OWINGS MILLS, Md. - The Stevenson men's volleyball team posted a straight set Continental Volleyball Conference victory over Eastern Mennonite before falling in five set to Penn State Altoona Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at Owings Mills Gymnasium.
With the win over Eastern Mennonite, the Mustangs (20-11, 10-4 CVC) secured the third seed in the upcoming Continental Volleyball Conference tournament and will face second-seeded Juniata. The two teams split in the regular season.
Versus the Royals (20-11, 9-5 CVC), sophomore Landon Shorts finished with a game-high 16 kills while classmate Jason Gardner totaled 13. The duo has combined for 641 kills this season, good for 47.5 percent of the team's kills.
After winning the opening set, the Mustangs trailed 23-21 in the second set before winning five of the final six points, including back-to-back kills by Shorts to take a two sets to none lead. Stevenson never trailed in the final set despite Eastern Mennonite getting within one late.
In pregame ceremonies before facing the Lions (23-6), the Mustangs honored their five seniors, Michael Fehrs, David Santangelo, Nate Ellis, Kyle Johnson and Nicholas Gross. All four hitters recorded double digit kills in the match while Johnson finished with 55 assists.
Fehrs recorded a team-high 16 kills, tying his career-best. Meanwhile, both Gross and Ellis finished with 14 kills while Ellis added nine total blocks. Gross, who tied his career-best in kills, also totaled five digs and added a service ace.
Santangelo had 11 kills, seven block assists, six digs and three service aces. For Johnson, he finished two assists shy of his career-best 57 set earlier this season. It is the ninth time he has totaled at least 40 assists this season.
After trading the opening four sets, Penn State Altoona won six of the final eight points in the fifth and deciding set after the Mustangs tied the set at 9-9, the seventh tie of the set.
The Mustangs fall to 2-3 in five set matches this season, dropping their last three.
Stevenson will begin its Continental Volleyball Conference title defense on Friday, April 14 when the Mustangs face the Eagles in the semifinals hosted at top-seeded Marymount (Va.). Game time is to be announced.
Head Coach Aldiz Berzins talks about the team's victory over EMU and Senior night for the Mustangs.