Mason Sports Roundup

Posted: March 26, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Mason’s women’s lacrosse, track and field, softball and rowing squads were in action recently, as well as the men’s volleyball, track and field and baseball teams.

women's lacrosse
Junior attacker Brittany Berger was named CAA Player of the Week.
Mason Athletics photo

Women’s Lacrosse Sets New School Record

On Saturday at George Mason Stadium, the 12th-ranked Mason women’s lacrosse team set a new school record with its fifth consecutive victory in a 14-6 win over Saint Joseph’s. For her role in the win, the Colonial Athletic Association named junior attacker Brittany Berger its Player of the Week.

Berger scored six goals on seven shots, tying a career high she set earlier this season in a win over George Washington. Berger also added an assist to give her seven points, tying another career high. The junior also had two caused turnovers and picked up two ground balls in the win.

Mason’s 6-1 record after seven contests is the best start to a season in the 15-year history of the program.

Mason next plays at American at 4 p.m. today.

Men’s Volleyball Has Five-Game Winning Streak

With a pair of victories this weekend, the 11th-ranked Mason men’s volleyball team pushed its winning streak to five consecutive matches and improved to 14-6 overall and 7-3 in EIVA Tait Division matches. For his efforts in helping lead the Patriots to victory, junior outside hitter Hudson Bates was named the EIVA Tait Division Player of the Week.

On Thursday, Mason snapped a five-match losing streak to the St. Francis (Pa.) Red Flash as Bates hit .314 with 18 kills, eight digs and three blocks. On his fourth kill of the night, Bates reached a milestone with the 1,000th kill of his career. Two days later, Bates hit .261 with 12 kills, five digs and two blocks as the Patriots swept Juniata College in three games.

For the season, Bates is averaging 4.31 points per game, 3.71 kills per game and 1.24 digs per game. This is the second EIVA Tait Division Player of the Week award Bates has won this year. He also earned the honor on March 10.

The Patriots return to the court on Friday, March 28, taking on Loyola (Ill.) in a 7 p.m. match at the Field House.

Women’s Rowing Launches Spring Season

This weekend marked the beginning of the spring season for Mason Women’s Rowing, racing on their home course at the Occoquan Reservoir. Each of the four races saw Mason finish second to Bucknell University while finishing ahead of CAA rival Delaware.

Coach Geoff Dillard said, “I was very happy with how we performed. This was our first race of the spring and we just wanted to get one under our belt and have a strong race start to finish; I think we did that. ”

The Novice 8, comprised almost entirely of walk-on beginners, saw their first-ever 2,000-meter race on Saturday. Assistant Coach Ellen Gallagher said, “They raced with the composure and control that I would expect from a varsity-level crew. This race was a great opportunity to lay the foundation for our future races at higher speeds and the novices capitalized on the experience.”

The Patriots’ next race takes place on Saturday in Raleigh, N.C., where they will race UNC, Duke, Georgetown and Delaware. Races will begin at 8 a.m. on Lake Wheeler.

Softball Falls in Extra Innings

The Mason softball team kept pace with Towson through seven regulation innings, but the Tigers scored the game-winner in the top of the eighth to take a 3-2 CAA victory on Saturday at George Mason Field. Towson improved to 15-13 and 2-1 in the CAA with the win, while Mason fell to 7-17, 1-2 in conference play.

Sophomore Becky Anderson pitched a complete game but was tagged with the loss, while Towson’s Shannon Johnston picked up the victory after throwing two perfect innings in relief. Offensively, Mason was led by two-hit days from junior Kelsey Mack, senior Kristin Dickel and junior Alison Bryan.

Mason jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after Dickel and Mack drove in a run in the first and second inning, respectively. Dickel singled to left with the bases loaded, scoring sophomore Shaniqua Steele to put the day’s first run on the board. Bryan followed that up one inning later with a RBI base hit to center, scoring Bryan.

Towson answered back with a pair of runs in the third and fourth. In the fourth, the first five Tigers reached base, but the Patriots gave up just one run in the frame. A sacrifice fly put the Tigers ahead 3-2.

The Patriots will face Virginia in a doubleheader in Charlottesville set to begin at 1 p.m. today.

Women’s Track and Field Kicks Off Outdoor Campaign

Mason’s women’s track and field team headed south this weekend to kick off its 2008 outdoor campaign at the Hurricane Invitational, hosted by the University of Miami.

Mason recorded seven top-15 finishes in the meet. Sophomore Asia Odum placed highest among all Patriots with her 5.46 meter effort in the long jump, good for seventh place. Odum later finished 10th in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.20, surpassing an ECAC qualifying standard.

Sophomore Tiara Swindell placed ninth in the 200-meter dash (24.42) and 15th in the 400-meter dash (57.34). Swindell’s time in the 200-meter dash met an ECAC qualifier as well. Freshman Samantha Fickel earned a 10th-place finish in the 1,500-meter with a time of 5:20.76, while juniors Jonecia Gates and Ryann Hendricks each picked up 15th place, with Gates finishing the 400-meter hurdles in 1:06.71 and Hendricks’ completing the 100-meter dash in 12.54.

Mason will be back in action next weekend, traveling to North Carolina to participate in the Raleigh Relays on Friday and Saturday.

Men’s Track and Field Places Second in Meet

The Mason men’s track and field team opened its 2008 outdoor season on Saturday, making the short trip to the U.S. Naval Academy. Competing against the Midshipmen, along with Lehigh, American and Maryland, the Patriots placed second with an overall score of 64 points. Navy won the meet with a score of 286.

While the Patriots did not surpass any IC4A or NCAA regional qualifying marks on Saturday, Mason did record two individual event victories. In the 200-meter dash, sophomore Justin Nelson and freshman Billy Phillips finished one-two with times of 22.72 and 23.21 seconds, respectively.

Mason earned another gold-silver finish in the 400-meter hurdles, as junior Mutsa Nyakabau’s time of 54.14 garnered first place. He was followed by senior Brian Hay, who finished in 56.99.

Both Patriots relay teams earned second place, as the 4×100-meter relay team finished in 43.79, while the 4×400-meter squad recorded a time of 3:29.48.

The Patriots will be back in action next weekend when they travel to the Raleigh Relays in North Carolina on Friday and Saturday.

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