Eight's Great: Mustangs Best Arcadia for Eighth-Straight MAC Commonwealth Crown

OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Stevenson University freshman Simone Gest totaled 16 kills and was named tournament MVP as the top-seeded Mustangs downed No. 2 seed Arcadia 3-1 to win their eighth straight MAC Commonwealth women's volleyball championship Saturday night at Owings Mills Gymnasium.  Set scores were 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 25-21.

  • Stevenson (29-2) ran off four straight points to take a 9-4 lead following an Arcadia (17-14) attack error.  Freshman Haley Hoover had a service ace on the previous point.
  • Trailing 16-11, the Knights reeled off four straight points to pull within 16-14 following a Mustang attack error.
  • A Victoria Prokic kill and an Arcadia attack error put the Mustangs back up four, 18-14.
  • After Arcadia pulled within 21-19, the Mustangs had the final four points of the set, and back-to-back Gest kills closed out the frame.

  • With Kayla Vaeth serving, the Mustangs raced out to a 6-0 lead.  Vaeth had a pair of service aces.
  • Trailing 22-11, Arcadia tried to get back in the set, with a Shannon Ryan capping a 4-0 spurt and pulling the guests within 22-15.
  • Serving at 24-16, a Knight service error closed out the set.
  • Stevenson hit .211 in the second set, while holding the Knights to -.030 hitting.

  • Leading 8-7, Arcadia ran off six straight points to take a 14-7 lead on a Grace Kraft service ace, forcing the Mustangs to call timeout.
  • The Mustangs countered with a 6-0 run of their own, and an Emily Pellini ace capped the run and made it 14-13.
  • The Knights had the next two points, but three straight points by the Mustangs tied the set 16-16 on a Gest kill.
  • Arcadia built a 22-17 lead and led 24-19 serving for the set.
  • The hosts took advantage of four straight Arcadia attack errors to pull within one, 24-23.
  • A kill by Ryan closed out the set.

  • The fourth set saw seven ties in the first 16 points, with a Prokic kill tying the set 8-8.
  • After the Knights recorded two points to take a 10-8 lead, Stevenson reeled off six in a row to go up 14-10.
  • After a Vaeth service ace tied the set 10-10, four straight Arcadia attack errors led to the Mustang lead.
  • Clinging to an 18-16 lead, the Mustangs posted three points in a row, with a Gest kill putting Stevenson up 21-16.
  • A kill by Katie Leftridge put Stevenson up 24-20, but Arcadia came up with a kill as the Mustangs served for match point.
  • Shannon Baily's kill, her sixth of the night, closed out the match.

  • Stevenson has won all eight MAC Commonwealth championships since entering the league in 2012.
  • The Mustangs earned the MAC Commonwealth automatic berth to next week's NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship and will be making their ninth straight NCAA appearance.
  • Stevenson and Arcadia met in the MAC Commonwealth final for the third straight season.
  • Gest hit .483 and totaled 16 kills on 29 swings with two errors.  Including Wednesday's 3-1 semifinal win over Arcadia, Gest finished with 31 kills and hit .509.
  • Leftridge totaled 12 kills and 11 digs, including the 1,000th dig of her career.
  • Prokic hit .350 and finished with 10 kills.
  • Hoover had a team-high five blocks, while Mackenzie Blevins finished with four.
  • Caroline Dangel recorded 23 assists and 12 digs, while Julie Nightwine handed out 22 assists and added eight digs.
  • Vaeth had a team-best 14 digs, while Darian Hileman finished with 12.
  • Stevenson hit .241 for the match, while Arcadia hit .064 on the night.

  • Stevenson will learn its next opponent Monday at 12:30 pm as the NCAA selection show airs on NCAA.com.