TMU Insider: Women’s volleyball on the rise

The Master’s University women’s volleyball team celebrates a sweep of No. 7 Westmont College at TMU on Saturday. It snapped Westmont’s 32-match winning streak in conference play. Darcy Brown/For The Signal
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Maybe the most surprising part of The Master’s University’s sweep of Westmont College on Saturday was the decisiveness with which the Mustangs snapped the Warriors’ 32-match winning streak in conference play. That, or TMU’s total lack of surprise at beating the No. 7-ranked team in NAIA women’s volleyball.

“We came out to win,” said sophomore Madi Fay. “And that’s exactly what we did.”

Fay, a Hart High grad, produced a match-high 11 kills, propelling her team to wins by scores of 25-15, 25-22 and 25-23. She did it with power and finesse, putting a Warriors team that hadn’t lost a Golden State Athletic Conference match since 2015 on its heels.

The Mustangs, in fact, were the last team to beat Westmont in conference play, and they repeated the feat at home on Saturday in front of a buzzing crowd of several hundred fans and one beaming coach.

“When something like that happens,” said head coach Allan Vince, “you can’t help but look at the girls on the court and have this sense of privilege. This sense of privilege to be their coach. It was a really sweet moment.”

Vince believed this season would be different than the one before, when his team won 11 matches and played mostly underclassmen. His team, too, held to the idea that it could do something special in 2018. Its belief that it could pull off a win like Saturday’s was cemented at the Hampton Inn Classic in Missouri earlier this month when it beat then-No. 14 Columbia College and pushed then No. 1-Lindsey Wilson to five sets.

It made a statement: TMU was as good as its nine-match winning streak to open the year suggested.

Westmont got the memo Saturday, as the Mustangs (14-3, 3-0 in GSAC) stormed out to a 1-0 lead in the match in comfortable fashion. Master’s won set two, then watched as the Warriors pushed back off the wall.

Westmont took a 10-2 lead in set three. Master’s didn’t buckle.

“We just said the game’s not over till it hits 25,” Fay said. “Every point, every volley, we have to do everything we can till they blow the whistle and it’s game over.”

That didn’t happen until the Mustangs had rallied for a two-point win, taking seven of the final nine points and overcoming an equally daunting 22-19 deficit.

Now, Master’s will wait to see where it ranks in Tuesday’s NAIA Coaches’ poll. The Mustangs reached No. 25 in the last poll, receiving a ranking for the first time since 2015.

Saturday showed the team can rise far higher.

“We’re grinding hard and we’re working and we know we just have to stay diligent and disciplined to win these kinds of games,” said junior Jane Cisar, who tallied seven total blocks against Westmont.

The Mustangs play at new GSAC member Life Pacific College in San Dimas on Friday before traveling to face San Diego Christian in El Cajon on Saturday.

Mangan makes most of week

Saugus High graduate Trevor Mangan recorded two goals and three assists in a pair of wins last week for TMU men’s soccer, over the University of Antelope Valley and No. 14 Marymount California University.

The senior forward now has five goals and four assists on the season for the Mustangs, who are 7-1 and knocking on the door of the NAIA Top 25.

Master’s plays at home today against Florida National University at 4 p.m. Then it hosts Bethesda University of California on Thursday (also a 4 p.m. start).

Gomillion is golden

Hailey Gomillion scored in the 105th minute Saturday to lift TMU women’s soccer to a 1-0 win over Marymount California University at El Camino College in Torrance, California.

Gomillion’s golden goal marked the third time this season she’s scored in the 80th minute or later to tie the score or give Master’s a lead. The Mustangs, ranked 24th in the NAIA, are 6-2-1 on the year and open Golden State Athletic Conference play at home on Sept. 27 against Vanguard University at 1:30 p.m.

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