FAIRFAX, Va. - The George Mason men's volleyball team
cruised to a 3-0 victory over NJIT Saturday evening to close this three-game homestand
undefeated and open EIVA conference play with a perfect 3-0 mark. The Patriots
erased the Highlanders by set scores of 25-19, 25-19, 25-16 as Mason improved
to 5-5 overall on the season and 3-0 in EIVA action. NJIT dropped to 2-9, 0-2.
Mark Jones led Mason with a game-high 19 kills with just one
error on 26 attempts (.692) followed in double figures by Andrew Dentler with
10 kills. Patrick Maloney recorded a team-best seven digs, while Javier Perez
logged 36 assists for the Patriots. No players reached double figures for NJIT
as Chris Kaepernick led the team with seven kills and five digs as Matthew Lui
recorded 21 assists.
The teams kept the first set close trading scores
back-and-forth before Mason opened an 8-5 advantage on a Maloney kill. The
Highlanders closed the set to 8-7 as neither team held more than a two-point
lead until Mason grabbed a 20-17 advantage following a NJIT attack error. Mason
closed the opening set with a 6-1 run to take set one, 25-19.
Mason dominated the second set, running out with a 17-8 lead
before the Highlanders rallied with a 10-6 run to draw the set score to 23-18.
Behind a Jones kill and NJIT service error, the Patriots were able to hold off the
Highlanders and take the second set, 25-19, to lead the overall match, 2-0.
NJIT kept the third set close in the early going, trailing
by one at 7-6 before Mason scored four straight for an 11-6 lead. The
Highlanders came within one at 12-11, but Jones sparked a 11-3 run to bring the
score to 23-14 in favor of the Patriots. Jones finalized the match for the
Patriots with a kill to take the set and match at 25-16.
Mason opens a two-game road swing at Penn State on February
22 at 7 p.m.