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The Master’s College rode rollercoaster

Underclassmen, short bench led to up-and-down season for Mustangs women’s basketball

Posted: March 8, 2009 3:03 a.m.
Updated: March 8, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The Master's College's Stacy Nanninga, right, tries to steal the ball from Hope International's Aundrea Hyde Jan. 17 at Bross Gymnasium.

The Master’s College experienced an up-and-down season in 2008-09.

That often happens when the roster is limited and full of youngsters.

Despite having just nine players, six of which were underclassmen, the Mustangs finished the season 16-14 with an 11-9 mark in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

“I think we had to rely on some key kids to score for us,” said Mustangs head coach Dan Waldeck, “and when that didn’t happen, we struggled to win some games.”

After finishing its non-conference schedule at a modest 5-4, The Master’s College opened GSAC play with a bang by defeating San Diego Christian on the road and upending fifth-ranked Azusa Pacific at Bross Gymnasium.

The Mustangs then split the next four games before routing Hope International at home to improve to 5-2 in conference play.

But The Master’s College promptly dropped five in a row by an average of six points per game.

“I think only having nine players caused a midseason lull,” Waldeck said, “and when we started to get a little momentum in the end, some energy came back and we won the games we should win.”

The Mustangs finished the regular season on a 6-2 tear, including victories over sixth-ranked Pt. Loma Nazarene and 18th-ranked Biola.

A win over Fresno Pacific in the regular season finale, however, came at a steep price as starting forward Jenna Reed suffered a sprained ligament and missed the GSAC Tournament opener, which The Master’s College lost to Westmont 87-73.

“I firmly believe we would still be playing if we had not lost (Reed),” Waldeck said. “A lot of our kids had to play out of position because of losing Jenna. I think we ended real well. There’s definitely some very good things to look forward to in the future.”

The Mustangs won’t be looking forward to the departure of senior forward Stacy Nanninga, a three-year starter and four-year member of the team.

Nanninga, a likely all-America selection, will leave The Master’s College as the school’s third-leading shot-blocker with 121 career rejections. She’s also fifth in career rebounds (802) and field goals (526), sixth in points (1,253), eighth in field goal percentage (.487), and 10th in steals (174).

“She was tremendous for us all year scoring the
basketball and rebounding,” Waldeck said. “Being a three-year starter, she’s going to be hard to replace.”

The Master’s College also loses senior guard Amanda DuRocher, who ranks third in school history with 155 career 3-pointers and set a single-season record with 81 treys in 2007-08, and senior guard Jenni Ritter, who averaged seven points and three rebounds a game this season.

“My other two seniors played real hard,” Waldeck said. “They had their ups and downs all year, and we’re going to miss them.”
Waldeck said the team has already signed five new players for next season and is still looking to add two or three more.

The Mustangs hope they can give the team more depth while retaining the resiliency.

“A couple of weeks ago when we lost to Cal Baptist at home despite leading the whole game, it would have been easy to just fold shop,” Waldeck said. “But to come back and win four in a row, that just shows the heart of our team.”


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