Men's Volleyball Opens Season With 3-1 Win at Menlo

Men's Volleyball Opens Season With 3-1 Win at Menlo

ATHERTON, Calif. – Junior Landon Shorts posted 19 kills and 11 digs as the Stevenson University men's volleyball team opened its season with a 3-1 win over Menlo College Thursday afternoon.  Set scores were 23-25, 30-28, 25-21, 27-25.

Shorts hit .400 for Stevenson (1-0), with five errors on 35 attempts.  Junior Jason Gardner hit .433 and finished with 15 kills, while freshman Logan Smiley added eight kills, 10 digs and two blocks.  Classmate Nate Reynolds had eight blocks (seven solo) to go along with seven kills and a .400 hitting percentage.  Junior Jared Chin handed out 45 assists.

Menlo (1-3), which is in its first year as a varsity program, was led by Collin Jordan's 13 kills, while Akash Dhothar added 12.

Stevenson, trailing 1-0 in the match, held a 24-20 lead in the second set when the Oaks recorded four straight points to tie the match.  A Reynolds kill stopped the Menlo run, but the hosts scored the next two points to serve for set point.  A Smiley kill, followed by a Menlo attack error, put the Mustangs up 27-26.  The two teams traded the next four points, until a Chin service ace while serving for set point tied the match.

In the third set, Stevenson never trailed, jumping out to an 8-2 lead and taking its largest lead, 20-13, on a Reynolds kill. The Oaks got the lead down to two, 23-21, but back-to-back kills by Gardner and Reynolds closed out the set.

Menlo opened an early 11-6 lead in the fourth as it tried to force a fifth set, but back-to-back blocks by Reynolds capped a 8-3 Mustang run to tie things 14-14.  Menlo was serving for set point up 25-24 when an attack error, followed by kills by Smiley and senior Alex Klunk, closed things out.

Stevenson led 20-17 in the first set before three straight Menlo points tied the frame 20-20.  The Oaks took a 23-21 lead then the two teams traded the next four points to give the hosts a 25-23 win and a 1-0 lead.

The visitors hit .287 on the afternoon and held Menlo to .215 hitting.  Stevenson finished with a 12-9 blocking advantage, including 11 solo blocks.

Stevenson returns to action Friday at 7:00 Eastern when it faces Illinois Tech in the opening round of the Slug Slam hosted by UC-Santa Cruz.