Women’s Volleyball suffers season-ending loss to Northeastern

Senior Holly Goode registers a spike during Saturday's season-ending defeat at home against Northeastern. (Ezekiel Ibrahim-Watkins)

Up two sets to none and one foot already in the door to the CAA playoffs, the George Mason Women’s Volleyball team (9-5) was on the verge of a crucial win on Senior Night at the RAC until a feisty Northeastern University team (9-5) staged a comeback to end the Patriots’ season Saturday night.

Entering the game as the second place team in the CAA standings, the Patriots knew that they just needed to win in order to advance. Head Coach Pat Kendrick made sure the team was prepared for the problems they would face against NU.

“We knew we had to pass well against Northeastern, so we worked on that,” Kendrick said. “They have lots of movements with their hitters and we needed to be ready for that.”

On a night in which the team’s two seniors, Holly Goode and Fernanda Bartels, were honored before the match, the team was full of excitement and energy.

“We were pretty excited coming into the game as it was our last home game, and we were excited to be playing for a chance to get into the playoffs,” said Bartels, who recorded a double-double with a team-high 44 assists and 22 digs in her final game.

Early in the match, it looked as if the Patriots were on their way to a three-set sweep, downing NU in the first two sets, 26-24 and 25-20, respectively.

With just one more set needed to for the victory, NU came storming back to take control of the game. They were able to withstand the pressure being put on by the Patriots, winning 26-24 in a closely contested third set.

“I think they changed their style in the locker room after the second set,” junior Katrina Boryc said. “They were hitting well and finding the holes and we couldn’t do the same against them.”

NU continued to ride their momentum into the fourth set, in which they got out to an early lead and never looked back on their way to a 25-20 win.

The final set of the match proved to be the final set of the season for the Patriots, as they were unable to stop the attack from NU, losing 15-11 in a hard-fought match. The squad’s inability to take advantage of early two-set leads has plagued the team all season, Kendrick said.

“We had lots of opportunities throughout the season, including tonight, but we were too inconsistent to take advantage,” she said. “Tonight we had very good first sets, but they made a strong comeback that we just couldn’t withstand.”

The team knows there is nothing left to do now other than move on and focus on regrouping for next year.

“Preparation starts today. We need to change our mentality,” Boryc said. “I expect us to do well next season and make the playoffs, but we have to change our mindset and it all starts with working hard this offseason.”


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