Athletics Roundup: Cross country teams win GSAC titles, women’s soccer coach honored.
Annett Davis, head coach of both The Master’s University women’s indoor volleyball and beach volleyball teams, was inducted into the California Beach Volleyball Association Hall of Fame on Nov. 12.
Davis and her playing partner, Jenny Johnson Jordan, were the first African Americans to make the U.S. Olympic beach volleyball team, finishing fifth at the 2000 Games in Sydney.
Davis and Johnson Jordan met as freshmen on UCLA’s indoor team and, as Davis puts it, “immediately became best friends.” Ultimately, they spent 13 years together as a team, traveling the world as part of the FIVB Tour. Despite the demanding schedule, their priorities were clear.
“God was first, our family second, and volleyball was a distant third,” Davis said. “And through the years of traveling the world, we would have Bible studies and invite whoever. There were players who didn’t know the Lord. Many times, it was the first time someone had ever heard the gospel.”
Men’s, Women’s Cross Country Teams Win GSAC Titles
The Master’s University men’s and women’s cross country teams won their respective Golden State Athletic Conference Championships on Nov. 5 in Rocklin, California. As of the magazine’s deadline, the teams were preparing to compete at the NAIA National Championships in Tallahassee, Florida, on Nov. 18. Both were national title contenders. The men were ranked second in the country, the women fourth.
For the women, this was their third consecutive GSAC title. The men won their 13th straight, extending the conference’s record for the most consecutive GSAC crowns in any sport.
Mustang junior Ellen Palmgren won the women’s individual 5K, while graduate student Davis Boggess was the highest finisher for TMU’s men, placing second.
“The Lord was so kind to us as a team,” Palmgren said. “This is the best race we’ve ever had as a women’s team because we were not focused on ourselves but God’s glory and love for each other, from top to bottom.”
Lewis Named GSAC Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year
TMU Head Coach Curtis Lewis was named the 2022 GSAC Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year.
Lewis led the Mustangs to the semifinals of the GSAC tournament this fall in what proved to be his final year with the team. Late in the season, Lewis announced he was stepping down from coaching to spend more time with his family.
Lewis, a graduate of The Master’s, leaves as the winningest coach in program history, owning a career record of 176-108-35 over 17 seasons. He was a three-time GSAC Coach of the Year.
Said Lewis, “To be able to coach with my wife, Deann, and brother-in-law, Doug, as assistant coaches for so many years was an amazing journey. I want to thank them for so many years of working alongside me. So many players who came through our program are walking faithfully with the Lord today — that’s why we do what we do.”
Leaving wasn’t easy, Lewis said.
“Titus, my 9-year-old son, was in tears after our final loss, as this is all he has known. He really loves these girls, and they have been so great to my kids over the years. Now I get the chance to help more with (my daughter) Natalie’s therapies and work closer so I can serve my wife better at home. It is a bittersweet reality. I have learned that God doesn’t always give us storybook endings. But His endings are always good.”
Waldeck Earns NAIA Award
This fall, TMU Senior Associate Athletic Director Steve Waldeck was named the NAIA Administrator of the Year.
“Waldeck just completed his 11th year as an athletic administrator (at TMU),” noted the NAIA’s announcement. “His peers see his hard work and dedication to the university, and his accolades reflect that.”
Said Waldeck, “It’s been a privilege to work back at my alma mater. I don’t know how many people get to say they do that. Ultimately, any award like this doesn’t compare to any reward the Lord would give to us for our actions being pleasing in His sight, and that’s really been my motivation in my 30 years in higher education.”
Men’s Volleyball Beats Hawaii in Exhibition Match
TMU Men’s Volleyball defeated the University of Hawaii in a thrilling five-set match (25-22, 18-25, 25-23, 24-26, 15-13) inside The MacArthur Center on Nov. 5.
Hawaii, the two-time-defending NCAA Division 1 national champion, used a split squad, as the program had another exhibition match in Southern California that day. But that didn’t faze a crowd that learned TMU should be a legitimate NAIA national championship contender when the regular season begins in January.
TMU was led by 6-foot-10-inch freshman Nolan Flexen, who had 27 kills. The Mustangs will play Stanford University at TMU on Feb. 4 at 1 p.m.
For stories, schedules, and stats for all 17 of TMU’s intercollegiate athletic teams, visit gomustangs.com.
The Master’s University and Seminary admit students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
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Santa Clarita, CA 91321
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