Returning home for the first time since former head coach Jon Stevenson was relieved of his duties, the Mustang volleyball team defeated Cal State Bakersfield in three sets.
The Mustangs (5-8) surrendered just 36 points in the match against a struggling Roadrunner squad that fell to 3-10. The set scores went 25-11, 25-10 and 25-15.
Jennifer Keddy led the team with eight kills while Chelsea Hardin followed up with seven of her own. The Mustangs hit .410 over the three sets, while the Roadrunners were held to a negative .13.
The Mustangs opened the 2011 season in a bit of turmoil, losing their head coach due to controversy related to a 2010 report alleging sexual harassment and unprofessional conduct. Caroline Walters, an assistant under Stevenson, took the reigns, but the team suffered five consecutive losses before they beat Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 10.
The schedule hardly eases the Mustangs into conference play. Their first two matches are on the road against the top squads from 2010 on Sept. 23 and 24. The team lost both its 2010 matches against the Titans but defeated the 49ers, a team that made the NCAA tournament, both at home and away.
The Mustangs lost just two seniors from 2011, Dominique Olowolafe and Alison Mort. Both were starters. The team will have to replace Olowolafe’s offensive output and leadership. She managed 213 kills, good for fourth on the team, even though she was injured for much of the Mustangs non-conference schedule.
The team returns home in two weeks for a pair of matches against UC Davis and Pacific on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.