TMU Insider: Mustangs hire first women’s beach volleyball coach

The Master’s University has hired Annett Davis as the school’s first women’s beach volleyball coach.

The Master’s University has hired an Olympian to lead its newest program.

Annett Davis, who finished fifth in beach volleyball at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, has been named the school’s first women’s beach volleyball head coach.

The program is set to begin competing during the 2019-2020 school year, with an on-campus sand complex slated to be constructed by the fall.

“When they asked me, it was kind of a no-brainer,” said Davis, who won conference and national awards during her hall of fame career with the UCLA indoor women’s volleyball team.

Davis led the Bruins to a national championship in her first season and went on to earn two NCAA Division 1 All-American honors. She was the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1994.

After briefly playing indoors as a pro, Davis was ready for a new challenge. So she transitioned to the sand, where she built a rock-solid 17-year career.

“The indoor game is fantastic,” said Davis, who also works as an assistant for TMU’s indoor women’s volleyball team. “I love trying to kill the ball against six people. It’s a ton of fun. But taking those skills and applying them to a game that would require mastery of every skill, with the addition of the elements of nature (sand, wind, sun and rain), I wanted that new challenge.”

For more on Davis and TMU women’s beach volleyball, visit www.GoMustangs.com.

Lepre ties home run mark

When Valencia High graduate Anthony Lepre lifted a ball over the left field fence Saturday evening, it breathed life into TMU. It also tied a record in an impressively short amount of time.

Lepre’s solo homer in the fifth inning brought Master’s even with Menlo College, 5-5. The Mustangs went on to pull off the comeback, 7-6, behind Saugus grad Roy Verdejo’s game-winning RBI single in the 11th.

For Lepre, the home run was his 19th of the year, a number that ties the program’s single-season record.

The player who previously hit 19, Eric Blackwell, did it in 222 at-bats in 2009. Lepre has done it in 126 at-bats – with 15 regular season games remaining.

“I really don’t talk about the home runs much,” said Lepre. “It’s more about winning and helping the team every way I can.”

The Mustangs (23-9-1, 16-6 Golden State Athletic Conference) swept all four games from Menlo College in Atherton over the weekend, running their winning streak to 11 games.

The Mustangs have won 14 of 15 and currently sit in a tie with Vanguard University atop GSAC standings.

Verdejo went 8-of-18 in the Menlo series with two doubles and three home runs. He’s hitting .289 on the year with six home runs and 32 RBIs.

Shortstop Aaron Shackelford was 8-for-16 with three homers and eight RBIs in the series, while Lepre was 7-for-15 with 10 RBIs.

Lepre leads the NAIA in home runs and is batting .444 with a team-high 55 RBIs.

TMU’s Aidan Stout was excellent out of the bullpen, tossing 7 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out 10 and earning a save and a win.

Track team shines at UCLA

Arianna Ghiorso knew she couldn’t settle.

“The third lap is always the slowest lap in the 1,500 (meters),” Ghiorso said, “and coach always stresses to me not to settle in behind anyone for that lap because you can bet they’re slowing down too.”

So, as Ghiorso began the third go-round at UCLA’s Drake Stadium on Saturday, she kicked it into gear and pulled ahead of the pack.

It was the key sequence in one of the evening’s highlights for TMU.

Ghiorso finished eighth behind runners from UCLA, UC Riverside and UC Irvine; her time of 4 minutes, 40.06 seconds was a new lifetime best and it hit the NAIA nationals qualifying standard.

“Coach told me to go into the race and compete to win,” Ghiorso said. “That didn’t happen, but I gave myself the best shot at it.”

Elsewhere, Stephen Pacheco ran the fourth fastest 5,000 meters in TMU history, with a mark of 14:47.71.

For more information on TMU Athletics, visit GoMustangs.com or follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @tmuathletics

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