 3-0 Tuesday night in La Mirada.