Winter Sports Earn Honors during the Break

Posted: January 26, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

While other students were taking a break in late December and January, George Mason’s student-athletes were busy racking up points on the scoreboard and earning team and individual recognition.

The men’s basketball team had several of its members honored by the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) earlier this month. Among them were Lamar Butler, who was named the CAA’s men’s basketball Player of the Week for Dec. 27 through Jan. 2; and freshman Forlarin Campbell, who was named men’s basketball’s Rookie of the Week for games played in late December. Will Thomas also garnered the CAA men’s basketball Rookie of the Week award for his achievements in games played between Jan. 10 and 16.

On Jan. 22, the team ended a three-game losing streak by defeating rival James Madison University, 77-58, on Madison’s home turf. The win was the 131st during Coach Jim Larranaga’s tenure, the most wins of any men’s basketball coach in the history of George Mason. He signed a two-year contract extension with Intercollegiate Athletics in April 2004 and will continue to lead the team through the 2008-09 season.

The women’s basketball team won two straight conference games for the first time this past week as the Patriots defeated University of North Carolina-Wilmington in North Carolina (59-53) and then claimed a 79-64 victory over Virginia Commonwealth University in Fairfax. Mason will travel to Norfolk to face Old Dominion University in a rematch of the 2004 CAA Championship game tomorrow at 7 p.m.

At the CAA Duals, held Jan. 21-22 at George Mason, the wrestling team went 2-2 after besting Sacred Heart. The Patriots won three out of five matches in the finals. The team’s next meet will take place at home on Friday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m.

The men’s volleyball team is off to a 3-0 start this year, and for the first time in nearly 10 years, the team is ranked among the nation’s top 15. The team defeated Ball State University, which was ranked 14th in the nation, on Jan. 22, with the final score putting George Mason at 30-27, 30-28, and 30-27. Currently, Mason’s team has surpassed its number of wins at away games from last year, when they won only one road game, and has also hit more than .300 in every match, besting last year’s record.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association in mid-December chose Jesica Umansky, a member of the women’s volleyball team, as the honorable mention for the All-East Region. The team closed its season in late November with a record of 14-10, making last season its 6th consecutive winning season, which earned the Patriots a slot in the CAA Tournament for the 21st consecutive season.

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams each closed their regular CAA season with a dual meet record of 7-0, defeating James Madison University on Jan. 22. The men’s team won 144-99, and the women’s team won 140-103.

The women’s lacrosse team is ranked 16th in the recently released 2005 preseason rankings from Lacrosse Magazine, the official publication of U.S. Lacrosse, the national governing body of the sport. The Patriots return 9 starters and 17 letterwinners from last year’s team, which posted a 7-10 overall record in 2004 and a no. 19 national ranking.

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