OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The 25th-ranked Stevenson University women's volleyball wrapped up the top spot and No. 1 seed in the MAC Commonwealth Championship for the sixth straight season with a 3-0 win over Lebanon Valley College at Owings Mills Gymnasium Wednesday evening. Set scores were 25-21, 25-15, 25-17.
Stevenson (24-1, 7-0 MAC Commonwealth) won its 12th in a row overall and its 18th straight home match to extend the nation's sixth-longest home win streak. The Mustangs have not lost a MAC Commonwealth regular season match since joining the conference in 2012 and improved to 47-0 all-time in league regular season play.
Lebanon Valley (13-10, 4-2 MAC Commonwealth) dropped into a tie for third in the MAC Commonwealth standings with Messiah, which fell 3-1 to Arcadia, the league's second-place team.
The first set saw 10 ties, the last coming at 20-20, when a kill by senior Annika Schwartz and an LVC attack error gave the Mustangs a 22-20 lead. A Stevenson attack error cut the lead to 22-21, but back-to-back blocks, the first by Schwartz and sophomore Victoria Prokic, and the second by Prokic and junior Moriah Savage, made it 24-21. A Savage kill put the Mustangs up 1-0.
Stevenson never trailed in the second set and broke a 4-4 tie with eight straight points while senior Deanna Bradbury was serving to take a 12-4 lead. Four different Mustangs recorded a kill during the run, while Bradbury also had a service ace. Lebanon Valley cut the lead to five several times, the last at 17-12, but got no closer, as Stevenson closed the set on an 8-3 run and took a 2-0 lead on a kill by senior Lauren Weaver.
Lebanon Valley tied the third set four times in the early going before a service ace by sophomore Caroline Dangel gave the Mustangs a 9-6 lead. Stevenson opened up a 17-10 advantage before five straight points by the Dutchmen closed the gap to 17-15. The Mustangs held off LVC and recorded the final five points of the match, with a block by Savage and junior Lauren Jan closing things out.
Schwartz led Stevenson with 11 kills and nine digs while hitting .280 on the evening. Sophomore Katie Leftridge hit .529 with 10 kills and one error on 17 attempts, while also posting 11 digs. Weaver hit .438 and tallied nine kills, with Savage hitting .333 and adding seven kills and three blocks. Prokic had a team-high four blocks on the night, with Bradbury notching 19 digs. Dangel handed out 17 assists, with sophomore Julie Nightwine adding 12.
Stevenson hit .307 as a team, including .542 in the final set, while holding Lebanon Valley to an .077 hitting percentage. The Dutchmen entered the night second in the conference behind the Mustangs in hitting percentage at .212.
Stevenson returns to action Thursday night when it hosts No. 16 Johns Hopkins in a key 7:00 non-conference contest at Owings Mills Gymnasium. The Blue Jays are ranked No. 2 in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the first NCAA regional rankings released Wednesday behind Carnegie Mellon, while the Mustangs are third.