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Mustangs top JHU in non-conference battle

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A power non-conference game at the very end of the regular season is a great last way to prepare for a conference tournament and on Thursday night the local powerhouse rivals Stevenson Mustangs and Johns Hopkins Blue Jays met in Goldfarb Gym in Baltimore. Both teams are unbeaten in their respective conferences – Stevenson with their conference schedule complete and the Blue Jays with one more match remaining on Saturday – but the Mustangs picked up the victory on their short road trip, topping the Blue Jays, 3-1.

Despite JHU holding a kills advantage, the Mustangs dominated at the net with 11 blocks while out-hitting the Blue Jays .263 to .227 as they earned a 25-19, 20-25, 25-18, 25-21 victory. Moriah Savage was the start of the Mustangs attack that has proven any match can be anybody’s turns to lead the offense. Against the Blue Jays she hit .500 with 12 kills and five blocks. Victoria Prokic led Stevenson with seven blocks. Annika Schwartz had 12 blocks and 12 digs for the double-double.

After an early exchange of points in the first set the Mustangs pulled away down the stretch. A kill by Elizabeth Wuerstle, who led JHU with 14 kills, gave the Blue Jays an 8-6 lead in the first set but the Mustangs rattled off five-straight points to take control of the match. The Blue Jays were able to respond by scoring four of the next six points, but were unable to retake the lead as the stretch just got them back within one point at 13-12. The Mustangs then scored six-straight points and continued on to gain a 22-14 lead.

JHU hit better at the end of the set, but not well enough. After a 4-1 run to cut Stevenson’s lead down to 23-18, an attack error by Ally Hirsch gave the Mustangs another point. Kristi Reed smacked a kill to save a Mustangs set point but Prokic finished an attack set up by Julie Nightwine to put Stevenson ahead with the first set in the match.

The Blue Jays dominated the opening of the second set and scored six-straight points to take a 6-1 lead following a block by Kristi Rhead and were able to keep the distance from the Mustangs with strong serve receive. Stevenson had back-to-back points just twice in the second set and three-straight points just once.

JHU won the second set with an ace by Genevieve Thomas.

In the third set, the Mustangs were able to string together four-straight points and like the Blue Jays were able to do in the second set, Stevenson was able to stay ahead in the third with strong serve-receive. JHU never strung together more than two points together as the Mustangs powered through the set to re-take the lead in the match. Stevenson finished the set on a 9-3 run with the final three points of the set to go ahead 2-1.

In the closely-contested match, the start of the fourth set made it seem that the teams were headed to a fifth set. JHU lead 12-10 after scoring four-straight points and going on a 6-1 run. However, Stevenson battled right back and scored five of the next six points to go ahead 15-13. The two teams exchanged points over the next 11 serves, but the lead Mustangs held. JHU had cut Stevenson’s lead to one point at 21-20, but Stevenson scored three-straight points to earn an opportunity at match point.

Rhead saved match point once, but Lauren Weaver smacked a kill to win the match for the Mustangs.

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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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