Story Courtesy of George Mason
FAIRFAX, Va. – George Mason concluded its back-to-back with #15 Grand Canyon University on Sunday afternoon. Despite Jack Reese's second consecutive double-digit point performance, the Patriots fell to the Lopes 3-0.
"It was a tough day and a tough weekend for us," head coach Jay Hosack said. "Luckily we won on Friday which is good. Last night was a heart breaker for us, and today was just not a very good day for us so we'll have to figure it out, and that's what good teams do."
Reese made a strong case for EIVA Defensive Player of the Week by adding another four blocks to increase his season total to 19 - good for an average of 1.73 blocks per set. The redshirt freshman also led the team with eight kills and a .357 hit percentage (8-3-14).
Sam Greenslade followed closely behind Reese in the kills department by compiling seven of his own, four of which came in the fourth set. It marked the highest total he's had in a match since 4/1/17 in the Patriots 3-2 win over Sacred Heart.
A Christian Malias kill was the first point of the match and began a hot start for the team where Mason led 8-5 early, forcing a GCU timeout. The Patriots shared the ball as Malias, Greenslade, Hayden Wagner and Reese all had one kill. However, the Lopes made the necessary adjustments and took five of the next seven points to tie the set 10-10. The Patriots countered with a 3-0 run capped off by a Greenslade kill, but the Lopes ensuing 6-2 run gave them a 16-15 lead and forced a Mason timeout. The Patriots had two brief leads after the pause in the action, but GCU eventually took over, claiming seven of the next ten points to win the set 25-22.
Set number two saw Reese lead the Patriots attack again by picking up four kills. It was also the first action of the afternoon for Kyle Barnes and Brad Creamer, each of whom recorded a kill for the Patriots in the set. The Lopes scoring the first two points of the set gave them an early lead they wouldn't give up. Mason narrowed the deficit to 9-7 at one point, but GCU took off from there by hitting .565 in the set and winning it 25-17.
The third frame mirrored the second, beginning with a 6-3 GCU run that gave the Lopes a lead they would possess the entire set. Highlighting the Patriots was Greenslade who tallied four kills and recorded a dig. Despite the Patriots having more kills in the third set than the Lopes (11 versus nine), they struggled to contain the Lopes attack as they recorded three runs of 3-0 or greater. With the 25-17 set win, GCU left Fairfax victorious with a 3-0 win.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Hayden Wagner's solo block was the third of his career, his first since 3/13/17 at USC.
- Justin Coleman recorded a kill in his third straight match. He's now hitting a perfect 5-for-5 on the season.
- Sunday marked the first time since 3/13/17 at USC the Patriots had a middle blocker lead the team in kills for a single match.