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Mustangs struggle to score in 3-1 loss to Saints

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After rattling off eight-straight victories with only two lost sets during the entire run, the Stevenson women’s volleyball team’s momentum has come to a screeching halt. This past weekend the Mustangs failed to win a game in a tournament in Lancaster, Pa against proven NCAA tournament-caliber competition and they were unable to get back on track on Wednesday night as they lost to Marymount (Va.), 3-1 at home, 25-22, 26-24, 21-25, 25-23.

Neither team hit particularly well in the match. Stevenson actually out-hit the Saints .181 to .169 and had fewer attacking errors, but they struggled in their serve-receive and couldn’t pressure Marymount (Va.) with their serve either.

The Saints jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the first. Marymount (Va.) had an 11-5 lead after another four-point run in which Stevenson gave away two points with attack errors. That cushion was key in preventing the Mustangs from coming back after a five-point run to make it a 13-12 score in the opening set. Julie Nightwine had four of the five assists in the run while Lauren Weaver had three kills and Annika Schwartz had the other two while Kristen Brooks was serving.

But Stevenson was able to take a lead late in the set. A kill by Margaret McAlpin gave the Saints a 19-15 lead but Stevenson rattled off six-straight points to take a 21-19 lead. The problem was that half of the points in the run were off Marymount (Va.) errors so when they finally tightened up, Stevenson wasn’t being gifted the points they needed.

The Saints stormed back with a 6-1 run to close the set out.

That back-and-forth battle did set the precedent for the entire match that was filled with big runs from both teams.

In the second set an ace by Brooks gave Stevenson the first point, however, Marymount (Va.) responded with a five-point run. The Saints never trailed in the second set but Brooks did tie the match three times with kills set by Bollinger. She saved set point to tie the score at 24-24 after a Stevenson timeout, but Marymount (Va.) finished the set with back-to-back kills from Cailyn Thomas and Emily Abramaitys, respectively.

Stevenson was able to prevent their opponent from getting out to a big lead early in the third set and were able to capture one to extend play. Stevenson used a 14-3 run to take an 18-10 lead. Once again, though, they were helped by errors on the Saints. Of the five-straight points to cap off the big run, four of the points came off Saints errors.

And once again, once Marymount cleaned up their act they were able to get back into the set. However, the hole they dug was too deep. And attack error by Mallory Mitchell put the Mustangs in position for a set point. Thomas earned a kill to save it for the Saints but Victoria Prokic finished it for Steventon to avoid the sweep.

They could not build on it, however. The Saints opened the fourth set with another big run, taking a 9-2 lead. Stevenson earned four-straight points to close the gap and a 6-1 run later in the set helped them tie the score at 19-19. The two teams went back-and-forth on the next few points and the Mustangs had a 23-22 lead looking like they were going to tie the match, but once again, that point was off a Saints error, not a Mustang point.

Marymount (Va.) got the last three points of the match off service and attack errors by Stevenson and a kill by McAlpin for match point.

McAlpin led Marymount (Va.) with 16 kills. Stevenson only had two players with double-digit kills: Schwartz and Weaver. Schwartz posted a double-double with 12 digs as well.

The loss extended Stevenson’s losing streak to five-straight, which was not what they needed heading into a weekend with two conference matches. Stevenson will play both Lycoming and Hood at Lycoming on Saturday before they return home on Tuesday to host Arcadia.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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