Fernanda Bartels, Staff Writer

The men’s volleyball team started off a long weekend with a loss against the No. 15 Lewis Flyers in a non-conference match. Mason fell short in three sets (21-30, 21-30, 28-30).

Lewis improved its record to 8-2 while the Patriots dropped to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in conference matches.
After beating the Saint Francis Red Flash in four sets (30-23, 24-30, 30-26, 30-25) and falling to the Juniata Eagles in three close sets (30-28, 32-30, 30-28) on the road, the Patriots could not pull off the victory against the Flyers.

The Flyers led throughout the first set and the majority of the second set, but Mason challenged the nationally ranked team in the third set, as the teams battled through five ties.

“I think we came out a little flat,” said junior outside hitter Eric Lucas. “Every time that we brought it back, it seems like we made an error and we let them get ahead of the game. We didn’t continue our momentum.”

The Patriots were led by sophomore outside hitter Andrew Dentler with 10 kills and Lucas with eight kills. The Mason offense was inconsistent compared to the Flyers.

The Flyers were led by Nathan Klaas with 13 kills and only three attack errors. Teammate Ian Karbiener had 11 kills and only one error. Lewis had only 11 total attack errors, whereas the Patriots committed a total of 26.

“They have really good attackers and we didn’t get as many blocks,” said Lucas. “They have good [middle blockers] and their [outside hitters] were putting the ball around the block. They were more efficient.”

Blocking and attacking were the differences in the match. The Patriots were not as successful as the Flyers in both areas.

Lewis outhit the Patriots with a .427 hitting percentage, as opposed to Mason’s match average of .198.

The Patriots could not overcome the offensive attack from the Flyers early on. Lewis posted attack percentages of .615 and .500 in the first two sets.

Mason was also out-blocked in the three-set loss. The
Patriots had a total team block of 5.5; the Flyers had 10.5 total blocks.

Sophomore middle blocker Shaun Sibley, who had seven kills without making an error, had a team high of three block assists. Classmate Dentler contributed with three block assists for the Patriots.

Aside from the struggles on both sides of the court, Mason was trying to find the balance between the experienced players and the new faces on court.
“Today, a bunch of our freshmen played for the first time ever,” said Lucas. “I think once they get a little bit of experience, I think they will be pretty good.

Hopefully they will get more comfortable playing with us, and we will get more comfortable playing with them.”

Freshman outside hitter Michael Kvidahl had four kills and a .400 hitting percentage, and freshman setter Javier Perez recorded a team-high 38 assists and added three kills.

The Patriots are on the road next weekend to start off the Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic Tournament facing the Ohio State Buckeyes at Springfield, Mass.