by Matthew Hochberg
George Mason’s high school girls’ volleyball had a rare week – they only won once.
The Mustangs pulled off a thrilling victory in front of a home crowd against Madison County High School Thursday, Oct. 20 before a disappointing four-set loss to Clarke County High School on the road Tuesday night.
Mason looked like they would cruise to their third consecutive sweep last Thursday, going up 2-0 in sets against Madison. Yet, the Mountaineers came storming back to snag two sets of their own and force a fifth.
From there, the tense feelings from the fans were evident as George Mason found themselves down 9-8. Head coach Hillary Trebels’ team, though, found the last bit of momentum at the right time, not allowing another point to win the set 15-9 and to improve their already-stellar record to 13-2.
Trebels was satisfied with the win but thought the third and fourth sets could have gone better.
“When we were only two points behind, it felt like we were 10 points behind. We gave them what they needed in those two sets,” she said.
Senior hitter Kate Karstens, who recently gave her verbal commitment to play college volleyball at New York University, elaborated on the ups-and-downs of the team.
“A lot of the time when we are winning, we are playing for the person next to us and when we’re losing, we’re thinking, ‘oh, I’m the only person on this court, it’s my fault,’ or ‘the person next to me isn’t doing their job,’” she said. “When we really trust each other, that’s when we play to our strengths.”
Despite their exciting victory last week, much of what was eluded to above didn’t carry over into Tuesday’s match. Trebels, once again, cited the team’s energy as one of the reasons for the team’s loss to Clarke, a squad the Mustangs swept at home earlier this month.
Mason, though, is still in great position come postseason play. There is just one regular season game remaining – Thursday, Oct. 27 at home against a tough Rappahannock County group – but their experience, talent and hard work should serve them well in the upcoming conference tournament and beyond.
“We work our butts off in practice. I work my butt off outside of practice, just like I know a lot of these girls do to make sure that every single win in that record of ours is deserved – and earned,” Karstens said.