By Drew Costley
George Mason High School’s varsity volleyball team has been on a three-match win streak in the past week since losing 0-3 (20-25, 20-25, 16-25) to Bull Run District newcomer Warren County High School last Tuesday. As of Thursday morning, the Mustangs are 5-1 on the regular season and 4-1 in district play.
Head Coach Erik Healey attributed the loss to the Wildcats to in part to 83 errors committed by the Mustangs during the match.
“We were not sound fundamentally,” Healey said. “Our passing was not on target. We had a lot of overpasses and it just caused for easy points for Warren County.”
After losing to the Wildcats, the Mustangs beat Strasburg High School 3-1 (26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 25-13) last Thursday at home. Healey said Strasburg was a “tough” opponent.
“With that team you’ve got to fight,” he said. “They play hard but our girls, especially up front at the net, played really, really well.”
Healey said that the Mustangs’ blocking and hitting against the Rams was “great” and that the home court advantage and fan participation helped against the district rival.
The Mustangs enjoyed a similar home court advantage on Monday when they beat Falls Church High School 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-11).
“I think that we passed the ball really well, which allowed us to attack,” Healey said. “Our hitters played really smart – played from the ball – and our serving was really accurate in putting in places the other team wasn’t.”
The only time the Jaguars led was early in the third set after they took a 2-0 lead. The Jaguars either led or were tied with George Mason until the 11th volley of the match, which the Mustangs won to go up 6-5. Healey said he just told the Mustangs “to relax and play their game.”
Besides trailing early in the third set, the Mustangs dominated the Jaguars, going on a 10-0 run in the beginning of the second set and a 7-0 run in the middle of the third set. “I think these girls just feed off each other,” Healey said. “One girl makes a spectacular play … and the next person wants to do the same thing.”
Senior outside hitter Sally Karstens had nine kills and sophomore Vicky Addo-Ashong had eight kills against the Jaguars. Senior libero Dana Sembera had 14 digs in the match.
The Mustangs moved on to beat Central High School 3-0 (25-10, 26-24, 25-19) at Central on Tuesday. Healey said defense and determination played key roles in the Mustangs’ victory.
“The entire team had 59 digs and our passing was on target,” Healey said. “Our back row players incredibly well keeping rallies going and giving our hitters and setter an opportunity to win points.”
“The team showed real determination and grit to pull out of the deficit,” Healey said. “This team really believes they can win in any situation.”
The Mustangs play William Monroe High School tomorrow night at home.