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College volleyball: TMC still alive

Mustangs fall to 0-2, but have chance to advance

Posted: November 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.

The Master’s College’s women’s volleyball came closer to victory on night two of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ National Championships on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough to secure its first-ever victory in the event.

The Mustangs, making their first visit to the national championship event, were defeated 25-20, 19-25, 25-23, 27-25 by Viterbo University (Wisconsin) to fall to 0-2 in pool play.

Despite the slow start to the tournament, the Mustangs (26-7) still have a chance to advance out of pool play if they defeat Indiana Wesleyan today at 6 p.m., and Viterbo defeats Cal State San Marcos at 3:45 p.m. to force a three-way tie for second place.

The top two teams in each of six pools advance to the single-elimination portion of the tournament.

If a three-way tie occurs, one team would receive a bye with the other two teams playing a one-set tiebreaker to 25 points for the right to play the team that received the bye in another one-set tiebreaker, also to 25.

The first factor in determining which team receives that bye is head-to-head record, followed by the percentage of overall sets won of those played among the tied teams.

“I’m very excited. If it all works out it would be something really good for us,” said TMC head coach Robert Blanken. “The girls have walked away knowing this isn’t our best. So to have that opportunity to play for something that matters in terms of continuing our season is really important for them.”

On Wednesday, the Mustangs were hurt by the consistent defensive play of the Hawks.

“We knew going into the match that they would be a really good defensive team and they were going to get multiple second and third chances on offense,” Blanken said.

And that’s exactly what Viterbo did, racking up 108 digs in the contest.

For the second night in a row, the Mustangs kept things close in nearly every game.

After winning game two to even up the match, they battled back in game three to pull within 23-24 before Katie Flock earned the game-winning kill for Viterbo (34-7).

It was a similar result in game four, with TMC rallying to take a 22-19 lead before Viterbo went on a 4-0 run in an eventual 27-25 victory on another Flock kill.

“We’ve talked about it all year,” Blanken said. “We’ve got to be one or two points better — not five or 10 — just one or two. And that’s really what it came down to tonight.”

Samantha Dougherty led the Mustangs’ attack with 13 kills and 12 digs, while Aubrey Bekendam had 10 kills, 24 assists and 15 digs. Rachel Taylor had 10 kills. Rebecca Peluffo led with 22 digs and Alyssa Gergins had 20 assists.

Flock led the Hawks with 19 kills and added 20 digs. Jordan Blaken led with 24 digs, and Stacie Hoffman had a match-high 48 assists.


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