Courtesy George Mason Athletics
WILSON, N.C. – The George Mason men's volleyball team capped off opening weekend of play with a 3-1 victory over Barton College on Saturday night.
"I am very proud of my boys tonight," said head coach Jay Hosack. "Barton is a good team, and beating anyone in their house is no small accomplishment. Our execution was on point, and we have more room to improve."
Mason and Barton exchanged points early in the first set. An ace by sophomore Sam Greensladecapped off a three-point scoring run by the Patriots to extend their lead 12-8. Another 5-1 scoring run by Mason put them in front and they never looked back. Greenslade's second service ace of the night gave Mason the set, 25-18. The Patriots hit .435 in the set compared to Barton's .227 hitting percentage.
Again, the two teams went back and forth to open the second set. Back-to-back kills by Greenslade helped extend the Patriots' lead 16-13. The Bulldogs did not give up easily, battling back to tie up the set 16 all. That is when junior Hayden Wagner stepped up for the Patriots. The opposite hitter played a role in four of Mason's final six points to win the set 25-22.
The Patriots got off to a slow start in the third set, trailing the Bulldogs 9-4. Barton continued to make small runs to maintain its lead for the remainder of the third. Mason threatened to close in on Barton's lead; but ultimately, it was too late. The Bulldogs went on to win the set, 25-19.
After dropping the third set, Mason came out with vengeance in the fourth and final set. The Patriots scored six straight points behind kills and service aces from Wagner and Greenslade. The domination continued as Mason pushed its lead to nine, 11-2. Later in the set, the Patriots went up 19-9 with sights on a victory. The Green & Gold fought off a Bulldog comeback to claim the set, 25-16.
- The Patriots tabbed 12 service aces compared to the Bulldogs' five.
- Mason outhit Barton .326 to .257.
- The Patriots had its highest hitting percentage (.435) in the first set with 13 kills.
Mason heads home to Fairfax, Va., to host the Uvaldo Acosta Invitational on Jan. 11-12. The Patriots will welcome No. 4 UC Irvine, Princeton and Erskine for the two-day tournament.