Mustangs Split Nationally-Ranked Contests to Open Season, Down No. 15 Elmira

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Stevenson men's volleyball junior Austin Jacoby (Sellersville, Pa./Pennridge) totaled a team-high 29 kills, including 11 in a sweep of No. 15 Elmira as the Mustangs opened the 2013 season with a split versus the Soaring Eagles and No. 11 Vassar Saturday at Juniata's Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center.

Stevenson (1-1) held a 2-1 lead on Vassar in the season-opener before being edged in five sets, 23-25, 25-19, 25-18, 26-28, 10-15. However, the Mustangs responded with a sweep of Elmira in the second game 25-17, 25-22, 25-22 to give first-year head coach Joe Tagye his first career victory.

After losing the first set to the Brewers (2-0) in the opener, Stevenson won the next two after totaling eight blocks and limiting Vassar to a .018 hitting percentage. The Brewers totaled 18 kills during sets two and three, but also committed 17 errors in 57 attempts.

Vassar edged out a two-point victory in the fourth set after rallying from a 22-15 deficit to tie the set at 24-24 on block assist by Colin White-Dzuro and Patrick Donohue. The Brewers fought off five match points during the run before evening the game at two sets apiece on a kill by Erik Halberg.

Vassar dominated the fifth set, leading by as many five as it totaled eight kills and a .467 hitting percentage while Stevenson committed six attack errors and had a .000 hitting percentage.

It is the second-straight year that the Brewers and Mustangs battled to five sets after Stevenson defeated No. 11 Vassar 25-15, 25-27, 23-25, 25-18, 15-13 on Mar. 24, 2012 en route to winning the Endicott Invitational.

Jacoby finished with a game-high 18 kills while junior Jon Martin (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) totaled 12 kills and 10 digs. Freshman Patrick Schuyler (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) had 11 kills and eight digs while sophomore Kyle Wisener (York, Pa./Central York) added 12 kills.

Sophomore David Moler (York, Pa./Central York) totaled 54 assists, eight digs and four total blocks while junior Adam Thatcher (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) had a game-high 15 digs.

In the win versus Elmira (0-2), the Mustangs amassed 13 total blocks while posting a.321 hitting percentage. With the first set tied at 10-10, Stevenson used a 10-3 run to take a 20-13 lead. Jacoby totaled three of his game-high 11 kills during the run while the Soaring Eagles committed three attack errors.

The second set featured seven ties and four lead changes, the last of which came at 18-17 when Martin broke a 17-17 tie with a kill off a free ball.

Elmira jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the third set before the Mustangs took the lead for good at 12-10 on a kill by Jacoby and a service ace by Wisner.

Wisner finished with 10 kills, .529 hitting percentage and three total blocks while Martin added six kills, five digs and four total blocks. Junior Eddy Klepper (Carlisle, Pa./Cumberland Valley) had five kills, four digs and three block assists while Moler had 32 assists and five digs and Thatcher totaled eight digs.

Stevenson returns to action next Saturday, February 2 when it hosts Cairn University, formerly Philadelphia Biblical, at Owings Mills Gymnasium beginning at 2:00 p.m.