The Mustangs traveled to Park View on Monday for a re-match of their meeting on Sept. 21 which had the same result. Park View won the grudge match three games to none. Capitalizing on serve-receive errors throughout the night, the Patriots won the first game handily, 25-14, before squeaking by in the second and third games which each produced 25-22 results.
Mason received strong individual performances from senior Taylor Bottock, sophomore Krystal Le, junior Katie Breen and freshman Maddie Johnson. Bottock led the offense with three aces and six digs, while Le had six attacks and five kills. Breen added five kills, and Johnson racked up 15 assists on the evening.
Tuesday was another tough match for the Mustangs as they dropped their second away match in as many days. Clarke County benefited from excellent serving, and played a sound game without many errors. The Mustangs struggled to find a rhythm and fell in straight games, 25-15, 25-16 and 25-9.
“We have a tendency to play from behind and then we ‘catch up’ too late,” said Mason Head Coach Elizabeth Rizzi. “The team, while playing home games well, struggles on the away games and is unable to regain control of the game. Volleyball is a game of momentum and we start off strong and lose the momentum towards the end.”
Since bringing their record above .500 for the first time since September 28 when they beat Manassas Park in straight sets, the team has lost its last three matches. However, they look to rebound in the coming weeks when they play four of their final six matches at home.
The Mustangs played Strasburg on Thursday night for their second meeting with the Rams, but results were too late for press time.
The Mustangs’ next home match will be on Monday, Oct. 19 against Pope John Paul the Great high school, whom they defeated 3-0 in their first confrontation.
“We talk a lot in practice and before games about being in the right position, communicating, moving our feet and keeping the ball in play,” added Rizzi. “If we can make that automatic, we can make a run. If we are stuck in the ‘little things,’ it will be difficult for us to be successful in the district.”