The Master’s University Men’s Volleyball team has made history. For the first team in the team’s very short history, the Mustangs are ranked No. 1 in the most recent NAIA Men’s Volleyball Top 15 Poll.
“What matters more is being No. 1 at the end of the season, not towards the beginning,” said Head Coach Jared Goldberg. “And so we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and try to get better.”
Wednesday’s ranking is also a testament to how good the GSAC is this year, as four teams (TMU, OUAZ, Vanguard, Menlo) are ranked in the top six and a fifth (Arizona Christian) is receiving votes.
“I don’t think the ranking is going to determine how we approach each game,” Goldberg said. “We know we have challenges ahead of us. Based on the current rankings, we play the No. 2 team in the country two more times, the No. 3 team in the country two more times, the No. 4 & 5 teams once each and the No. 6 team two more times. There’s a lot of talented teams in that group, and my honest assessment is we are all going to beat up on each other a little bit. But we will be more prepared come the end of the season and the NAIA national tournament going through those types of challenges and those types of games.”
This season marks just the fourth year The Master’s has had men’s volleyball as a varsity sport, and just the fifth year the sport has been in the GSAC. And while Coach Goldberg is entering his third season as the Mustangs’ coach, he arrived just days before the beginning of the 2021 season.
“As of (Wednesday), it is just under two years since I got here,” he said. “It is pretty cool to see how much the program has evolved. There have been a lot of challenges along the way, but I’m happy to be where we are right now.”
The Mustangs are 3-1 in the early part of the season, coming off a loss last Saturday to NCAA Division 1 Stanford. That loss exposed some areas of The Master’s game that Coach Goldberg recognizes needs to get better.
“We can look back at that game and realize we’ve got some areas where we need to improve,” Goldberg said. “Looking ahead, if we play well I’m pretty confident we will get some wins, and if we don’t play well we are going to lose some.”
The Master’s will be on the road Friday night in Irvine to take on NCAA Division 2 Concordia, then back home on Saturday to play No. 5 Benedictine-Mesa. That match begins at 1 p.m.
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