On the topic of the 2017 The Master’s University women’s volleyball season, coach Allan Vince started with a joke and closed with a serious pitch.
After finishing third in conference and missing the NAIA tournament for the third straight year, what’s the goal of this year’s team?
“Win everything,” he said. “Are we done?”
No, he said, there’s more to it.
“There’s a lot of excitement brewing,” he said. “… You might see a different offense then you did last year. We’re going to utilize all the strength in our tool belt, and I think that’s going to bring an excitement to the gym that hasn’t been seen in many years at Master’s.
“It’s going to be a season to watch, and there’s going to be enjoyable athletes to get to know.”
The list starts with a setter and blocker.
Junior Kayla Sims returns after posting 1,024 assists last year en route to All-American honorable mention honors. Senior Morgan Koch, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker, made 249 kills and a team-high 77 total blocks as a junior.
They’ll be joined by 6-1 sophomore Jane Cisar, an opposite hitter who transfered from NCAA Division 1 University of New Mexico.
“She is a very strong presence with her height and ability,” said Vince, whose squad graduated All-American honorable mention Aubrey Pyburn after last season. The Mustangs will miss her kills (325) as much as the passion and leadership with which she played.
The latter aspect will be hard to replace, Vince said. But the production won’t fall to one player’s shoulders.
Instead, it will fall on the deepest team Vince has had since he took over in 2014.
“So much has been happening with our double-day training the past two weeks,” Vince said. “When we get into a six-on-six (scrimmage) the competition is exciting. The position groups are battling, and it’s hard to tell who our starting six will be.”
As for Santa Clarita Valley products, the team features Hart High graduate Madi Fay, Santa Clarita Christian grads Kylie Brown and Gracie Gwinn and Rissah Lozano (West Ranch).