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Volleyball News & Highlights

October 05, 2013

Eagles Sweep Messiah, No. 20 Stevenson


Kearby Benak denies a Messiah attempt on Saturday. Benak finished the day with 19 kills and 19 digs.

ST. DAVIDS, Pa.--No. 13 Eastern Volleyball swept the top two Commonwealth Conference teams in Saturday's MAC Crossover, teams that had both beaten Eastern last season. 

The Eagles dealt No. 20 Stevenson University its first loss of the season in the first game of Saturday's MAC Crossover, defeating the Mustangs in three sets 26-24, 25-17, 25-18. The Eagles then defeated Messiah College 25-16, 25-17, 25-17.

Eastern improved to 19-2 with the wins. 

Eastern freshman Stephanie Elechko (Lansdale, Pa./ North Penn) led the Eagles' attack from the middle, recording 21 kills over the two matches. She hit 14-for-19 in the second match for a .737 hitting percentage.

The Eagles hit .301 for the day and held Stevenson to .086 and Messiah to .177. 

Match One vs. Stevenson

Eastern's outside hitters Kearby Benak (Houston, Texas/ Langham Creek) and Lauren Sproles (Lititz, Pa./ Warwick) led the Eagles with 10 kills and nine kills, respectively. Benak hit .320 for the match and added 10 digs.

Eastern's middles Elechko and Katrina Pisch (Blue Bell, Pa./ Merion Mercy) tallied seven kills a piece.  

Elechko also had three block assists and two solo blocks. Eastern entered the game averaging 3.8 blocks per match and well exceeded that against Stevenson with eight total team blocks.

The Eagles led 23-18 in the first set, but Stevenson tied the game at 23-23 with a kill by Christine Isenberg. Isenberg led the Mustangs with 12 kills. Setter Rikki Schlager (Lititz, Pa./ Warwick) made a nice two-handed tap at the net to put Eastern up 24-23, but Stevenson tied it up on the next point. Schlager again gave Eastern the lead at 25-24 with another kill at the net and then it was Benak with the kill off of the hands of Stevenson's double block.

The Eagles controlled the second and third sets. In the second set, the Eagles trailed when the score was 5-4 Stevenson, but then led the rest of the set. In the third set, the Eagles held the lead from the first point.

Match Two vs. Messiah

Elechko provided a dominant presence in the middle with her 14 kills. Pisch suplemented with eight kills on 18 attacks (1 error) for a .389 percentage. Benak added nine kills and Sproles seven.

Four Eastern players finished with double-digit digs. Libero Rylie Haas (Bethlehem, Pa./ Freedom) was solid in the back with her 16 digs. Amy Guarino (Pottstown, Pa./ Pope John Paul II) added 12, and Sproles and Schlager each added 11.

The Eagles had a more pedestrian block total this match, finishing with two team blocks. However, the Eagles did serve 10 aces, including four from Guarino.


Eastern takes on Freedom Conference opponent Misericordia College at home on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and then hosts Gallaudet University for homecoming on Saturday. 


Box Score vs. Stevenson

Box Score vs. Messiah  


Updated: Monday, 07 October 2013


Mark Birtwistle

Mark Birtwistle

Coach Birtwistle has won more than 600 games and 16 Conference Championships as Eastern's Volleyball Coach

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