On a day when two original members of the first men’s volleyball team to scuff The MacArthur Center floor were celebrated, The Master’s men’s volleyball team swept Arizona Christian Saturday 25-19, 25-15, 25-23.
Brett Norkus and Ezra Moore celebrated their final match in The MacArthur Center with their families. Norkus is the all-time leader in kills (354) and blocks (221). Moore is the program’s all-time leader in assists (779).
“Happy for the seniors,” said TMU Assistant Coach Ben Herb. “Thankful for the work they have put in these last four years building the program from nothing to now having a really good shot to go to nationals.”
In the spring of 2020, the Mustangs started the program losing the first three matches without even winning a set. They went 4-11 that first year.
Now the team is 15-4, with the 15 wins the most in program history. The Master’s will likely move up in the national rankings ahead of next week’s GSAC Tournament to be played at OUAZ in Surprise, Ariz.
Both Moore and Norkus were in the starting line-up, with Moore getting a season-high 34 assists (11.3 assists/set) and, perhaps the biggest highlight, the match-winning kill. Norkus finished with five kills, hit .714 and added a block.
“We are so proud of both of those guys,” Herb said. “Ezra was the setter the first two years and he played phenomenally today and really spread the ball around. And to get that last point to win the match was a fun way to end it.”
The Mustangs, ranked No. 5 in the nation but No. 1 in hitting percentage (.369), hit .421 to get their sixth consecutive win over a ranked opponent. The Master’s have only lost four sets in those six wins, getting three-set sweeps in three of the last four matches.
Nolan Flexen led TMU with 13 kills, bringing his record-setting season total to 280. Braden Van Groningen added 12 kills with Isaac Seltzer swatting eight.
With the win the Mustangs are assured the No. 2 seed in next weekend’s GSAC Tournament, behind No. 1 Vanguard. Only four teams will make the tournament, with the winner getting an automatic bid to the 12-team NAIA Championships starting April 11 in Des Moines, Iowa.
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