Volleyball broke its fifth-place tie with Rhode Island in the Atlantic 10 standings Friday night with a win over George Mason.
The Colonials (10-18, 6-6 A-10) defeated the Patriots (6-19, 2-10 A-10) 3–1, marking three back-to-back wins for the team – their longest winning streak of the season.
The victory comes at a crucial point in the season with two conference games remaining for the team next weekend against second place Dayton and third place Saint Louis. GW is now alone in fifth place, with the top six teams moving on to the A-10 playoffs.
“I think we’re pocketing this confidence that we gained in the last two weekends,” sophomore outside hitter Skylar Iott said. “It’s very important that we’ve won these last three games, but it’s also important what we do in the next weekend.”
Freshman libero Sydney Welch, named the A-10 Player of the Week earlier this week, was GW’s top defensive contributor with 21 digs.
“Something we’ve been talking about with her is the ability to run vertically on the floor rather than jumping vertically in the air,” head coach Sarah Bernson said. “She made that adjustment mid-game.”
GW started off strong in the first and second sets, immediately taking the lead and never falling behind in both. A strong presence at the net, with a combined six blocks, was a defining factor in the wins.
George Mason jumped ahead in the third set, leading by as much as eight. Despite a late-game comeback by GW, the Patriots held on to win the set by two.
“In the third set, we kind of got in our heads and were overthinking,” senior opposite Kristel Moor said. “Whenever we start overthinking, the energy isn’t there anymore.”
A strong presence at the net in the first set led GW to a six-point win in the first set. The team totaled four blocks, holding George Mason to just a .128 attack percentage.
The fourth set saw fluctuating leads with both teams winning by wide margins at various points, with Moor scoring a key kill out of a late-game timeout to shift the momentum in GW’s direction.
GW’s attack had a deep night, with five players finishing with eight or more kills, including Iott who finished with nine.
“We aren’t the kind of team that relies on one person’s arm,” Iott said. “Having everyone involved in the attack makes the blockers think more about us, and that’s really important.”
Going forward the team’s focus continues to be consistent improvement, Bernson said.
“Anything’s possible and we wanna continue to get better,” she said. “We don’t know what our ceiling is yet, because we’re still getting better, every day, every week.”
The Colonials will host Dayton at home Friday at 4 pm.