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Mustangs fall in battle against Randolph-Macon

Kristen Brooks had a near double-double in her final career volleyball match, finishing with nine kills and 10 digs against Randolph-Macon.

Kristen Brooks had a near double-double in her final career volleyball match, finishing with nine kills and 10 digs against Randolph-Macon.

Their run of 17-straight victories wouldn’t extend any more as the Stevenson volleyball team lost in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament to Randolph-Macon for a second-straight season, 3-1.

Despite out-hitting the Yellow Jackets .139-.098, and out-pointing them 66-64.5, the Mustangs couldn’t overcome 96 digs and eight aces by their opponent. Annika Schwartz (11 kills, 17 digs) and Julie Nightwine (17 assists, 14 digs) each posted double-doubles in the match but Stevenson’s season ended with a 19-25, 25-18, 26-24, 25-23 loss.

Stevenson opened the match with a set victory as they out-hit their opponent .222 to .000 and out-killed them an impressive 16-7. The first set, however, did see 10 ties, but after a 16-16 draw, kills by Moriah Savage and Chelsea Ireland put the Mustangs in the lead for good.

The Mustangs out-scored the Yellow Jackets 11-3 towards the end of the match. After Stevenson’s mini run of three-straight points to put them ahead 18-16 was snapped by a Randolph-Macon block, the Mustangs responded with four more points in a row to take a 22-17 lead. Schwartz ended the set with a kill to put the Mustangs ahead in the match.

But the success would not sustain.

Stevenson trailed 12-5 in the second set, in which they were out-hit .250 to .061.

Stevenson trimmed the Randolph-Macon lead down to two on a few occasions but never could get within striking distance of even a tie. The Yellow Jackets closed out the set with a 6-1 run that featured five kills and finally a block to end the set.

That success did translate through to the next set.

Randolph-Macon took a 5-1 lead right out of the gate in the third set, but Stevenson was able to battle back, however, and with a 10-2 run took an 11-7 lead. They held and built that lead to 17-12. But then the Yellow Jackets took control of the match. Randolph-Macon used a 5-1 run to take an 18-17 lead.

Stevenson scored two points in a row to get back ahead by three at 20-17, but the Yellow Jackets were in a groove swinging and scored seven of the next eight points to take a 24-21 lead. The set was far from over, however, as Stevenson saved set point three-straight times to tie the match at 24-24. However, they couldn’t take a late lead and Randolph-Macon scored two points in a row to take a 2-1 set lead.

It was another battle in the fourth set. The team traded leads three times early on before successive kills by Kristen Brooks, who finished the match with nine kills and 10 digs, and Lauren Weaver, who had five kills, five digs and five blocks, gave Stevenson a bit of a cushion at 13-10, but the fight was still on. Stevenson kept the three-point lead for another few points at 16-13, but Randolph-Macon went on a 10-3 run to take a 24-21 lead.

Once again, Stevenson had success saving the set, and the in this case the match, with two points, but Marian Clark smacked the final kill to end the Mustangs season in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

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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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