Stevenson University’s men’s volleyball team is going after the conference championship again and this year they will not take no for an answer. After coming fairly close in last few years, their goal is to “get over that hump,” said head coach Steve Grossnickle.
As of Feb. 14, the team is 5-0 in the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) and 8-2 overall. With 20 games remaining, men’s volleyball is working diligently on the court to ensure a spot in the playoffs.
“We are still figuring out the importance of quality practices and how they translate to games, but we are still young. I think it will improve as we progress through the season,” said Grossnickle.
The Mustangs are playing to their strengths in game play. A strong, consistent offense and ability to pass the ball well is a skill the men have developed and perfected. As for challenges, their biggest one this year is “to learn to do the little things right” and “play as a team,” mentioned Grossnickle. “We are slowly figuring it out, but [our challenges] will be a constant focus.”
On Feb. 10, the Mustangs learned of their status as the 10th-ranked Division III team in the nation. Later that day, the team defeated the Marymount University Saints in straight sets with a season-best .432 attack percentage, according to GoMustangSports. Freshmen Landon Shorts and Jason Gardner combined for 22 kills in the conference victory.
The team prepared for a busy weekend away, starting with a match against rival Juniata College on Feb. 12. Tension ran high as Stevenson won in straight sets. Shorts and junior Nate Ellis combined for 23 kills in the win, as the Mustangs beat their previous recored hitting percentage, including a .542 hitting percentage in the final set.
The next day, the Mustangs travelled to Greenville, Pa. where they defeated Thiel College. Junior Michael Fehrs led the Mustangs with 15 kills in the team’s seventh consecutive straight set win on the road.
The Mustangs hope to continue winning on the road as they travel to Lancaster to take on the Lancaster Bible Chargers and Penn State-Altoona Nittany Lions in back-to-back matches. For more information about the Stevenson University men’s volleyball team, visit their page on GoMustangSports.