By Caitlin Butler
George Mason High School’s volleyball team heads into the Northwestern District tournament headstrong with a 3-0 thumping of Warren County High School Tuesday night.
The Mustangs’ victory over Wildcats concluded their regular season with three consecutive, straight set wins.
Junior outside hitter Megan Boesen’s back-to-back aces sealed the match in favor of the Falls Church locals.
Mason started the first set focusing on running new plays and positions on the court.
“Yesterday at practice we practiced these plays we haven’t run before. So, coming into today some of our goals were to run those. That was a big focus mentally today and it was kind of a challenge,” Boesen said.
The experimentation was evident when Warren County came out strong against the Mustangs.
Junior libero Caroline Poley shook Mason out of its lull with her strong serving run and led the Mustangs to an 11-9 advantage.
Mason went on to capture the first set easily with a score of 25-15.
Minor communication errors still bugged the Mustangs in the second set after giving its new approach another shot.
The miscues allowed Warren County to gain multiple points, but Mason quickly regained its momentum once it went back to running and playing at its normal pace. Poley’s serving helped snap the Mustangs out of a funk for a second time when her three aces course-corrected the set. Boesen’s spike was the finishing blow to a 25-16 second set win.
“In the first and second set we were supposed to be running those [new plays]. Once we decided not to run them anymore, there was an increased focus,” Boesen added. “We definitely ran them successfully at practice, but it’s a lot harder during a game situation when its loud and you can’t hear what’s going on. I think that’s the reason we started slow.”
The Mustangs stuck to their usual play script from from start to finish in the third set. Junior outside hitter Catherine Carroll’s hard serve set up Boesen’s back-to-back aces, handing Mason a final 25-15 set win over the Wildcats.
The Mustangs 14-4 record has them entering the regional tournament next week as a second seed and as Northwestern District champions. Now, with an opening slate of do-or-die contests to get through to start the postseason (and the confidence of breaking a previous three-year drought in such situations), Mason is making sure it’s maintaining the appropriate intensity in its matches.
“Our main focus right now going into tournament is to just work on our intensity, bringing a faster ball and a smarter hit,” Boesen stated. “We might see teams we haven’t played before that are a new level of game. Just coming out with an intensity and a drive of being ready to work hard.”
Mason will play this Monday, Nov. 4, but opponent, venue and time of the match has not yet been determined or released.