The Master's University women's volleyball team mustered enough energy and enthusiasm Tuesday to sweep the University of Redlands, 3-0, by scores of 25-18, 25-19 and 25-21. There was no flashy light show during player introductions. No highly ranked opponent sauntered into the gym. The crowd, full and raucous for a conference showdown over the weekend, was, well, slightly more intimate.
"I think we struggled with the first couple games at trying to keep up the energy," said Mustang opposite hitter Jane Cisar. "We had to remind ourselves that no matter who we're playing, we're still going to play with the energy that we played Westmont."
Bross Court contained no lack of verve Saturday in the Mustangs' back-and-forth 3-1 loss to NAIA No. 5 Westmont. Master's (3-7), healthier than it'd been all season, broke the Warriors' 26 set win streak and nearly forced a fifth game.
Tuesday, the Mustangs secured their second sweep of the season, and first since Aug. 19, in workmanlike fashion.
Morgan Koch and Madison Fay shared the team lead with 10 kills each. Kayla Sims had 33 assists for the Mustangs, who created separation from Redlands (2-3), an NCAA Division 3 program, midway through all three sets.
In the third, a little boy in a T-shirt stood in the corner of the bleachers filming with a smart phone and tracking the action from one side back to the other.
More often than not, play ended on the Bulldogs' side.
"I think we did a really good job of coming in and knowing we have to take care of business," Fay said. "I think with a packed gym or with no one at all, we can still pump ourselves up off of each other."
In that vein, Mustang coach Allan Vince said the team's keywords before the match were "consistency and discipline."
"We needed to sustain that level of energy and determination throughout the whole match," he said. "That's something a young team needs to learn how to do. You need to learn how to win. It's not something that will happen simply if you're physically superior to your opponent. You have to learn how to do it."
The hope, of course, is that the Mustangs are now learning to win, with the teeth of their Golden State Athletic conference slate looming.
Master's will host Arizona Christian on Friday night and San Diego Christian on Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m. Neither team, Vince said, will go down easy.
"We need to treat everyone with the same respect as Westmount," Vince said. "That's when we're going to be successful."