ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Stevenson University women's volleyball team rallied from a 2-0 deficit to down host Muhlenberg College 3-2 Friday night on day one of the Buttermaker Tournament at Memorial Hall. Earlier in the day, the Mustangs swept SUNY Cortland 3-0.
Against SUNY Cortland (3-4), Stevenson (7-0) prevailed 25-14, 25-22, 25-19. The Mustangs dispatched the Mules (6-1) by scores of 21-25, 23-25, 25-11, 25-22, 15-9 to extend their best start since the 2013 season.
After dropping the first two sets against the hosts, Stevenson trailed just once in the third set at 2-1 and broke a 5-5 tie with seven straight points. In the fourth set, the Mustangs trailed 19-16 before a 3-1 spurt capped by a kill by senior Annika Schwartz pulled Stevenson within one. Muhlenberg led 22-20 before Stevenson strung together five straight points, and a Mule attack error closed out the frame.
In the fifth set, Stevenson registered six straight points to turn a 5-3 deficit into a 9-5 lead. Sophomore Katie Leftridge had a pair of kills in the run, while the Mustangs also took advantage of two Muhlenberg attack errors. The guests maintained at least a three-point cushion the rest of the way and a Schwartz service ace and a Leftridge kill closed out the match.
Leftridge totaled a career-best 18 kills on .325 hitting while also posting 19 digs. Schwartz recorded 15 kills and 16 digs, with junior Moriah Savage adding 13 kills on .312 hitting. Sophomore Julie Nightwine handed out 25 assists, with classmate Caroline Dangel recording 24 to go alone with her 17 digs. Senior Deanna Bradbury notched 31 digs in the victory.
Stevenson hit .216 as a team while limiting the Mules to .109 hitting, including .028 over the final three sets. The Mustangs hit .381 in the final frame.
In the opener, Schwartz recorded 12 kills on .300 hitting and added eight digs. Savage posted 11 kills and five blocks, with Bradbury notching 16 digs and Leftridge 14. Dangel posted 20 assists and six digs, while Nightwine dished out 16 assists and recorded seven digs. The Mustangs hit .176 in the match and held the Red Dragons to .018 hitting in the contest.
Stevenson returns to action in day two of the Buttermaker Tournament Saturday, battling Virginia Wesleyan at noon and Neumann at 2:00 pm.