The George Mason Women’s Volleyball team beat VCU to win their first conference game of the year Friday. The team bested William & Mary Saturday. Photo by Stephen Kline

The George Mason University women’s volleyball team earned their first conference win of the season Friday against the VCU Rams (4-11) in an exciting 3–1 victory. The team was looking confident following a double win at the Thunder Invitational last weekend in Huntington, W.Va.

Coach Pat Kendrick commented on what they gathered from the invitational: “I felt we were starting to get our act together in terms of how we wanted to be on the floor … kind of the overall attitude we needed as a team when we ran into difficult times or when things weren’t going well, and so I thought it was a good point for us to start the conference schedule having had that tournament last weekend.”
Aside from the intra-conference rivalry between the two teams, there is deeper history that goes back to the 2009 CAA championship when third-seeded Mason defeated first-seeded VCU.

Coaches and players, especially upperclassmen, were aware of this going into the game. “We ended the invitational well so we used that to our advantage,” said senior outside hitter Noelle Fanella, who made an impressive 13 digs and scored the final point in the last set.
During the second set of the night, junior middle blocker Danielle Cook was injured and will be out indefinitely for the rest of the season.
VCU took advantage of this, trying to close the gap and prevailing in the third set of the match.

“…well certainly in the second set. You know the injury kind of rattled us a little bit. But they were starting to figure things out and they made some adjustments,” Kendrick said, giving her opinion on VCU’s consistent comeback throughout the night.

But this wasn’t enough to subdue the tenacity of Mason’s players, who ended the final set with a close 25–19 victory, sealing the match 3–1. When Kendrick was asked about their upcoming game against the Rams on Oct. 22, she admitted they will have to be ready for them.
“(Tonight) was like a chess match: You make a move they make move,” said Kendrick responding to a question about VCU’s adaptability. “They could very well be a different team when we face them next month.”

Mason won their second conference game of the season against William & Mary 3–1 on Saturday, putting their overall record at 7-7, but leaving them tied for first place in the CAA with a conference record of 2-0.