Men’s Volleyball Finishes Perfect Home Slate

Posted: April 19, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Mason Volleyball
Mason Athletics photo

George Mason closed out its regular season schedule with a four-game victory over the top-ranked team in Division III men’s volleyball, the Juniata College Eagles, on Saturday in the UV Memorial Match at John Linn Memorial Gym.

The UV Memorial Match is held in honor of Patriots’ legend Uvaldo Acosta, a three-time All-American at George Mason, who also served as a coach at the university following his playing days. Acosta died in a tragic swimming accident in Hawaii in 1998 while coaching the men’s team.

With the victory, the Patriots improve to 22-5 on the season, 11-1 in EIVA Tait Division play and a perfect 12-0 in home matches.

In the first game, Juniata won with a final score of 30-27. Mason hit only .200 in the loss. The team’s fortunes reversed in the next two games, as the Patriots won the second game 30-19 and the third game 30-22. Mason’s attack turned it up in the two victories, outhitting the Eagles .424 to .129 in the second game and .417 to .207 in the third game.

The win closes out the regular season and home careers of redshirt seniors Bryan Newcomb and Shaun Powell and senior Matt Steinfurth. Newcomb added 40 assists to his season total to close out the season with 1,081 assists, ranking him fourth in the single-season record book at Mason and third in career assists during the rally-scoring era.

Powell, who led the team with 19 kills in the match, closes out his career in front of a home crowd that saw him rise to the top of Mason’s record book in career kills and aces in the rally-scoring era and rank second in digs and fourth in blocks.

Steinfurth, who leads the nation in blocks, added six more to his total in the win. He set a new single-season record at Mason with 172 blocks this season, and for his career he ranks first in blocks, fourth in kills and fourth in hitting percentage during the rally-scoring era.

The Patriots head into the EIVA Conference Tournament as the no. 2 seed behind Penn State, having won their final six matches to close out the regular season. Penn State and George Mason had identical 11-1 conference records, but Penn State received the no. 1 seed in the tournament based on head-to-head games won.

Penn State will host the semifinals and final on April 27 and 29. As the top two seeds, Penn State and George Mason will receive a bye to the semifinal round.

Mason will face either East Stroudsburg University, Juniata, or St. Francis University in the semifinal round on April 27 depending on the results of earlier matches in the tournament.

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