TMU Insider: TMU runs to the GSAC

TMU runner Josh Sherfey runs at the Golden State Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships in Rocklin on Saturday. Photo courtesy TMU Athletics

Last week, The Master’s University’s cross country and soccer programs all posted impressive results at their respective GSAC postseason events…

Men’s cross country

On Saturday in Rocklin, The Master’s University men’s cross country team earned an unprecedented seventh-straight GSAC title after it placed first out of a field of nine teams at the 2016 conference championship with a collective time of two hours, five minutes and 12 seconds.

Based on his team’s performance, Zach Schroeder was pegged as the GSAC’s Coach of the Year for the seventh season in a row.

The Master’s University men’s cross country team poses for a photo after winning its seventh-straight Golden State Athletic Conference title Saturday in Rocklin. Photo courtesy TMU Athletics

Individually, the Mustangs claimed the top three competitors as Joshua Sherfey was named the conference champion after finishing the race with a final time of 24:45.3. TMU newcomer Alec Franco placed second overall at 24:52.8, while Andrew Orona earned a third-place finish at 24:54.4.

Skyler Mikesell finished 10th at 25:14.8, Richard Buckelew placed 13th at 25:23.8 and Michael Sciarra earned a 15th-place finish at 25:32.9.

Based on their stellar performances, Sherfey, Franco, Orona, Mikesell, Buckelew, and Sciarra earned All-GSAC honors. Sherfey has now earned All-GSAC honors for four consecutive years (2013-16), while Buckelew has earned all-conference honors for three-straight years (2014-16). Repeating their all-conference honors were Orona (2014 and 2016) and Mikesell (2015 and 2016).

On November 19, the fifth-ranked Mustangs will compete at the 61st Annual NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Championships at the North Farm Cross Country Course in Elsah, Ill.

Women’s cross country

For the fourth straight year, The Master’s University women’s cross country team placed second overall at the GSAC Championship on Saturday in Rocklin.

This year, TMU placed second out of the GSAC’s nine teams with a collective time of 1:29:51. Saturday’s time of 1:29:51 marked the fastest team time in TMU program history.

Abigail Frankian placed second overall after clocking an outstanding final time of 17:23. The junior runner’s time became the fastest individual time in TMU program history.

Frankian’s time was less than a second behind Biola’s Lyndee Dawson (17:22.1), the 2016 GSAC Individual Champion.

Close behind Frankian was Morgan Pedrick who finished in fifth place with a final time of 17:39.5.

Mikala Fairchild earned a sixth-place finish at 17:48.4, while Rachael Ingoldsby finished ninth overall with a final time of 18:04.6.

Based on their stellar performances, Frankian, Pedrick, Farichild, and Ingoldsby earned All-GSAC honors. Frankain has now earned All-GSAC honors for three straight years (2014-16), while Pedrick repeats from last season.

Now, the sixth-ranked Mustangs will prepare for their appearance in the 37th Annual NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Championship on November 19 at the North Farm Cross Country Course in Elsah, Ill., where they will vie to finish in the top five teams.

Women’s soccer

The Master’s University’s Janae Garcia put the ball between the pipes in the sixth round of a penalty shootout to beat Hope International University in a first-round GSAC Tournament match that ended in a 1-1 tie through regulation and two overtimes on Reese Field.

The tie improved the Mustangs’ 2016 record to 8-6-5.

Garcia’s conversion was the last of six in a row for the Mustangs, who had just one miss. TMU, whose initial miss came in the first round, scored on its last five penalty kicks.

TMU goalkeeper Jessica Zubia, who also earned all-conference honors earlier in the week, tallied three saves by the end of Friday’s match. Zubia outlasted HIU in the penalty kick round of Friday’s thrilling match by stopping two Royal shots. Zubia’s heroics pegged her as the GSAC’s Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week.

On Thursday, the fourth-seeded Mustangs will face No. 1 seed Vanguard at 7:30 p.m. on the campus of Biola University in La Mirada.

Men’s soccer

Last Saturday, TMU’s Justin Ikeora took a perfect pass from Humphrey Mahowa and finished high and into the center of the net with 3:36 left to play.

On an afternoon when the Mustangs had plenty of chances to score, Ikeora’s goal was the game-winner in a 1-0 victory that propelled the club into a GSAC Tournament semifinal match against Westmont next Thursday at tourney host Biola. It was Ikeora’s third score of the season and his second game-winner.

Saturday’s win improved TMU’s record to 11-6-2.

Staying alive to play another match, the Mustangs now prepare for a Westmont squad that shared the GSAC regular-season title with Menlo and edged the Mustangs 3-2 on October 26.

Women’s volleyball

The Master’s University volleyball team fell in three sets (25-23, 25-18, 25-20) to Westmont College, the NAIA’s top-ranked team, Friday night on Bross Court.

With the loss, TMU’s 2016 record moves to 19-11 (11-4 GSAC).

TMU’s Kayla Sims tallied 27 assists and eight digs, Emily Clark posted nine digs, and Rebecca Davis posted a team-high eight kills. Maryah Richberg earned seven kills, one block, and one dig.

On Tuesday, TMU will finish its regular-season schedule when they welcome Hope International (11-13, 5-8) to Bross Court for a 7 p.m. GSAC tilt.

Immediately after Tuesday’s match, The Master’s University’s Athletic Department will honor TMU’s seniors in a special ceremony.

Men’s Basketball

Competing in the Lancaster-based West Coast Baptist Tournament over the weekend, The Master’s University men’s basketball team improved its record to 2-0 after beating the University of Antelope Valley 83-74 on Friday, and West Coast Baptist 108-97 on Saturday.

After Friday’s win against the Pioneers, Lawrence Russell paced the Mustangs with 21 points, going 7-14 from field while pulling down nine rebounds and dishing out a game-high five assists. Reid Shackelford nearly matched his teammate’s output, shooting 50 percent from long distance en route to 19 points.

On Saturday, Hansel Atencia poured in a career-high 35 points in TMU’s win over the Eagles.

Atencia was joined in double figures by Russell and Matthew McClain, who scored 15 points apiece, and Travis Yenor and Delewis Johnson, who each came off the bench to post 12 and 10 points, respectively.

With two regular-season wins in their pockets, the Mustangs return to exhibition play next Wednesday evening when they play at NCAA Division I CSU Bakersfield. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

Women’s basketball

Last Friday, The Master’s University women’s basketball team fell to CSUN 74-53 victory in an exhibition at the Matadome.

Although no Mustangs finished in double figures, six tallied at least five points in a very balanced attack. Megan Lindsley and Aubrey Bekendam shared team scoring honors with nine points apiece, Bianca Cubello had eight more and freshman Hannah Forrar chipped in with seven points.

Before TMU opens the regular season on November 18, they’ll play two more exhibitions, including one on Tuesday at Loyola Marymount. The game is slated to start at 7 p.m.

For more information about The Master’s University Athletics, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @TMUAthletics.

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