In a battle between GSAC teams, fourth place Vanguard hosts third place The Master's in the NAIA Match of the Week.
No. 11 The Master's (Calif.) (17-5, 6-3 GSAC) at No. 12 Vanguard (Calif.) (17-6, 5-4 GSAC)
Saturday, Nov. 2 | 7 p.m. PDT | The Pit | Costa Mesa, Calif.
• A shot at staying in the upper echelon of the tough Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) is on the line as No. 12 Vanguard (Calif.) hosts No. 11 The Master's (Calif.) on Saturday from Costa Mesa, Calif.
• The NAIA Volleyball Match of the Week is selected by the fans via the official NAIA Facebook page – Play NAIA. Match of the Week voting begins Wednesday mornings with the winner being announced Thursday at Noon CDT. Click HERE to visit the Play NAIA Facebook page.
• The conference champion and automatic qualifier from the GSAC is the regular-season winner. The GSAC does not have a conference tournament. Currently, five teams from the league are ranked in the Top 25, including No. 2 Concordia (Calif.), No. 3 Biola (Calif.) and No. 14 Westmont (Calif.).
• The Master's sits three games out of first-place in the league standings, which is held by Concordia. The Lions are four games back. Concordia is the two-time defending GSAC champion.
• The Master's has five regular-season matches remaining, including three against Top 25 opponents.
• Vanguard heads into the weekend with four matches left on the slate, including a date with Concordia and Westmont.
• In recent action, Vanguard dropped a 3-0 match (25-19, 25-14, 25-23) at No. 3 Biola on Tuesday. The Master's bounced back from an Oct. 26 loss versus Biola to defeat Hope International (Calif.), 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-15) on Tuesday.
• In the last five meetings in the series, the Mustangs stand 4-1, including four-straight victories. The last win for Vanguard was on Oct. 11, 2011 in a 3-1 match.
• Trailing 2-1, then-No. 21 The Master's came back to take down then-No. 17 Vanguard (Calif.) in five sets (25-15, 20-25, 26-28, 25-17, 15-9) in the teams' previous meeting on Sept. 28.
• At home this year, Vanguard totes a 7-1 mark -- the only loss was to then-No. 3 Biola on Sept. 24. The Mustangs are 4-2 in true road contests.
• The Master's was No. 9 in the Preseason Poll and had been ranked as low as No. 22 before climbing back to No. 11 in this week's poll.
• The Lions were unranked in the Preseason Top 25 and sit in their highest position of the year at No. 12.
• Sam Dougherty is a player to watch on the outside for The Master's with her averages of 4.3 kills per game, which is sixth in the NAIA. She was a NAIA Second Team All-American last year. As a team, the Mustangs are 15th in the NAIA in service aces per game (2.04) and have hit for 10 or more in six matches this year.
• Kelly Heenan leads the Vanguard defensive effort with 5.5 digs per game, which ranks 13th in the NAIA. Jessica Neves, a 2012 NAIA Honorable Mention All-American, ranks first on the club in kills per game (3.46). She has hit for 10-plus kills in six of her last eight matches.
Some information courtesy of Vanguard and The Master's Sports Information Departments
This Week Around NAIA Volleyball
• The Top 25 teams have gone 23-4 this week through Thursday action, with all four of those losses coming against another fellow Top 25 opponents. Of those 23 victories, 18 of them have come in straight sets.
• Overall, there are eight Top 25 match-ups scheduled this week:
o Tuesday: (2) Concordia (Calif.) def. (14) Westmont (Calif.), 3-0
o Tuesday: (3) Biola (Calif.) def. (12) Vanguard (Calif.), 3-1
o Wednesday: (13) Park (Mo.) def. (25) Missouri Baptist, 3-0
o Thursday: (9) Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) def. (20) Georgetown (Ky.), 3-1
o Friday: (1) Texas at Brownsville @ (7) Oklahoma Baptist
o Saturday: (5) Northwestern (Iowa) @ (6) Midland (Neb.)
o Saturday: (11) The Master's (Calif.) @ (12) Vanguard (Calif.)
o Saturday: (15) Columbia (Mo.) @ (16) Bellevue (Neb.)
• The eighth regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Poll was announced Oct. 29 and Texas at Brownsville holds on top for the second-straight week. The rest of the top-five remains intact with No. 2 Concordia (Calif.), No. 3 Biola (Calif.), No. 4 Madonna (Mich.) and No. 5 Northwestern (Iowa). Thirteen-of-23 conferences were represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Golden State Athletic Conference with five ranked teams. For the complete poll, click here.
For the Record (Through games played Oct. 31)
• Four coaches have reached 300 career wins this season: Kansas Wesleyan's Fred Aubuchon on Oct. 16 vs. Sterling (Kan.), Biola's (Calif.) Aaron Seltzer on Sept. 24 against No. 17 Vanguard (Calif.); Cara Currier of St. Francis (Ill.) on Sept. 20 against IU East and Mary Whitehead of Evangel (Mo.) on Sept. 6 against Ozarks (Mo.). There are now 23 active coaches with 300-or-more career victories.
• For a complete look at the NAIA national statistical leaders, click here.
Looking Ahead to the National Championship
• For the sixth-straight year, Sioux City, Iowa, will play host to the 34th annual NAIA National Championship. The final site event will take place Dec. 3 – 7 at the Tyson Events Center.
• The National Championship Opening Round will occur Nov. 23 with 12 matches going on at various campus sites. Those 12 winners will meet up with the top 12 seeds, who earned an Opening Round bye, for a 24-team national championship final site event in Sioux City.
• The 36-team National Championship Opening Round field will be announced Nov. 17.
|1. Concordia (Calif.)||94|
|2. Biola (Calif.)||93|
|3. Columbia (Mo.)||81|
|4. Texas at Brownsville||56|
|5. Embry-Riddle (Fla.)||46|
|T6. Westmont (Calif.)||22|
|T6. Madonna (Mich.)||22|
|T8. Oklahoma Baptist||21|
|T8. The Master's (Calif.)||21|
|10. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||18|
By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information