It was the most anticipated event on the campus.
The Master’s men’s volleyball team hosting Stanford.
And in the end, a capacity crowd in The MacArthur Center stood and gave a rousing ovation to both teams in appreciation for what they saw.
And the players gave it right back to the fans.
The No. 6 Stanford Cardinal came to Bross Court and defeated No. 11 The Master’s in three sets Saturday 25-23, 25-21, 25-18. It was the first loss of the season for the Mustangs.
“I was really impressed with how the community showed up and supported our team today,” said TMU head coach Jared Goldberg. “It was awesome to have a packed crowd. I wish we could have played a little better, but (Stanford) is a very talented team.”
Stanford jumped out to a 7-1 lead at the start of the match. But after settling in, the Mustangs (3-1) fought back and closed to within two on several occasions, most impressively when Stanford reached set point at 24-20. A Cardinal service error, followed by a Johnny Buchanan ace and a Matthew Hamm kill, brought the score to 24-23. But Stanford’s Ethan Hill collected the kill to end the set and give the Mustangs their first set loss of the season.
The second set started as the first with the Cardinal grabbing an early lead, only to see the Mustangs claw back and tie it at 7-7. Stanford then eased ahead by three and were able to maintain that cushion before winning the set by four.
In the third, it looked as though Stanford had won the emotional game. The Cardinal jumped out to a 7-1 lead, only this time they grew the lead to 12-4 and then to 20-10. And yet, when the score reached match point at 24-13, The Master’s would not roll over. TMU scored five straight before Ethan Hill again finished off the job with a kill to give Stanford the seven-point set win and the match.
“It might have just been emotional maturity and treating every point the same,” Goldberg said of that third set emotional drop. “We had a 10-minute letdown. Maybe it was too much pre-workout before the game that caused a crash.”
The Cardinal hit .263, collecting six more kills than the Mustangs, who hit .205 for the match. Stanford had more aces than The Master’s (8-5), but TMU dominated with the block (8-3).
Nolan Flexen and Will Avera led the Mustangs with 10 kills each, with Avera sharing the team high in blocks at four with Brent Norkus.
“Will had a great game,” Goldberg said. “We were working on trying to get the middles involved a little bit more and create a little bit more of a rhythm there. We’ve just got to find a way to get everything clicking all at once.”
The outcome of the game turned out to be less important than the experience itself for fans, players and coaches alike.
“At the end of the day, having Stanford make the trip down here and help grow the game of men’s volleyball and get the community and the students to keep coming back is what really mattered most,” Goldberg said. “Hopefully today just helps build that for the rest of the year.”
The Master’s will travel to Irvine next Friday to take on the Concordia Eagles in another non-conference match. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.
You can be the first one to leave a comment.