OWINGS MILLS, MD – The York College volleyball squad dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 setback to Stevenson University in the Capital Athletic Conference Semifinals on Thursday night in Owings Mills, MD. The Mustangs, who are the second seed in the tournament, advance to face top-seeded Salisbury in the conference championship game on Saturday. The Spartans finish the season with a mark of 16-17 while the Mustangs improve to 31-2.
The game scores were 25-20, 27-25, 19-25, 20-25, and 18-16.
In the opening set, Stevenson jumped out to an early lead only to have the Spartans tie the game at seven. Stevenson pushed the lead back up to four before the Spartans tied the game at 20. The Mustangs closed out the set with five straight points as they took game one.
In game two, the hosts took the early 10-6 lead. The Green and White came back and tied the game at 13, 14, and again at 15. York scored eight of the next 13 points to take a 23-19 lead. The Spartan lead stood at 24-21 but the Mustangs scored the next four points to take a 25-24 advantage. Freshman Katie Huston tied the game at 25 on a kill but Stevenson tallied the next two points on kills by Megan Miller and Christine Isenberg as the Mustangs took the 2-0 lead.
The Mustangs came out and attempted to put the Spartans away early as they sprinted out to a 5-1 lead in game three. The Spartans battled back and eventually tied the set at 14. The set would be tied two more times before the Spartans went on a 9-3 spurt to remain alive with the 25-19 win.
The Green and White again got off to a slow start in game four as the Mustangs took a 5-1 lead. The Spartans tied the set at eight an eventually took a 10-9 lead before Stevenson tied the set at 10. That would start a run of six ties, the last one coming at 17-17. The Spartans then went on an 8-3 run to close out the set and tie the match at two games each.
Game five provided all the drama that a deciding game could provide. The Spartans led 5-3 on an Ashley Rineman ace. The Spartans pushed their lead to 11-8 but the Mustangs went on a 6-3 run to tie the set at 14. The Spartans got a Huston kill to take the 15-14 lead. The Mustangs tied the game on a Miller kill before Huston gave York a 16-15 lead. A Spartan service error allowed Stevenson to tie the game up at 16. A Spartan attack error and an Isenberg kill gave the Mustangs the 18-16 win, ending a tremendous comeback from the Spartans.
The Spartans were paced by junior Melissa Patterson as the middle hitter recorded 13 kills with just two errors in 35 attempts as she hit .314 for the match. Senior Julie Coombs contributed 13 kills and 13 digs for York while sophomore Jessica Moyer added 11 kills, five digs, one block solo and two block assists. Senior setter Cortni Rentzel handed out 44 assists while she also had 17 digs and a block assist. Rineman paced the Spartans' defensive effort with 32 kills while she also had four service aces. Senior defensive specialist Jana Arentz added 13 digs of her own to the Spartan defensive effort. Senior Heather Bucher closed out her stellar Spartan career with 21 digs, seven kills, four assists, two service aces, and three block assists.
Isenberg and Avery Gabbard each tallied 19 kills to lead Stevenson. Isenberg matched Rineman with 32 digs. Jessica Gieselman had 54 assists and 19 digs for the digs while Samantha Perillo had three of the Mustangs' six service aces.
The loss closes out the outstanding careers of seniors Bucher, Rentzel, Coombs, and Arentz. The foursome combined to win 80 games over their four year careers.