Senior Duo Lead Mustangs Back To MAC Final With Win Over Messiah

OWINGS MILLS, Md. - The third-ranked Stevenson men's volleyball team got a combined 20 kills, four digs, four aces, and two blocks between seniors Landon Shorts and Jason Gardner to help the second-seeded Mustangs down the visiting third seed Messiah College Falcons by a score of 3-0 on Wednesday night in a Middle Atlantic Conference semi-final at Owings Mills Gymnasium.  Set scores were 25-18, 25-16, and 25-21.

  • The match started tight with the two sides sharing the opening four points of the match.
  • Stevenson (30-3) got back-to-back aces from Shorts to make it 4-2 and after a kill by Ian Parzyzsek slowed the momentum for a second before kills by junior Kyle Bosko and Gardner capped an 8-3 push to grab a 9-5 lead.
  • Messiah (19-11) scored three of the next six as a solo block put away by Noah Shreiner pulled the Falcons to within 11-8.
  • The Mustangs opened the margin back up to 21-12 with a 10-4 run picking up kills from sophomore Logan Smiley, Shorts, Gardner, and Bosko.
  • A kill for Marshall Nixon followed by a pair of Nixon aces aided a 7-3 stretch for the guests to close the gap to 24-18.
  • Smiley brought the set to a close with a kill for the 25-18 win.
  • The Mustangs hit .500 as a team to the Falcons .381.

  • Stevenson opened the second up 7-3 thanks to scores put home by sophomore Nate Reynolds, Gardner, Bosko, Smiley, and Shorts.  The only Messiah kill in that span came from Will Webb which at the time made it 1-1.
  • A kill for Nixon followed by a Shorts attack error cut it to 7-5, but the home team answered back by taking the ensuing six points to extend the advantage to 13-5 on kills for Bosko and Smiley, along with a combination block between graduate student Christian Taylor and Reynolds.
  • Over the next dozen points, each team took six allowing the Mustangs to push the margin to eight at 19-11.
  • The remainder of the frame was nip and tuck, however, the hosts got a kill smashed home by Smiley to grab a 2-0 lead with a 25-16 victory.
  • Stevenson posted a .571 attack percentage in the set, while Messiah was held to .176.

  • Neither side could shake the other to start the third as the teams were deadlocked at 10-10.
  • The Mustangs put together a 4-1 run to grab a 14-11 lead on blocks from Reynolds and Gardner.
  • A kill for Matt Knab capped a 6-4 push for the guests to cut the deficit to one 18-17.
  • That was the closest they would get the rest of the way as Reynolds, Smiley, and Gardner put away kills en route to a 25-21 win.

  • The win was number 18 in a row for the home team.
  • Stevenson hit .432 as a team to Messiah .267.
  • The Mustangs had a 6-2 edge in aces.
  • Smiley totaled ten kills and four digs hitting .526.
  • Reynolds added seven kills along with four blocks, while Bosko chipped in six kills.
  • Taylor gave out a match-high 35 assists.
  • Knab and Webb each had nine kills to pace the Falcons.

  • Stevenson returns to action on Saturday, April 13 when they travel to top seed Arcadia University for a rematch of last season's MAC championship match which was won by the Mustangs in Owings Mills.   This time the two sides will meet in Glenside, Pennsylvania for a 7pm first serve.
  • A championship preview will be coming out in the next few days stay tuned to gomustangsports.com.