George Mason Posts Historic Sweep at Penn State to Lead Friday Action

  0 Wendy Mayer | February 24th, 2018 | College - Men's Indoor, EIVA, MIVA, News

No. 20 George Mason made history Friday night, posting its first ever road sweep of No. 8 Penn State, while marking its first sweep of a Top 10 foe since 1992. Charleston also pulled a road upset, edging No. 16 Saint Francis in five sets.

No. 6 Loyola held its home court, while No. 14 Ball State and No. 15 Fort Wayne picked up road wins in MIVA play.


#20 George Mason def. #8 Penn State 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-22)

Key Stats: Penn State struggled to find its footing offensively, hitting just .067 on the night, while being outblocked 10-6. George Mason also utilized a strong service game (7-2 in aces) and 41-25 lead in kills to grab the sweep. For their part, the Patriots hit .270 on the night, while snapping the Nittany Lions’ five match win streak.

Stat Leaders: Sophomore opposite Hayden Wagner downed 20 kills, while hitting at a .485 clip and adding three aces. Redshirt senior outside Christian Malias followed with eight kills in his first match since Jan. 28. Sophomore middle Bryce Gatling chipped in five kills and a team-best five blocks, while junior outside Kyle Barnes notched five kills, two aces and three blocks.

Redshirt sophomore opposite Calvin Mende led PSU with seven kills, but hit .087 on the night with five errors. Redshirt senior middle Kevin Gear added six kills and two blocks, while hitting at a .500 clip. Redshirt junior outside Matthew McLaren rounded out the offense with five kills, two aces and two blocks, but hit .000.

It Was Over When: Set 3 was a back-and-forth affair as the lead changed hands six times and the teams tied 10 times. George Mason led 6-2 early as Malias and Wagner served up aces. Penn State stole the lead away at 8-7 after posting a 6-1 run with solo blocks by Lee Smith and Gear. The Nittany Lions turned a 15-13 deficit into a 19-17 lead with two Gear kills and one each by McLaren and Mende. The Patriots turned the tables with seven of the next eight points to earn a match-point try at 24-20. Wagner notched two kills and a block and Malias added two putaways in the rally. A service error and a hitting error kept the match going, before Wagner ended it.


Charleston def. #16 Saint Francis 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 19-25, 15-13)

Key Stats: A 10-5 kill advantage and .273 to .071 hitting efficiency lead in Set 5 was the difference in the victory for the Golden Eagles in a match that was even otherwise statistically. Both teams managed 52 kills and seven blocks. The Red Flash owned a 5-3 edge in aces, while Charleston outhit SFU .201 to .197.

Stat Leaders: Freshman outside Max Senico and senior outside Ryan Santos downed 14 kills apiece to lead Charleston. Senico rounded out a double-double with 10 digs, while Santos added eight digs and two blocks. Junior middle Eugene Stuart followed with nine kills and two aces, while sophomore middle Adriel Roberts chipped in five kills and a team-high three blocks. Junior outside Brandon Greenway registered nine digs and seven kills.

Senior outside Brandon Buck put down a match-high 17 kills and two aces, while redshirt senior outside Stephen Braswell just missed a double-double with 12 kills and nine digs for the Red Flash. Junior outside Cole Thompson tallied eight putaways on a team-high .583 hitting effort to go with 10 digs and two blocks.

It Was Over When: Charleston charged out to a 6-2 lead in Set 2, including three Santos kills. Trailing 8-4 at the changeover, the Red Flash rallied with five straight points, including a block by Buck and Cole Carver and three straight Eagle miscues. A Senico kill knotted it up at 9-all, prompting a string of five straight ties, last at 13. A solo block by Stuart and a final putaway by Senico gave Charleston its first EIVA road win of the season.


#6 Loyola Chicago def. McKendree (RV) 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-19)

Key Stats: Nine aces and a .329 hitting effort were the difference in a Loyola sweep. The Ramblers outdid McKendree 41-23 in kills and 9-2 in aces in addition to a .329 to .129 lead in efficiency. The Bearcats edged Loyola 5-4 in aces. The Ramblers hit .250 or better in all three sets, including a match-high leading .367 in the final stanza.

Stat Leaders: Junior outside Collin Mahan (10), senior outside Ryan Jamison (10) and senior opposite Ricky Gevis (9) led a balanced offense for the Ramblers. Jamison hit at a team-best .500 clip and added three aces, while Gevis notched four perfect serves. Mahan hit .368 and chipped in two aces.

Senior outside Nolan Rueter put down eight kills on a .300 hitting effort to go with a team-leading three blocks for McKendree. Redshirt freshman outside Ethan Carroll added five kills, while redshirt freshman middle Wyatt Dimke added three stuffs.

It Was Over When: Loyola scored six of the first seven points in Set 3 and went on to a 13-5 lead. Two kills and an ace by Jamison and three Gevis putaway led the charge. McKendree cut the margin to five at 19-14 on an ace by Aaron Plaisted, and three more times, but could get no closer. A Dane Leclair kill set up match point at 24-18, which Jeff Jendryk delivered two points later.


#15 Fort Wayne def. Lindenwood 3-2 (21-25, 25-17, 16-25, 25-23, 15-13)

Key Stats: Fort Wayne rallied from down 2-1 to steal away a road win over Lindenwood with a 14-kill advantage (58-44) and a six ace edge (8-2). The Lions outhit the Mastodons .260 to .250, with 11 less errors, while boasting a 15-7 lead in blocks. Fort Wayne came through with efficiency when it mattered, hitting .350 in the final stanza to Lindenwood’s .278 effort.

Stat Leaders: Pelegrin Vargas (17), Colton Stone (15) and Austin Gerwig (10) posted double-digit kills to lead the Mastodons. Vargas also served up two aces, while Stone put up three blocks and Gerwig added six digs. Tony Price put up a team-leading four blocks to go with six kills and a team-best .444 hitting effort.

Sophomore outside Michael Jennings (14) and sophomore middle Sam Schindler (12) paced the Lions. Schindler wrapped up a double-double with 10 blocks, while hitting at a match-high .688 clip. Junior middle Connor Hipelius registered six kills and five blocks, while senior outside Nathan Van Dellen notched six kills, seven digs and three stuffs.

It Was Over When: After the teams tied at each point 1 through 9, Fort Wayne earned a two-point edge at 11-9 on a Vargas putaway, his third of the set. Two more Vargas kills lifted the Mastodons to a 14-11 lead. Lindenwood called timeout and scored two out of the break on a Fort Wayne miscue and a stuff by Van Dellen and Shindler. Vargas notched his sixth and final kill of the stanza to seal the Mastodon victory.


#14 Ball State def. Quincy 3-1 (26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18)

Key Stats: A strong offensive effort carried Ball State in a four-set road win over Quincy. The Cardinals outhit the Hawks .279 to .211 and notched 56 kills, while allowing 45. Quincy outblocked BSU 7-4, while both teams served up six aces. Ball State hit .250 or better in three of the four sets, including a match-high .364 effort in Set 4.

Stat Leaders: Sophomore outside Blake Reardon (15), senior middle Matt Walsh (12), sophomore outside Matt Szews (10) and senior outside Mitch Weiler (9) split the offensive load for the Cardinals. Walsh added a team-high four blocks and two aces, while Szews chipped in eight digs and two aces. Weiler just missed a double-double, adding a team-best 12 digs to his nine kills. Sophomore setter Jake Romano posted a 41-assist, 11 dig double-double.

Senior outside Anthony Winter notched a match-high 21 kills to go with a team-best 11 digs. Freshman outside Brendon Estrada (7) and senior middle Shane McAdams (6) also aided the Hawk offense. Estrada managed 10 digs and two aces, while redshirt senior setter Thane Fanfulik registered 34 assists, 11 digs, four kills and three aces. Sophomore middle Blake Sprecher put up a team-leading four blocks, all solo efforts.

It Was Over When: Ball State opened Set 4 with five of the first seven points, including three kills and an ace by Szews. Quincy was never able to make up the gap, cutting the margin to two three times, last at 8-6. The Cardinals pull away with a 6-2 run and three Hawk errors, to go ahead 14-8. Quincy narrowed the gap to two gain at 18-16 and 19-17, but BSU turned it on, scoring five of the final six to close out the 25-18 victory. Reardon downed back to back kills and the Hawks made three mistakes in the final stretch.


Harvard def. Princeton 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-18)

Key Stats: Harvard hit at an impressive .410 clip, including a .542 effort in Set 3, in a sweep of Princeton for the Crimson’s second win of the year. Harvard also topped the Tigers 44-29 in kills, 4-3 in aces and 9-8 in blocks.

Stat Leaders: Senior middle Brad Gretsch put down 13 kills and added seven digs, while hitting .409 for Harvard. Senior middle Riley Moore chipped in 10 kills on a team-high .600 hitting effort, while Senior outside Jack Heavey just missed a double-double, turning in eight kills and a team-best 10 digs. Sophomore setter Matthew Ctvrtlik and junior middle Trevor Dow put up five blocks apiece to lead the Crimson at the net.

Sophomore middle George Huhmann led the way for Princeton with 13 kills and a .400 hitting effort, but had little help. Sophomore outside Greg Luck added eight kills and sophomore outside Parker Dixon followed with five but both hit under .200 for the match. Senior middle Junior Oboh hit -.250 with no kills in eight swings, but came through for the Tigers in other ways, with a team-high five blocks and two aces.

It Was Over When: Harvard jumped ahead 7-3 in Set 3 with help from five blocks, four by Ctvrtlik. Trailing 11-6, Princeton scored three in a row, including two Luck kills, forcing a Crimson timeout. Harvard scored seven of the next 10, with two kills each by Gretsch and Heavey, en route to an 18-12 edge. Princeton answered with four of the next six, including two Crimson errors. From there, it was nearly all Harvard as four different players tallied kills in a final 5-2 run. A Gretsch putway wrapped up the victory at 25-18.


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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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