By Drew Costley
George Mason High School’s varsity volleyball team lost 1-3 last Thursday to district rival William Monroe High School (19-25, 25-22, 22-25, 17-25). The Mustangs are now 5-2 on the season and 4-2 in the Bull Run District.
Head Coach Erik Healey said the Mustangs’ 113 errors, as with the 83 errors they made in their loss to Warren County High School, were the deciding factor in the loss.
“It’s hard to win games when you are beating yourself,” Healey said. “All the sets were close in points so if we could have eliminated our errors, I think the outcome of the game would have been much different.”
After losing the first set, the Mustangs were down the 16-6 in the second set when they started a 10-point comeback that would result in their tying the match 1-1. Junior outside hitter and team captain Casey Sheehy led the team in aces with eight and played a vital role in a second-set comeback.
Healey said the Mustangs were serving the ball well, defending their side of the court and finding holes in the Dragons’ defense.
“The team started to play our kind of game,” Healey said. “I really thought after the second set the momentum was in our favor.”
According to Healey, the Mustangs lacked the poise to overcome errors they made in the remaining sets.
“Despite our teams determination and “no quit” attitude, we dug a hole we couldn’t fight out of,” he said.
Another captain and outside hitter, senior Sally Karstens, broke a team record with 17 kills against the Dragons. Karstens and recent graduate Maddie Johnson held the previous team record for kills in a single game with 15. Senior setter Caiti Hof led the team in assists with 21 and senior libero Dana Sembera led the team in digs with 27.
Karstens had 17 digs and Hof had 15 digs against the Dragons. Sophomore middle hitter Vicky Addo-Ashong and freshman middle hitter Maddie Cherry both made contributions with eight and five kills in the match.
The Mustangs haven’t and won’t play a game this calendar week, but have three district match-ups next week including one Tuesday night against reigning Bull Run District champions Madison County High School. The Mustangs won both of their regular season match-ups against Madison County last season.
“And although it’s a different season,” Healey said. “We are capable of playing point for point with any team in our district. We are going to make sure our up front players are ready for Madison’s attacks.”
The Mustangs’ other games next week are against Clarke County High School on Monday at home and Rappahannock County High School at home next Thursday. In a week without matches, the Mustangs have time to rest and prepare to finish out their first round and start the second round of regular season district matches.
“Our focus this week is to not beat ourselves,” Healey said. “We have to make our opponents beat us, not beat ourselves.”