HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Stevenson University men's volleyball team split a tri-match Saturday afternoon hosted by Eastern Mennonite. The Mustangs (10-6) downed Ramapo (4-9) 3-2 before falling to the host and 15th-ranked Royals (14-5) 3-0. The setback snapped a six-match win streak for Stevenson.
Against the Roadrunners, set scored were 23-25, 25-13, 23-25, 25-23, 15-7. Junior Landon Shorts hit .553 and recorded 25 kills and seven digs, while sophomore Nate Reynolds notched 13 kills while hitting at a .545 clip and added four blocks and four service aces. Freshman Logan Smiley added 10 kills, with junior Jared Chin handed out 55 assists. Senior Andy Van Thuyne finished with 16 digs, while sophomore Nathan Bosse had six blocks.
Trailing 2-1 in the match, Stevenson jumped out to a 14-10 lead in the fourth set following a kill by Jason Gardner. Ramapo came back to take a 21-20 lead before the Mustangs rattled off three straight points to go up 23-21 following a Gardner service ace. Up 24-23, a kill by Reynolds forced the fifth set. The fifth set was all Stevenson, as it stormed out to a 5-0 lead and led by at least three the rest of the way.
Stevenson trailed 18-12 in the first set but came back within one, 21-20, following a Shorts kill. The Roadrunners scored the next two points and eventually took a 1-0 lead on a Conor Charlow kill. The Mustangs never trailed in set number two as it tied things up, jumping out to a 17-7 lead.
Stevenson hit .344 as a team in the opener while Ramapo hit .246. The Mustangs finished with 14 blocks in the opener (six solo) and hit .444 in the final frame.
Against the Royals, Stevenson fell by scores of 25-17, 32-30, 27-25. The second set was Stevenson's longest since falling 32-30 to Rutgers-Newark on March 27,2015.
Shorts finished with 12 kills and nine digs against EMU, while Smiley finished with 10 kills and Gardner nine. Gardner also had four block assists. Chin handed out 20 assists and Aleks Melbardis added 13, while Derek Tangorra had a team-high 11 digs.
Stevenson trailed 17-16 in the first set following an Eastern Mennonite service error when the Royals reeled off four straight points to take a 21-16 lead. A Gardner kill halted the run, but the hosts scored the final four points to close the set on an 8-1 run and take a 1-0 lead.
The Mustangs held a 19-13 lead in the second set following a Smiley kill, but another 8-1 run by EMU put the Royals up 21-20. Stevenson scored four of the next five points to go up 24-22 and serve for set point, but a service error and a bad set tied things 24-24. The set was tied 30-30 following a kill by Shorts as Stevenson staved off five EMU serves for set point, but a kill and a block for the hosts gave them the 32-30 win.
In the third set Stevenson led 22-21 following a Smiley kill, but the Royals came back to go up 24-23 and be serving for the match. A Shorts kill tied the set and the two teams traded the next two points before a kill and a block ended things.
Eastern Mennonite finished with 10 blocks to Stevenson's five and hit .218 while the Mustangs hit .190 as a team.
Stevenson is idle until next Saturday when it travels to Arcadia University for a trimatch. The Mustangs face the Knights in a Middle Atlantic Conference match at 1:00, then will face Wilson at 3:00.