Tim Heiduk, Assistant Athletic Director, Events and Communications
TMU Women’s Volleyball picked up its first win of the season on Tuesday at the Hope Summer Slam in sweep fashion over UC Merced (25-16, 25-13, 25-20) before concluding the tournament with a loss to No. 15 Corban University (Ore.) by set scores of 12-25, 18-25 and 14-25.
In its first match of the day, the Mustang offense was firing on all cylinders, combining for a team attack % of .348, while simultaneously holding the Bobcats to a hitting % of -.024.
“Our team played extremely well against UC Merced today,” Head Coach Annett Davis said. “We played as a unit. Everyone did their jobs and was consistent overall.”
Master’s wasted no time in the early going, racing out to a 7-0 advantage off the back of Karli Stults‘ serving and a couple Emily Clark kills. After UC Merced got itself on the scoreboard, two Ruby Duncan kills helped TMU take a nine-point lead, tied for its largest of the set. The Bobcats got no closer than five the rest of the first, as the Mustangs won the first set for the third-straight match.
TMU was even more dominant in the second set, leading by as many as 12 on three-separate occasions. The third set was then much tighter, with the Bobcats taking a lead in a set for the first time. The set was tied at 17 apiece, before Master’s scored eight of the final 11 points to complete the sweep, with four different Mustangs recording kills during that stretch.
Clark led the team with 11 kills on an impressive .500 attack %, followed by Duncan with nine kills while hitting .412. Natalie Collins orchestrated the offense with her 25 assists. Defensively, Stults tallied 11 digs and Duncan recorded four blocks.
The afternoon match, a rematch of the NAIA National Championship Opening Round from last season, marked the first time that Master’s did not win the first set this season.
“Corban is a solid team with some very talented and athletic players,” Davis said. “It was our toughest match of the tournament by far.”
Corban overwhelmed TMU from the start, scoring the first eight points of the match before leading 13-1. That advantage extended to as many as 14, with the Warriors ultimately taking the set, 25-12.
The Mustangs fared a bit better in the second set, leading 2-0 and tying the set at 13-13 with five consecutive points. However, Corban gained back control, outscoring Master’s 12-5 the rest of the set to put TMU on the brink. The third set followed a similar script, with the Mustangs leading early, 4-3, before tying the set at 8 apiece, only for a late Warrior run proving too much for Master’s to overcome.
“Our team struggled in the first set, but each set we played a little bit better,” Davis said.
Clark (six kills) and Collins (15 assists) once again led the Mustang attack, while Emilye Grace Williams contributed five kills and three service aces. Duncan’s three blocks and Stults’ 11 digs paced TMU’s defense.
Master’s (1-3 overall) returns to the court on Aug. 27-28 when the Mustangs travel to Caldwell, Idaho for the C of I Fall Classic, where their opponents will include sixth-ranked Eastern Oregon University.
“We have a talented crew and I am excited to get back into the gym to work on some things,” Davis said.