The GW volleyball team played an exhausting five-game road match Tuesday night, beating local rival and host George Mason University 12-15, 15-10, 10-15, 15-6 and 15-7 in Fairfax, Va.
The Colonials (17-4, 8-1 Atlantic 10) are in second place in the conference and have seven matches left. Before the Colonials finish the season with four straight home matches, GW must hit the road for three straight, beginning with Rhode Island Friday. Last month the teams met and the Colonials defeated Rhode Island 3-1, led by senior Tracee Brown’s 30 kills. Senior tri-captain Jill Levey said the team plays better on the road.
We always seem to be able to take care of business on the road, Levey said. We want to ruin the other team’s (home) advantage.
Tuesday’s contest against the Patriots (12-8) was a non-conference match, so the Colonials remain in second-place behind undefeated Temple despite the victory. GW finishes its three-match road trip at Temple next Tuesday in a showdown between the top A-10 teams.
Tuesday night the Colonials showed they can play strong volleyball throughout a long match. Toward the end of games four and five, Levey said, George Mason’s passing began to fall apart.
GW stayed competitive despite losing the first and third games, and outscored the Patriots 30-15 in games four and five. The team also committed just four errors in the last two games. They got better deeper into the night.
We just stayed more focused, Levey said. It’s a credit to our serving.
Levey also said the Patriots had confidence that the Colonials used as motivation.
The Colonials had their best attack percentage (.313 with 95 kills in 201 total attempts) in a five-game match since their first-round match against University of Wisconsin in the 1994 NCAA Tournament.
Brown led the team with 29 kills in 50 swings with just five errors. Levey had a double-double in the match with 15 digs and 74 assists.
I just found my flow, Levey said.
Freshman Lindsay Ochs had her best collegiate performance with seven kills and the team’s highest attack percentage (.636).
She just did what we needed her to do, Levey said. Every opportunity to get a kill, she took advantage of. And we’re gonna need that this weekend.
In game one the Patriots stormed out to a 5-0 lead. The Colonials battled back and tied the game, but let it slip away. GW posted eight errors in the game, twice as many as George Mason, which also had 23 kills in the game
Head Coach Jojit Coronel switched back to what the players were used to, and the team’s hitting improved. GW had a match-high 33 kills in the second game.