The George Mason High School Volleyball Team had been celebrating six straight wins this season before this past week’s back-to-back losses against Madison County High School and Strasburg High School.
The two rivals were the only teams after the season-starting Raider Rumble to defeat the Mustang team this season in 1-3 games last month. However, this time around, the Mason squad couldn’t get a win and was defeated 0-3 by Madison last Tuesday and Strasburg last Thursday.
With the losses, the team’s overall record is 12-6, and 7-4 in the Bull Run District.
“We need to work on finishing close games,” Coach Erik Healey said. “In five of the six games dating back to Strasburg and Madison, our team had the lead or the score was tied late in the game. We just didn’t have the mental toughness to push to the end – especially at Strasburg, which is a difficult place to play. The fans show no mercy on our team and it’s hard to block that from your mind as a player.”
Despite the losses, the week was not without good news. Senior Captain and Middle Hitter Natalie Farrell returned to the team in its game against Madison, putting to rest concerns that she might be out for the season due to a torn meniscus. According to Healey, the injury was a partial tear, and after a two-week break from play she was back in action.
The team is getting back into the rhythm of its lineup with Farrell’s return for games this coming week at Rappahannock County (Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.) and at Manassas Park (Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.) high schools, as well as a Senior Night matchup at home against Clarke County High School at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27.
The Clarke County game will pit the Mustangs, now third in the Bull Run District, against the fourth-place school. According to Healey, a win against Clarke could be big for the team, as it would mean a home-court advantage for the first round of the district tournament.
“Winning the first round district game would ensure us a good seed in the regional tournament,” Healey said. “But it is important not to get ahead of ourselves. We need to focus on one game at a time. As soon as you overlook an opponent, that’s when they make you pay for it.”