|Men's Volleyball Handles Grand Canyon in Sweep|
FAIRFAX, Va. - A strong all-around showing by the George Mason men's volleyball team helped propel the Patriots to a 3-0 sweep of Grand Canyon on Wednesday evening at the RAC Gym.
Mason hit a crisp .302 for the match and posted 16 blocks en route to the 25-15, 25-19, 25-19 sweep. They also limited Grand Canyon to just .058 hitting for the match. With the win, the Patriots improved to 1-2, while the 'Lopes fell to 0-2.
A 4-4 draw early in the first set quickly disappeared as the Patriots used a 6-1 run to jump out to a 10-5 advantage and force a Grand Canyon timeout. However, the stop in play didn't slow the Mason momentum, as the Patriots went on a 7-4 run to go up 17-9 and cruise to the 25-15 win. Mason hit a hot .448 in the set, went 13-for-15 on sideouts (86%) and posted six total team blocks.
Mason took control of the second set after both teams battled to a 16-16 draw. Five straight Patriot points opened the scoreboard and forced Grand Canyon to call both of its timeouts. Grand Canyon scored the first point coming out of the second stoppage, but Mason held on for the 25-19 triumph. The hot hitting continued in the second set, as the Patriots were .321 and also added five more blocks.
The Patriots jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the third set, but Grand Canyon rallied to tie the set at 6-6. However, Mason never relinquished the lead and used a 9-4 run to go up 16-10 and force a Grand Canyon timeout. The 'Lopes never came any closer as Mason ran away with the 25-19 set victory and first sweep of the season.
Several Patriots came close to tying single-season career highs, including senior Piotr Dabrowski (10), Javier Perez (6) and Michael Kvidahl (5) in blocks. Sibley also added five blocks and seven kills, while Andrew Dentler had a game-high 11 kills. Perez finished with a team-best 29 assists.
The 'Lopes received a team-high eight kills from Ben Ponnet, while Keith Smith dished out a game-high 33 assists.
The Patriots will enjoy some time off before hosting Loyola-Chicago in a non-conference match on January 19.