Brian T. Chan, Sports Editor

Caution: The gym floor may be slippery.

The women’s volleyball team committed a few errors early in the match and had trouble staying on their feet, but the team (17-6, 6-2) swept past the Towson Tigers (25-23, 25-22, 25-17) on Friday night, winning their fourth consecutive match.

With the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens falling to the last-place James Madison Dukes in a huge upset on Friday night, Mason remained third in the Colonial Athletic Association, but crept closer to the conference leader. The two powerhouses clashed at the RAC on Saturday. For Mason, they are competing on all cylinders in what turns out to be an enjoyable season.

“It’s always more fun to win, and we’ve been working really hard,” said sophomore outside hitter Noelle Fanella. “It’s really showing, and I think a lot of people are really excited about how well we’re doing. Compared to last year, it is a lot more fun.”

After Mason took a 5-3 lead in the first set, the Tigers responded with the next six points and eventually built a 16-12 lead. Mason committed five attack errors in the Tigers’ first 10 points. While staying positive, Mason came together and went on an 8-2 run to take a 20-18 lead. Both teams battled back and forth, but Mason prevailed to take the first set, 25-23.

“Anytime we fall behind, we just want to get back into our play by staying focused,” said sophomore libero Katrina Boryc.

From the very beginning, the players started slipping on the floor. In one instance, senior outside hitter Rebecca Walter, who was away from the ball, slipped on the floor and eventually started carrying her own towel.

“The slippery floor was mostly because of us,” said Boryc. “It was because we were working hard. It kind of happens every single game, but it’s normal for us.”

Mason fell behind early in the second set with the Tigers taking the first three points, but as Mason rallied, the team never looked back. Mason led by as much as five points in the second set, but the Tigers did not give up easily. The Tigers closed the gap to 23-21 late in the set. A powerful kill from Fanella put the icing in the second set.

Boryc recorded 15 digs, but Friday’s match marked her first career kill at the collegiate level. She and her teammates celebrated her rare kill as Mason took a 19-14 lead in the second set.

Carrying a two-set lead, Mason jumped out to a 7-1 lead, but the Tigers fought back to pull within 7-5. Mason prevented a rally from extending the match as they cruised through the third set, 25-17. In the third set, Mason posted a .333 attack percentage.

“Towson definitely showed up ready to play, and we started a little bit slow.” said Head Coach Pat Kendrick. “I thought in the second set we were a little bit slow, but we were able to carry the momentum through to the third.”

Fanella, along with Walter, led Mason with 11 kills apiece. Fanella entered Saturday’s match against the Blue Hens second on the team with 193 kills. Fanella, who is equipped with a powerful serve, continues to develop in just her second year. She added 14 digs on the defensive side.

Junior middle blocker and outside hitter Holly Goode, who earned CAA Co-Player of the Week honors last week, tallied nine kills to add onto her team-leading 229 kills.

No one on the Tigers recorded double-digit kills, but outside hitter Britney Loomis led them with seven kills, giving her exactly 200 kills for the season. The Tigers fell to 0-6 on the road.

With the win, Mason increased their chances in qualifying for the CAA Tournament. The last time Mason played in the postseason was in 2006, and the last time the team finished in the top four was in 2004. With a consistent showing day in and day out, Mason is eager to revisit the CAA Tournament.

“It feels really good [to be competing for a tournament berth],” said Kendrick. “It was something that we set out as one of our team goals was to be one of the top four teams, and I think to this point that we played like a team that deserves a shot.”

Mason has played equally well on the road and at home. The team improved to 6-2 at home.

“I think we have shown that we can play in any gym, which is good because we certainly don’t know where the conference tournament is going to be,” said Kendrick. “It’s a little challenging sometimes to go play in another gym because [we’re] not as familiar with it. Right now, I think we’re taking care of the ball really well and moving the ball all around. Fernanda [Bartels] is doing a good job distributing the ball to the hitters, and the players are coming up with big plays when they need to.”

Winning on a consistent basis and enjoying strong team chemistry, Mason appears to be headed in the right direction. Even a slippery floor cannot stop Mason in its tracks.