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Mustangs make 5th-straight MACC finals

stevenson-volleyball-semis

For a fifth-straight season the Stevenson volleyball team has punched their ticket to the MAC Commonwealth Championships game, where for a fifth-straight time they will face the Messiah Falcons. Stevenson advanced and earned the right to host the finals with a 25-18, 25-13, 25-17 sweep of the fourth-seeded Widener Pride.

Stevenson extended its winning streak to 16-straight matches, the program’s longest since opening the 2013 season with 23-straight wins.

Junior outside hitter Annika Schwartz narrowly missed a double-double with a team-best 12 kills and nine digs. Sara Bollinger and Julie Nightwine spread the ball around in the Mustang’s 6-2 offense with 17 and 15 assists, respectively.

Stevenson had their work cut out for them early in the set. They trailed 14-12 after back-to-back kills from Pride hitters Kristin DeCicco and Nicole Dorman, respectively. However, Schwartz got her team going ti two kills in a show assisted by Nightwine. Stevenson powered ahead on a 9-1 run that gave them a 21-15 lead.

The Pride chipped away at the Stevenson lead with three of the next four points, but the Mustangs scored three-straight points and ended the set with an ace by Deanna Bradbury and block by Kelsey Stave and Kristen Brooks.

The second set was another battle early as Widener held a 7-6 lead after a kill by Natalie Winn, but Stevenson hit their stride right after that, scoring five-straight points. Widener scored two in a row to make it a two-point set, but Stevenson really pulled away with a six-point run to jump ahead 17-9.

The Pride had no chance at coming back with the way the Mustangs were hitting. Three-straight kills by Lauren Weaver, Schwartz and Moriah Savage in orer put the Mustangs ahead with a double-digit lead at 20-10. They scored five of the last seven points of the set to take a 2-0 lead. Nightwine ended the set with an ace.

Stevenson didn’t play as close of a third set early. They scored the first two points. Widener scored back-to-back points to tie the set at 2-2, but Stevenson would never trail and would never let it be tied again after scoring three-straight points. The Pride couldn’t string together any sort of runs against Stevenson. The Mustangs on the other hand doubled up on Widener with three kills and an attacking error that gave them four points in a row for a 16-8 lead.

Widener responded with three-straight points, their longest run of the set, but the Mustangs continued to get kills as they closed out the set for the sweep.

They will host Messiah on Saturday at 5 pm for the MACC Championship. Stevenson has beaten Messiah the last four years in the title game.

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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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