Volleyball Team Clinches Spot in CAA Tournament

Posted: November 16, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The George Mason women’s volleyball team earned a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament by defeating the University of Delaware 28-30, 30-27, 30-20, 30-25 last Saturday. The Patriots will play on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. against the top-seeded Towson University Tigers in the opening round of the single-elimination tournament. The game is at Towson. The Patriots are the two-time defending CAA champions, and they will be looking for their third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Patriots rallied from one set down against the Blue Hens, who finished the regular season third in the conference standings, behind strong play from several key players. Junior Natalia Porosa, a physical education major, had 17 kills and just two errors with 12 digs while middle blockers sophomore Janelle Wilson, undeclared major, and junior Chantal Bodkin-Clarke, a biology/environmental science major, combined for 21 kills and a .463 hitting percentage. Sophomore Niki Bernardes, a biology major, also had 13 kills and 11 digs, while senior Jesica Umansky, a systems engineering major, had 52 assists and 14 digs. Junior Zulma Rojas, a systems engineering major, added 21 digs.

The Patriots entered the weekend tied with the College of William and Mary and one game ahead of James Madison University in the CAA standings. Only the top four teams make the postseason tournament. Mason had the toughest road, hosting the second-place and third-place teams. By sweeping Hofstra University on Friday and downing Delaware on Saturday, the Patriots seized control of their own fate, as James Madison defeated William and Mary on Friday to put Mason alone in fourth place.

The win over Delaware was the final home match for Umansky. The four-year veteran goes into the Mason record books as second in career assists and fourth in career service aces. She is also now 6 digs shy of 1,000 for her career. This season, Umansky is averaging 2.89 digs per game.

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