Stevenson men’s volleyball beats Widener for fourth straight win

The Mustangs earn first conference win of the year, two more matches today, March 2
Mens volleyball huddling during warm ups before a match
Men’s volleyball huddling during warm ups before a match
Ava Treakle

“It was a well-fought game,” said junior outside hitter Tim Flanagan after Stevenson (7-4, 1-0 MAC) beat Widener (8-5, 1-1 MAC) 3-1 to earn their first conference win of the year.

Prior to Wednesday, both teams were on a win streak. Widener had won five straight including all sweeps meanwhile Stevenson was on a 3-match streak of their own, all sweeps.

Stevenson knows no conference game will be easy this season as the MAC is one of the top conferences in the country. Senior middle blocker Aidan O’Brien said that the team knew they had to come out and perform against a solid opponent.

Flanagan standing ready for the point of the set. (Ava Treakle)

Perform they did after some back and forth action in the first set. Widener tried to separate early and take a 10-8 lead. After an SU timeout, the ‘Stangs’ strong defense came alive to tie the match at 10-10 and begin to earn separation of their own.

From then on, the Mustangs never eased up, forcing a Widener timeout with the Pride trailing 22-18. Flanagan went on to close out the first set with one of his 15 kills on the night, 25-22.

Stevenson carried that momentum into the second set with offensive runs leading to an early 9-5 lead. Despite a Widener timeout in attempts to stop the bleeding, the ‘Stangs continued to roll, going on two more offensive runs that left the game at 14-5 and later 16-8. Thanks to dual block assists from senior setter Justin Novoa and O’Brien, Stevenson won set two comfortably 25-12.

Teammates Anthony Pezzino and Aiden O’Brien blocking during a match. (Ava Treakle)

Widener however was not going away quietly as they jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the third.

“We were kind of just giving them points at that point,” Flanagan said.

Widener built on their lead going on a 7-3 run and increasing their lead to 12-4. Stevenson cut their deficit to as little as 4 being down 22-18 but Widener never relinquished their lead, winning the set 25-20.

Rolling into set four, Stevenson gained momentum back in their favor and jump out to an early 9-5 lead after some back and forth. Stevenson dominated in this set. The offense continued to click after a 5-0 run put them up 19-16, with some help in the form of a massive block from O’Brien. Thanks to more late Stevenson blocks, they hold on and win the fourth set, finishing the match 3-1 (25-22, 25-12, 20-25, 25-22).

“We will have two more chances to get after it in practice,” said first-year head coach Jason Gardner said postgame.

The Mustangs ended Feb. with a 7-1 record and hope to tack on more wins today in Harrisonburg, Virginia against Carolina University and Eastern Mennonite University at 3 and 5 p.m.

Stevenson Men’s Volleyball Top Performers

Tim Flanagan - 15
Tim Flanagan - 3
Aidan O'Brien - 7
Justin Novoa - 35
Tim Flanagan - 10

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About the Contributors
Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson, Sports Digital Reporter
Ben is a senior communication studies major with a history minor. He is from Hanover, Pennsylvania. After college he hopes to pursue a career in journalism or sports journalism. Ben enjoys covering sports and is the sports digital reporter for the Villager.
Ava Treakle
Ava Treakle, Sports Editor
Ava is a sophomore business administration major on a sports management track with a minor in photography. She is from Fredericksburg, Virginia and is a member of the Stevenson women's lacrosse and track teams. In the future Ava wants to become a sports journalist and photographer. She currently works as the Villager's sports editor.
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