OWINGS MILLS, Md.. – Less than 24-hours after having to go the distance against former Continental Volleyball Conference foe Juniata College the Stevenson men's volleyball team returned to Middle Atlantic Conference play of Saturday afternoon defeating first-year program Misericordia University in straight sets at Owings Mills Gymnasium.
Stevenson (14-8, 6-0 MAC), took the match by set scores of 25-11, 25-23, and 25-11.
Freshman Logan Smiley led the way with nine kills hitting .643, five digs, two block assists, and one solo block. Senior Alex Klunk and sophomore Kyle Bosko each posted eight kills and combined for two assisted blocks. While junior Jason Gardner picked up five kills and two digs. Junior Landon Shorts and freshman Garrett Weigel chipped in four kills apiece, with Shorts adding seven digs. The setting duo of junior Jared Chin and freshman Aleks Melbardis racked up 35 assists.
Misericordia (11-13, 1-7 MAC), was paced by 9 kills and 3 digs from Ryan Miller. Caleb Bauder ended the day with 7 kills, two digs, and two block assists. Kaden Abreu, Matt Lavin, and Michael Trygar combined for six kills. Bailey Brugler handed out 20 assists.
After Misericordia to an early 2-1 edge off an ace from Bauder, the Mustangs stormed back taking the nine points in a row with Shorts on the service line getting kills from Klunk, Smiley, and Chin to grab a 10-2 lead. Both sides shared the next ten scores keeping the margin at eight 15-7. Two consecutive home errors on a bad service by junior Avery Engel and a mishit by Shorts brought it down to seven at 16-9. That would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the set as the Mustangs embarked on a 9-2 run to close things out 25-11. During that stretch freshman, Nate Reynolds got a kill while classmate Smiley recorded three.
With the score tied at 6-6, the visitors took their largest lead of the day to that point using three Stevenson miscues to edge in front 9-6. The Mustangs galloped back ahead with a 5-1 run aided by kills from Weigel (2) and Shorts to go up 11-10. Stevenson would hold a one to two-point lead all the way out to 17-15. However, Misericordia used kills from Bauder and Miller to spark a 4-1 push and took a slim 19-18 advantage. The set would be tied three more times at 19-19, 20-20, and 21-21 before the Mustangs ended the frame on a 4-1 romp getting a pair of kills by Bosko to take the set 25-22.
To open the third the Cougars snagged a quick 1-0 edge, but then watched kills from sophomore Nathan Bosse and Bosko, as well as an ace by Shorts, give the hosts a 6-3 lead. With the Mustangs holding a 9-3 advantage a kills by Trygar and Lavin combined with two home side errors trimmed the score down to 11-7. Then Stevenson would open things up using two aces and two kills from Shorts to cap an 11-1 span blowing the lead out to 22-8. Two Mustangs mishits in a row cut the deficit to 22-10 but kills by Gardner and Bosko finished the proceedings at 25-11.
The Mustangs as a team hit a season-high .522 as a team on 44 kills, while Misericordia hit .090 and totaled just 23 kills. Stevenson had the advantage in the service game with six aces to one.
The Mustangs are back in action on Wednesday, March 21 when they host Messiah College in Middle Atlantic Conference play at Owings Mills Gymnasium. First serve against the Falcons is slated for 7pm.