Sports

Mustangs Volleyball Starts Season at 6-1

MASON SOPHOMORE RILEY RUYAK leaps up to make a play during the Mustangs’ match against William Monroe High School. (Photo: Carol Sly)
MASON SOPHOMORE RILEY RUYAK leaps up to make a play during the Mustangs’ match against William Monroe High School. (Photo: Carol Sly)

by Matthew Hochberg

George Mason High School girls’ volleyball team continued their hot start, rattling off four consecutive wins within the past week and a half, improving their record to 6-1 on the season.
Head coach Hillary Trebels is pleased, and is not very surprised with the impressive start from her team.

“We expected to be good. We had a lot of players returning and coming from the junior varsity level,” she said. “We anticipated to have a good run.”

On Sept. 13, Mason stormed into Warren County High School’s gym and swept three sets, before winning another road game at John Paul the Great on Sept. 15. Returning home on Monday, the Mustangs comfortably defeated Riverside 3-1 and finally, on Tuesday, bested Central High School 3-1 in another away matchup.

“Riverside is a really good team,” Trebels said, referring to the only opponent to have beaten her squad this season. “But everything was clicking. It was exciting.”

Despite the 3-0 victory against Warren County, it wasn’t as smooth of a game as one would think right out of the gate. A few players were out of position and there were some early struggles, but junior defensive specialist Jaden White stepped up. “She played a huge role,” Trebels said.

Facing John Paul, the match began well before an injury led the team to a lack of focus. They regrouped, though, behind the play of junior hitter Merriweather Gordon and sophomore hitters McKenzie Brady and Riley Ruyak.

Trebels said she’s never seen her junior hit that well, adding the sophomores have emerged as the team’s go-to hitters when players find themselves out of position during the match.
“They’ve expanded their repertoire,” she said. “Everyone stepped up.”

During Tuesday’s 3-1 victory, Gordon once again emerged as Mason’s most reliable hitter. Sophomore setter Annie Castillo finished out games two and three with strong serving.

Moving forward, the Mustangs will be competing in their first tournament of the season on Sept. 24 at J.E.B Stuart High School, with two more away games next week.