August 15, 2014
LA MIRADA, Calif. – Friday marked a new era for The Master’s College women’s volleyball team.
Despite suffering a 1-3 (13-25, 21-25, 25-17, 18-25) loss to the Viterbo University V-Hawks in the season opener, the young Lady Mustangs’ performance gave first-year head coach Allan Vince something to smile about.
“It’s good to see where we’re at after a week of intensive practice,” said Vince. “Viterbo is a good, strong, and physical team, and I’m proud of how our girls stuck with them.”
Junior setter Aubrey Bekendam’s (Orland, CA) performance stood out to Vince in Friday’s post-game interview.
“She’s a baller,” commented Vince. “She made the adjustments we asked, and kept us in the game after dropping the first two sets. I’m excited to see how she continues to progress this year.”
After an abysmal first set where the V-Hawks flew past the Mustangs with a 13-25 victory, TMC saw a spark of life in the second frame when Bekendam led TMC on an 8-0 rally, bringing the score to 21-24. The V-Hawk’s sealed the set after a TMC attack error.
But third time was the charm for the Lady Mustangs as TMC won the third set with a score of 25-17. With a close score plaguing the scoreboard the entirety of the match, the Lady Mustangs broke a 15-15 tie by producing a 10-2 run backed by three kills from Ashley Kuhlman (Henderson, NV).
Unfortunately, the V-Hawks extinguished TMC’s hopes of a late-game comeback by maintaining a healthy lead for the entirety of the fourth set, capping off the set and match with a 25-17 victory.
Statistically, Aubrey Pyburn (Burbank, CA) led TMC with 13 kills, while Britney Jones (Northridge, CA) and Kuhlman each notched seven. Bekendam chipped in 28 assists, while Emily Clark (Lake Forest, CA) led the Mustangs with 10 digs. Chloe DeAngelis (Scottsdale, AZ) followed Clark with six digs of her own. Notably, Bekendam tallied a team-high four service aces.
The Lady Mustangs will travel back to La Mirada next weekend for Biola’s annual Summer Slam Tournament. Next Thursday, the sixth-ranked Lady Mustangs will take on No. 7 Midland (GA) in an 8:00 AM match, followed by a 4:00 PM match against No. 25 Bellevue (NE). On Friday, the Lady Mustangs will face No. 11 Dordt College (IA), and a challenging match against receiving-votes Concordia (OR).
While next weekend’s slate is grueling, Vince is optimistic about the rest of the season.
“All in all, I felt today was a great showing from our team,” further commented Vince. “We’re in a good place, but we’re going back to the drawing board. We’ll keep at it and be back in action next week.”