by Matthew Hochberg
George Mason High School girls’ volleyball team lost two matches between their home-opener on Aug. 25 and their 16th game Oct. 20, appearing as a dominate force poised to make a deep postseason run.
Yet, in the last three weeks alone, Mason lost three out of their last five games, faltering down the stretch before elimination from regionals on Tuesday Nov. 8, ending what head coach Hillary Trebels called “one of the most successful seasons” in the history of her team’s volleyball program.
Robert E. Lee High School entered Mason’s home floor to face a team who, despite those three recent losses, was still coming off a conference championship win against a talented Clarke County team last week.
The Fighting Leemen came out hot against the Mustangs and took set one in the seesaw affair, before Mason took set two, fell in set three, fought back in the fourth and lost their final set.
“We didn’t do a bunch of things that we have been consistently good at doing. But I was impressed with the maturity to preservered, something we wouldn’t have been able to do at the beginning of the year or last season,” Trebels said.
This season – this loss – especially hurts for the three seniors on the team. It was just a few weeks ago that star senior hitter Kate Karstens told the Falls Church News-Press her goal was to get a State banner in their home gym.
Now, after just one game in regionals, the high school volleyball careers of Karstens, Shaun Rodock and Andrea Dilao are over.
“Everyone was really bummed. There were a lot of tears. We’re losing three good ones, and we will definitely miss them,” Trebels said.
Trebels, though, is also already eager for next season with a core group of eleven of fourteen players set to return in addition to the infusion of talent from the junior varsity level.
“The younger kids were upset, but now they have a chip on their shoulder for next season. We have a lot of depth and a lot of kids who can play. We’ve got a good squad.”