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Mustangs top Stockton and Rowan on Saturday

Sara Billinger had 40 assists to a well-rounded attack between matches against Stockton and Rowan.

Sara Billinger had 40 assists to a well-rounded attack between matches against Stockton and Rowan.

For a seventh-straight season the Stevenson volleyball team secured 20 wins in a season with victories over both Stockton and Rowan on Saturday. The Mustangs lost just one set between the two matches, beating Stockton earlier in the game 3-1 and then sweeping Rowan in the night cap of the double header.

Annika Schwartz had 27 total kills between the two matches. But she was far from the only productive hitter for the Mustangs. She smacked 17 of the team’s 53 kills in their 18-25, 25-23, 25-13, 25-23 victory over Stockton and 10 of their 45 kills in a 25-14, 25-18, 25-20 win over Rowan.

She had plenty of help.

Against Stockton Moriah Savage had 13 kills while Victorial Prokic and Lauren Weaver head had seven. Kristen Brooks added six kills. Schwartz added 11 digs for the double-double. Against Rowan, 10 different Mustangs registered a kill and seven had multi-kill games as the team hit .283.

Stockton got off to a very strong start in the opening set to hand Stevenson their only lost set of the game. Stockton led 7-2 before Stevenson got in a groove and never trailed. Stevenson trimmed the Stockton lead down to two at 12-10, but four-straight earned points by the Ospreys helped them take control of the set again.

Stockton out-scored Stevenson 4-1 at the end of the set to take the set lead. But Stevenson wouldn’t lose another set the rest of the day.

They got out to the strong start in the second set. Stockton cut Stevenson’s lead to 5-4 with a kill by Stephanie Kovacs, but the Mustangs scored six-straight points with three kills, two blocks and one Stockton attack error to take an 11-4 lead.

Stockton battled back, though, and with a 9-1 run did take a 21-19 lead late in the set. However, Stevenson got right back in a groove offensively and scored five-straight points to line up for set point. Stockton battled it off twice but Schwartz nailed the final kill to even the match.

Stockton still kept competitive early in the third set and led 5-4, but Stevenson roared ahead with a 14-1 run to take a 19-7 lead. The Ospreys never could recover from that deficit as the Mustangs cruised to the end of the set to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

And why change the theme of the match, the third set was another very competitive on and when Stockton got out to another strong start, takings a 6-2 lead, it was reminiscent of the first set. But the end result wouldn’t be the game. Stevenson got right back into the set with a a 7-1 run to take a 10-8 lead. Stockton got back ahead with five of the next six points. Neither team would give the other a chance to take a secure lead and exchanged points back-and-forth until the end of the match when Savage gave Stevenson a 24-23 lead and an attack error on Stockton ended the match.

The match against the Profs was less of a back-and-forth battle. Stevenson opened the first set taking a 10-3 lead before Rowan strung together three-straight points. The Mustangs, though, still powered ahead by even more with a 11-2 run to take a 21-8 lead. The two teams exchanged the next few points, but Stevenson was too far ahead for exchanges to help Rowan.

Rowan got out to a 6-2 lead in the second set, but superior hitting by the Mustangs helped them slowly get back and eventually into the lead. Stevenson held an 11-10 lead when they went on an 8-3 run to create some separation. With a seven point lead, they would only let Rowan exchange points until Stevenson took a 2-0 set lead.

Another key run of five-straight points helped Stevenson to a 12-8 lead in the third set. Rowan scored three-straight points to close the gap, but never could get ahead. Stevenson ended the set out-scoring Rowan 5-1 to complete the sweep.

Sara Bollinger had 40 assists between the two matches, with 25 coming against Stockton and 15 against Rowan.

Stevenson will remain at home and host St. Mary’s on Tuesday at 7 pm.

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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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