Emily Curtin didn’t turn to watch the crash landing.
The Master’s University junior had just smacked the ball over the net, off two would-be blockers and high into Bross Court’s atmosphere.
Apparently, she didn’t care to see it come down out of bounds, putting the Mustangs ahead by five in the second set Tuesday, because she never looked back.
The Mustangs never did either.
After dropping the night’s opening set, Master’s slammed down the pedal and refused to let up, beating the University of Antelope Valley, 3-1, by scores of 21-25, 25-11, 25-20 and 25-4.
Libero McKenna Hafner called it “easily” the Mustangs’ best set of the season — a frame all the more meaningful against a team that beat the Mustangs two weeks earlier.
“We were just really consistent. We had confidence, we played well, and we finished it out,” Hafner said after recording 17 digs, some of the one-handed variety, a few nearing 10 on the difficulty scale.
Curtin led the Mustangs (6-7) with 12 kills on a night when the team might have been closer to full health than at any point in the year.
This, certainly, wasn’t the group that lost 3-2 to Antelope Valley on Sept. 6 in what could have been the nadir of a 2-6 start.
Now, the Mustangs have won four matches in a row and six of nine.
“We’re trending really well,” Hafner said.
Tuesday, the Mustangs won without the drama.
After two five-set wins here over the weekend, Master’s dispatched the Pioneers with an all-around consistent performance.
“We played really good defense. We executed the game plan. And we served tough,” said coach Allan Vince. “So that was the game changer.”
Of course, Madi Fay (11 kills), Jane Cisar (10 kills) and Morgan Koch (nine) would also qualify as game changers.
Kayla Sims finished the night with 35 assists, her fourth consecutive match with at least 30.
As a team, the Mustangs finished with nine blocks. They hope to avoid any roadblocks this weekend when they take their nascent winning streak on the road to Atherton and Rocklin to face Menlo and William Jessup in conference play.
“They’re going to give us a battle in their house,” Vince said.
Here’s Tuesday night’s box score.