Mason Sports Roundup

Posted: February 12, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

In addition to men’s basketball results, reported yesterday, the following Mason athletic teams were in action over the weekend.

Men’s Tennis

Mason’s tennis team dropped to 1-1 on the season after falling 7-0 to nationally ranked no. 45 William and Mary on Saturday. The Tribe (8-3) improved to 2-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association while the Patriots are 0-1 in the conference.

In singles action, William and Mary didn’t lose a set to the Patriots. Top singles player Brian Fitzgerald managed to battle Sebastien Vidal to 6-1, 6-3. Junior Dan Schneider also lost his match 6-3, 6-1 to the Tribe’s Alex Zuck.

In doubles action the pair of Brian Fitzgerald and Dan Schneider won four points before falling to William and Mary’s team of Gullick/Sud in the first position. Both teams of Stas Budagov/ Harwood Hoskins and Matt Vaughn/Martin Brown were held scoreless in their matches, losing 8-0.

The Patriots travel to Annapolis, Md., on Feb. 16 to square off against Navy at 5 p.m.

Men’s Track and Field

Sophomore Michael Pachella finished in seventh place in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:51.00 at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, held at the Armory Track and Field Center in New York City on Feb. 8-9. The time is a new personal best for Pachella during the indoor season.

In addition to being a personal best, Pachella’s time is also the best that the Patriots have run in the event this season. Sophomore Sam Horn also competed in the 800-meter run at the meet, topping the IC4A qualifying standard with a time of 1:53.28.

In the 500-meter dash, junior Mutsa Nyakabau set a new personal standard with a time of 1:04.79 to finish in 13th place. Nyakabau has already qualified for the IC4A Championships in the event.

Senior Brian Hay tied his personal standard with a time of 7.85 seconds in the consolation finals of the 60-meter hurdles. Hay ran the same time at the Father Diamond Invitational on Jan. 5 to reach the NCAA provisional qualifying standard. He reached the consolation finals with a time of 7.97 seconds in the preliminary heats.

Another senior, Ryan McCoy, placed in the top five in the triple jump, finishing fifth with a leap of 15.66 meters (51 ft. 4.5 in.). McCoy already has qualified provisionally for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the event.

Freshman Kevin Wilson qualified for the IC4A Championships in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.72 seconds, easily winning his heat in his first time running the event at Mason. Also qualifying for the IC4A Championships was the 4×400-meter relay team of Wilson, Nyakabau, Nate Harris and Marcus Wyche, who finished the relay race in fourth place with a time of 3:18.27.

The Patriots also competed at the Valentines’ Invitational in Boston, Mass., on Saturday. Sophomore Robert Krause was the team’s top finisher in the 3,000-meter run, crossing the finish line in 8:39.50 to finish 39th. In the 5,000-meter run, sophomore James Snyder finished 81st with a time of 15:19.02.

The men’s track and field team will compete again next weekend at the Tyson Invitational, slated for Feb. 15-16 in Fayetteville, Ark.

Men’s Volleyball

The 14th-ranked Mason men’s volleyball team (6-3) pulled out a dramatic five-game victory over the seventh-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (7-2) in the annual Uvaldo Acosta Memorial Match on Saturday at the Field House. Leading the match 2-1, Mason dropped the fourth game 30-27, but rebounded to win a close fifth game, 15-13 to end the match.

With the score tied at nine in the fifth game, Mason took a one-point lead when sophomore Ryan Kwiatkowski set up Kyle Gramit for the kill. On the next rally, Gramit and senior R.J. Goubeaux combined to block Robbie Klein’s swing to put the Patriots up by two. Mason never relinquished its lead, trading points with Ohio State until the end of the match.

The Patriots opened up the match with a 30-27 win in the first game, but the Buckeyes answered right back, taking the second game 30-25 to even the score at one game apiece. The third game was a wild back-and-forth affair, featuring 15 ties and seven lead changes.

Mason faced game point at 31-30 but fought back valiantly, taking the next three points to take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Patriots got back-to-back kills by Gramit and Goubeaux before Klein’s wild swing landed out of bounds to give Mason the win.

Mason took a 6-1 lead in the fourth game but was unable to hold onto the lead. The Buckeyes took their first lead of the match at 16-15 and went on to take a 30-27 win to tie the match at two and set the stage for the fifth game.

Gramit led the team in kills with 20, while junior Hudson Bates finished with 17. Goubeaux gave the Buckeyes trouble all night long, finishing with 16 kills on .652 hitting and 10 blocks. Kwiatkowski tallied 57 assists in the match, and senior Mark Burik recorded 15 digs at the libero spot.

Klein recorded a double-double in the losing effort, finishing with 20 kills and 10 digs. Senior Brett Versen hit .325 with 23 kills and seven digs.

In between the second and third games, the Patriots paid tribute to men’s volleyball legend Uvaldo Acosta with a moving slideshow featuring footage from his playing and coaching career at Mason. Acosta’s family attended the match, along with a collection of former Mason men’s volleyball players, back in town for Alumni Weekend.

The Patriots travel to University Park, Pa., on Friday to take on second-ranked Penn State in a 7 p.m. EIVA Tait Division contest.

Women’s Basketball

The Mason women’s basketball team held the University of Delaware to 19.6 percent field goal shooting as the Patriots defeated the Fightin’ Blue Hens, 52-42, in Colonial Athletic Association action on Sunday at the Bob Carpenter Center. Mason improved to 9-13, 3-8 in the CAA, while Delaware fell to (6-17, 5-6).

Senior Lateisha Wade led the Mason offense with 15 points, her 16th time this season reaching double figures, while junior Jessica Smith chipped in nine points. Senior Moni Akintunde pulled down eight boards to lead the Patriots off the glass, as they out-rebounded the Blue Hens by a 43 to 31 margin.

Three Blue Hens reached double figures, led by Vanessa Kabongo’s 11 points. Kyle DeHaven and Ariene Jenkins each added 10, shooting a combined 5-for-23 from the field and 10-of-11 from the charity stripe.

Both teams’ offenses struggled in the early moments of the game, as neither team completed a field goal until the 16:41 mark, when Broadus broke a 2-2 deadlock with a basket.

Delaware tied the game 17 seconds later, but a 7-2 run by the Patriots put them ahead 11-4. UD pulled as close as 15-13 on the strength of seven straight free throws over a 4:15 span, and again pulled within two after two more free throws by Jenkins left the score 19-17. However, Mason embarked on an 8-0 run to extend its lead to 10, and held the Blue Hens at bay for the remainder of the half, taking a 32-23 lead into the break.

In the first half, Mason out-shot the Blue Hens by a 50.0-to-15.4 margin and held a 22-to-13 rebounding advantage, as the Blue Hens completed just four of their 26 field goal attempts while scoring 15 of their 23 points from the free throw line.

The offensive struggles continued for the Blue Hens in the second half, as they could amass just six points through over nine minutes of the second period. In that time, Mason built its lead even larger, leading by as many as 12 before the Blue Hens crept back into the game, eventually cutting the deficit into single-digits after a quartet of Kabongo free throws left the score 45-37 with 7:25 to go.

Delaware mounted a charge late in the period, but the Patriots were able to stifle the Blue Hens late and hold on for the victory, ending a run of eight straight Blue Hen victories in the series.

Mason continues its road trip on Thursday, traveling to Atlanta to face Georgia State. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. from GSU Sports Arena.

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