No. 12 George Mason Sets School Record In Upset of No. 6 Ball State
Muncie, Ind. - Behind a rally-scoring era school record 25 team blocks, the 12th-ranked George Mason men's volleyball team avenged an earlier loss to No. 6 Ball State and spoiled the Cardinals' Senior Night with a 3-1 (33-31, 30-26, 26-30, 30-26) victory in front of 1,239 fans on Saturday evening at Worthen Arena in Muncie, Ind. With the win, the Patriots snapped the Cardinals' 11-match home winning streak.
Mason improved its record to 17-7 this season with an impressive defense that formed a wall at the net, turning away shot after shot from Ball State, who dropped to 18-8 with the loss. Senior middle blocker R.J. Goubeaux tied his career high with 11 to lead the way. Fellow middle blocker Brandon McLaughlin followed Goubeaux's lead, finishing with nine blocks, including one solo, in the match.
While the Patriot defense held the Cardinals to a meager .165 hitting percentage, Mason's attack fared far better than it did in its last match against No. 10 Ohio State, hitting .239 as a team. Senior outside hitter Hudson Bates led the way with a career-high 26 kills on .548 hitting, along with seven digs and seven blocks, including two solo. Junior opposite hitter Kyle Gramit earned his fifth double-double of the season with 20 kills and 13 digs. Gramit also chipped in seven blocks in the match. Senior outside hitter Mark Burik recorded 11 kills and four blocks.
The two teams met once already this season, with the Cardinals downing the Patriots 3-2 on Feb. 8 at the Fieldhouse. Ball State entered tonight's contest with wins in 17 of its past 19 matches but were unable to come away with the win in front of the home crowd despite having three players finish with double-digit kill totals, including Patrick Durbin (23), Todd Chamberlain (11) and Marcus Imwalle (10). Ethan Pheister had 10 digs in the match.
George Mason, currently in second place in the EIVA Tait Division standings with a 7-3 record in conference matches, returns home next weekend to face a pair of EIVA Tait Division foes. The Patriots play Princeton on Friday and NJIT on Saturday at the Fieldhouse. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m.
Article courtesy of George Mason athletics.