The George Mason High School varsity volleyball team may have left its two latest opponents scoreless, but beyond identical scores are two different games – one that saw the team struggle, carrying the weight of back-to-back defeats, and another in which the team was more easily able to secure a victory.
Last Thursday, the team traveled to play against Rappahannock County High School.
“We did not play our best volleyball against Rapp, despite winning 3-0,” Mason coach Erik Healey said, attributing the difficultly of the win to many hitting errors and slowness. Still, the team was able to use holes in the opponent’s defense to bring in points for the Mustangs.
“It was pure drive that led us to victory against Rapp,” Healey said.
When the Mustangs played at Manassas Park High School last Tuesday, they were looking sharper.
“We played a clean game both offensively and defensively,” Healey said. He added that serving was essential to the win against Manassas Park.
Juniors Maddie Johnson and Jade Taylor had five aces apiece on the night, and served for 35 total points. Senior Natalie Farrell and Sophomore Sally Karstens, both middle hitters, together brought in 13 kills and six blocks.
The win brings the Mason team to 14-6 in the season and 9-4 in the Bull Run District.
The squad will play Clarke County High School at home tonight for its final game of the regular season. A win against Clarke could mean third place in the district for the Mustangs.
“It was a hard fought game the last time we played,” Healey said, explaining that when the team last faced Clarke, it was the first game without Farrell, a senior captain who was out for a few games earlier in the season due to injury. “Now our team is back to full strength. Since Natalie did not play last game, we can throw some things at Clarke they haven’t seen yet. We have the element of surprise working on our side.”
The Clarke game will also be senior night for the squad, and they will be celebrating the efforts of six players soon to graduate from George Mason High School: Rachel Bell, Farrell, Charlotte Lathrop, Krystal Le, Nicole Philbin and May Williamson.