Story by Biola Sports Information
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. --- The Golden State Athletic Conference has long been a volleyball powerhouse in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and tonight it hosted yet another top-tier national battle.
No. 3 Biola (Calif.) traveled to Santa Clarita to take on the No. 11 Mustangs of The Master's College (Calif.) in the NAIA match of the Week, and the Eagles walked away with their sixth 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-23) sweep of the conference season.
"It (Bross Court) was loud and crazy, it is a really tough place to play in," said Head Coach Aaron Seltzer. "But we stayed focused and ended up playing really well. The first set was one of the best games we've played all season."
In that set, the Eagles benefited from fantastic hitting and serving on their end, and some lackluster hits on the Mustangs' side. Biola hit .571 and raked in 12 kills with zero errors, while TMC brought in fewer kills than errors to hit -.050.
BU has managed to hit well all season long, averaging a .256 attack percentage, which is 13th best in the NAIA and second in the GSAC.
An area that has not been their biggest strength, especially as of late, has been their serving. They do rank second in the GSAC, but not by a wide margin, and they find themselves .35 aces per set behind the leader, TMC.
Tonight the Eagles came out and took advantage of opportunities behind the line and picked up seven service aces, two more than the Mustangs. They only committed five service errors, half of TMC's total.
Charley Parker played a key role in BU's ability to maintain the ball using quality serves. At one point in the first set she was behind the line for seven consecutive smacks. Gracee Gallarda also had a streak of seven, and she tacked on a streak of six.
"Charley had a great game tonight, it may not show up on the stat sheet, but she did a very good job for us," said Seltzer.
Although the first set was not too close, the Mustangs upped the ante in the final two frames, taking early leads and battling through to the very last point in both games.
Biola played from behind multiple times in the last two sets, but was aided by the attacks of Chelsee Arnitz, Amy Weststeyn and Joclyn Kirton. Kirton again led the Eagles in kills with 14, Arnitz added nine and Weststeyn put up seven, while all three women attack percentages above .400. This was Kirton's sixth straight match with 12-plus kills.
Gallarda tallied 27 assists in the three set match, by averaging nine assists per game she pushed her career average above 7.5 per set, making her just the eighth player in BU history to hit that mark. She added three service aces to push her career total to 99.
The Eagles improve to 17-2 (7-1 GSAC) on the season and improve their record in the all-time series against the Mustangs to 49-1. TMC falls back to 17-5 (5-3 GSAC). Biola returns home on Tuesday to square off with No. 15 Vanguard at 7 p.m. in the Chase Gymnasium.