After stumbling out of the gates, the George Mason Mustang girls volleyball team defeated Bull-Run district rival Madison County in five games on Tuesday night, 16-25, 25-22, 25-10, 22-25, 15-11.
The Mustangs were led once again by seniors Sabrina Whitney and Katie Mitchell, who, Coach Lauren Luck says, are arguably the best one-two punch in the league.
“I think that we have some of the best hitters in the league, as well as the most depth. I am confident about putting anyone into the game at any time,” Luck said after the game.
The first game saw the Mustangs fall into an early hole, never to recover. Down 5-0 after two quick aces by Madison County, Mason went on to lose 25-16 to the Lady Mountaineers. The Mustangs rebounded in the second game, battling up until the end and eventually prevailing by a score of 25-22.
The true potential of the Mustangs came out in the third set, as Mason trounced the visiting team 25-10. The Mustangs got up 7-0 early and never looked back. Brittany Head lead the way for the charging Mustangs with two aces in the set. Sophomore Tegan Argo and junior Kate Root also chipped in aces along the way.
A valiant comeback fell just short in the fourth set for Mason, Madison prevailed 25-22, evening the game score at two apiece. Down 24-17, all the Lady Mountaineers needed was one more point to shut the door on the Mustangs. However, led once again by the power serve of Head, the Mustangs scored five unanswered points before their eventual defeat in the game.
Playing to 15 points instead of 25 in the fifth and final tiebreaking set, the Mustangs triumphed over their adversaries 15-11. Led by Argo’s serving, Mason notched seven straight points to put them ahead for good against Madison County.
Kate Root again came through, serving 20 in with two aces. Meanwhile, Head, known for her incredibly hard serve, served 16 in with 3 aces.
Other notable performances were turned in by juniors Annie Zweighaft and Bailey Walton, and sophomore Kim Kenny.
“I think that Annie played courageously today,” Luck said, referring to the twisted ankle Zweighaft suffered midway through the match. “She came through in the clutch with excellent setting and control from behind the service line.”
Walton led the team with five blocks on the night, chipping in nine hits as well. Whitney led the team in serving with 93% accuracy, and added 8 kills and 34 passes from the back row.
With the district playoffs fast approaching, Luck still feels like the Mustangs have a little work to do before they reach prime condition for the single-elimination tournament.
“We need to work on communication. Also, I think we just need to keep getting stronger the rest of the way.”
Before the victory over the Lady Mountaineers, the Mustangs beat Manassas Park High School in four games, Washington and Lee in three games, but lost to Rappahannock High in three games.
With the win against Madison County, the Mustangs record stands at 9-2 on the year. Their next game will be on Thursday, Oct. 5, at Clarke County High School.