Story Courtesy of George Mason
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – The George Mason men's volleyball team dropped a 3-0 match to #11 Lewis University on Saturday night in suburban Chicago.
RS-Senior Christian Malias continued his strong start to the regular season with another double-digit kill match, his third of 2018. Malias hit .326 and averaged 3.29 kills per set over the weekend.
Sophomore Sam Greenslade made his presence felt on the attack, compiling eight kills on 14 attempts (.286 hit percentage). The Millersville, Pa. native finished the road trip with a .324 hit percentage.
The Patriots were victimized by an outstanding attack performance by the Flyers which saw them hit .469 on the night and never finish below .300 in any of the three sets. Mitch Perinar led the Flyers with his .571 hit percentage.
"We let one slip away from us," head coach Jay Hosack said. "We need to learn how to close better when you're up against a good team. It all comes down to discipline and execution. We will go back to the drawing board and get better."
The opening set began with the two teams trading points all the way to 11-11. The Patriots attack in that stretch was led primarily by Langston Payne and Greenslade - each notching two kills. Malias also contributed two kills and a service ace within the Patriots first 11 points. George Mason then went on a 4-1 run that gave them a three point cushion, a lead they held on to for most of the set. Following a Lewis timeout, the Patriots led by as much as 19-14 before Lewis chipped away at the lead by going on a 5-2 run to bring the score to 21-19. Kills from Payne and Greenslade put the Patriots in position to take the set up 24-22, but Lewis wouldn't go away and pushed the set past 25 and eventually took it 28-26.
The Flyers jumped out to an early 6-2 lead thanks to a kill and a service ace from Ryan Coenen. After Mason used an early timeout, kills from Malias and Reese made the score 11-6, accompanied by two kills and an ace from Hayden Wagner kept the team within striking distance at 14-10. Though the deficit temporarily got wider with a 5-2 Flyers run, the Patriots had an answer with a 6-2 run to bring it back to a four-point deficit at 21-17. However, Lewis made the necessary adjustments during a timeout and pulled away, collecting five of the next six points to win the set 25-18, and take a commanding 2-0 lead into the intermission.
A Greenslade service ace kick started the third set, but after that Lewis picked up where they left off with an 8-2 run, giving them an early 8-3 lead that was enough to sit on for the rest of the set. Mason's attack was led by Malias' five kills, pushing him over the 10-kill mark for the second consecutive match, but Lewis' .846 hit percentage put them in the driver's seat. The Flyers benefited from 6-1, 3-1 and 4-1 runs throughout the set that propelled them to a 25-14 victory.
Mason returns home to battle Conference Carolinas powerhouse Mount Olive on Friday, Jan. 19 at the RAC. The Trojans finished last season with a 14-4 conference record and fell to Barton College in the CVAC Championship. They will play a match on Jan. 16 at Queens (N.C.) prior to their visit to Fairfax.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
• Christian Malias' three service aces marked his highest total in a match since 1/9/16 at BYU.
• Sam Greenslade's solo block was his first since 3/31/17 vs. Sacred Heart.
• Greenslade's 10 points Saturday night puts him at exactly 200 for his career.