Game Recap By Mason Nesbitt, TMU Sports Information Director
As Chloe Emory emerged from the bowels of The MacArthur Center in shorts and a T-shirt, backpack slung over her shoulder, one final threat to what had been a carefree Saturday night of Mustang volleyball materialized.
A child zipped toward the bleachers, cutting across the TMU freshman’s path.
Emory side-stepped the kid with little issue, emulating a team that’s refused to slip up on its climb toward what would be the first Golden State Athletic Conference title in program history.
The No. 11-ranked Mustangs beat San Diego Christian, 3-0, by scores of 25-15, 25-21 and 25-14, maintaining a two-match lead in conference standings with four to play.
TMU will travel to Northern California this week for matches at William Jessup and Menlo College with an opportunity to clinch at least a share of the regular season conference title with two wins.
So, how did the Mustangs (24-4, 13-1 GSAC) keep from getting ahead of themselves Saturday?
“We just keep training as hard as we can,” Emory said.
Kayla Sims paced the Mustangs with eight kills, 16 assists and eight digs. Emory totaled six kills on 14 chances with one error.
A limited number of chances – the product of nine sweeps in conference play – has handcuffed Master’s players from piling up big numbers.
Nights like Saturday have been common, with solid if not spectacular stats failing to tell the story of how well the Mustangs have played during a season in which they’ve more than doubled last year’s win total.
Twenty-four wins, a number that could grow considerably before it’s all said and done, is the most TMU has managed since 2012 when it went 27-9 and won a match in the NAIA national tournament.
Master’s hasn’t been to nationals since 2013. But from the get-go this season, making a return trip was a goal and a focus. First, the Mustangs knew they’d need to challenge for a conference title.
They’ve positioned themselves well.
TMU leads Westmont College by two matches, the byproduct of a three-match skid by the Warriors earlier in league play and the Mustangs’ win over Westmont on Sept. 15.
Saturday, the Mustangs put San Diego on its heels with aggressive serves.
“We were serving really well, so we kept them out of system,” said middle blocker Jane Cisar. “It made everything easier, because if they did return the ball and it wasn’t blocked, it made the dig easier, which made it easier for us to transition into the attack.”
Master’s tallied 11 aces on the night, four of them coming off the right hand of Cisar.
The Mustangs hit .500 in an opening set it led 9-2 before going on to win comfortably.
Set two was tied 13-13 before Cisar landed an ace. The Mustangs won six of the next eight points, and after San Diego pulled within three points late, Madi Fay finished it with a powerful spike to the back right corner.
Here’s the box score.