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TMC Notebook: TMC golf rises to top

Anderson leads team to NCCAA championship

Posted: October 17, 2010 12:01 a.m.
Updated: October 17, 2010 12:01 a.m.
 

Just a few miles from the gulf coast sits the Hombre Golf Club in Panama City Beach, Fla.

It features four sets of tees that weave through natural preserves, palm and pine trees, and has hosted PGA Tour events since 1990.

It’s also the site of The Master’s College’s third National Christian College Athletic Association championship, and Mustangs senior Kevin Anderson’s individual title, the first tournament win of his college career.

“I worked really hard these last few years, and I haven’t had the tangible trophy you might say or the tangible, ‘Hey, I won that tournament,’” Anderson said. “It was really meaningful to me because I felt like it was the result of a lot of hard work.”

Anderson also claimed player of the year honors and was named an NCCAA All-American.

The Mustangs also won the NCCAA championship in 2003 and 2004.

The senior shot an opening-round a 2-over 74, but bounced back with a 67 and a 72 to finish 3-under for the tournament.
He said a turning point happened in the first round when he double-bogeyed a hole after hooking a ball into the water.

“I think the last two years of playing college golf has taught me not to get over emotional or ticked off it,” Anderson said.

“I think that is where coach Jason (Semelsberger) has helped me emotionally get over bad shots. I kind of decided after that hole that I was going to react the right way.”

He won by three stroke over last season’s NAIA champion Justin Lower of Malone University.

“What was really cool was to see him put himself in a position to win after the first couple rounds and to know he was the leader going into the final round and not shy away from the opportunity to win,” Semelsberger said.

Anderson is the lone senior on a team that includes three freshmen, three sophomores and junior.

It’s a group of guys that he said really push him to excel.

It’s a dynamic that goes both ways.

“Kevin is a spiritual leader on the team,” Semelsberger said. “His desire is to really train up the next generation of leaders on the team, to really seek out their welfare, their best in their character and growth in Christ. In that, he’s also a leader on the golf course.”

TMC won the team title by 10 strokes over Malone, leading to Coach of the Year honors for Semelsberger.

“It’s a great honor, and I praise God,” Semelsberger said. “It’s very early in the season. It’s just the fall and one tournament. We are excited to really look at our body of work at the end of the season.”

The Mustangs will be in competition throughout the year, with the season finale coming May 24-27 at the NAIA National Championship in Silvis, Ill.

Cross country
TMC may not have had a race this week, but that didn’t mean it was taking any time off. Coming off a disappointing finish at the Vanguard Invitational last week, the Mustangs bounced back exactly as head coach Zach Schroeder had hoped they would.

“Things are really looking up,” he said. “They guys are very, very motivated to race well, and I think that loss really did help refocus them. We are definitely excited to see what will happen next week. That will be a very telling day.”

The TMC men tied for second last Saturday with Azusa Pacific and finished behind Vanguard, dropping 10 spots in the latest NAIA rankings to No. 16.

But it’s not just the men that have been reinvigorated.

Schroeder said the women’s team is also making progress, with two of its runners posting sub-18-minute times during a 3-mile practice run.

One was Canyon graduate Hayley Parkinson, who is healthy and ready to run at the Biola Invitational on Saturday.

The second was redshirt freshman Holly Kopp, whose progress that season could soon see her in line with Parkinson and fellow-freshman Hannah Kellerman, who are both aiming at competing at the NAIA National Championship in November.

“It’s just great experience, a national championship competition has a different feel,” Schroeder said. “It’s a very, very big meet. I think a lot of times, it takes kids a number of times competing at the national level before they get it figured out. If they can have that experience as freshmen, it will definitely be a big part of the future of the program.”

Both teams will be participating at the Biola Invite on Saturday in Irvine, where they will see many teams from the Golden State Athletic Conference, including a Westmont squad that could be on the rise.

Men’s soccer
It was a tough week for the Mustangs (6-5-2, 3-4), who dropped a pair of one-goal decisions against No. 15 Azusa Pacific 2-1 on Wednesday and No. 14 Vanguard 1-0 on Saturday.

TMC senior Jake Marchesani scored the team’s lone goal in the 50th minute on an assist from J.D. Hoeft. It was Marchesani’s second goal of the season.

Goalkeeper Andrew Bussell recorded four saves against APU and zero against Vanguard, getting the start over Saugus graduate Joey Mackey.

The Mustangs return to action next Saturday when they host Concordia.

Women’s soccer
An early breakdown is all it took for TMC to suffer its first loss of the season.

Up against the second-best team in the NAIA, the Mustangs (13-1-1, 6-1) allowed a goal in the 10th minute that gave Azusa Pacific a 1-0 win on Tuesday.

The Mustangs are currently ranked No. 4.

Goalkeeper Amanda Diamond had seven saves in the game as APU took 16 shots to TMC’s five.

But the Mustangs bounced right back, beating Vanguard, which was ranked No. 10, 3-1 on Saturday, getting a goal from Canyon graduate Sierra Goff and Emily Bruton. An own goal by Vanguard provided TMC with it’s final tally.

The Mustangs get a week off before playing Concordia at home next Saturday.

Men’s golf
TMC sophomore John Lawson finished tied for 11th at the NCCAA Championship, followed by teammate Andrew Bergoon and Thane Ringler, who tied for 21st. Matt Reitz tied for 27th.

The Mustangs return to action Oct. 31 when they host the TMC Fall Invite.

Women’s volleyball
It has taken some time, but things are beginning to click with the Mustangs and first-year head coach Bobby Blanken. After a dropping the first eight games of GSAC play, TMC found the turning point it needed after losing the second game of their best-of-five match with Westmont two weeks ago.

“We were backed into a corner, and like any animal in nature, when backed into a corner, it’s not going to say, ‘OK, eat me.’ Let’s go fight,” Blanken said. “The girls said some very powerful things and came out and won three straight.”

That motivation carried over, when the Mustangs (7-13, 2-9) went point-for-point in an eventual loss to top-ranked Fresno Pacific.

But it didn’t take long for TMC to record its second win of the season.

The Mustangs beat San Diego Christian 3-0 on Friday behind 13 kills from Sam Dougherty and 11 kills from Tori Callihan. Leslie Windham had 20 digs and Jamie Long posted 44 assists.

There wasn’t any time to rest, though, and TMC fell 3-0 on Saturday to NAIA No. 15 Pt. Loma Nazarene.

“We focus on the process. We use these two words: process and outcome,” Blanken said. “I don’t care so much about the outcome, it’s what we all want. Let’s focus on what it takes to get there.”

Focusing on fundamentals and attitude, Blanken said he is noticing a change as leadership is developing.

That leadership includes the buy-in of the seniors, who may have resisted their new coach’s long-term objectives.

But emphasizing the small things and armed with the understanding that everything they are doing this season will build momentum for years to come, Blanken said, TMC is ready to tackle Fresno Pacific, Biola, California Baptist, Concordia and Azusa Pacific, which are ranked No. 1, 3, 6, 10 and 13, respectively, in the NAIA rankings.

“That was something I was warned about when I took the job,” said Blanken of the tough schedule. “I love it.”

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