Women's volleyball falls to Temple, 3-1 in Patriot Invitational Saturday

Senior Lauren Spencer digs a shot in Saturday's 3-1 loss to Temple (Photo by Gopi Raghu).
Senior Lauren Spencer digs a shot in Saturday's 3-1 loss to Temple (Photo by Gopi Raghu).

The George Mason University women’s volleyball team wrapped up the Patriot Invitational Saturday night with a 3-1 loss to the Temple Owls in four sets.  It was their fourth game in the two-day tournament hosted by the Patriots at the RAC. 

In the first set Mason started off slow, letting up 10 straight points early to go down, 11-3 before eventually losing the set, 25-17.  By the second set, the Patriots were able to settle into the game.  After going up early 4-3 in the set, Mason never looked back despite numerous attempts by Temple.  A failed block by Temple from Mason senior Lana Zonjic’s attack gave the Patriots the set point, winning 25-18.

Temple started out on fire in the third set, taking 14 of the first 20 points.  Mason had trouble keeping the ball inbounds at times, surrendering numerous points from returns hit out of bounds.  The Owls took advantage of the Patriots’ mistakes by easily taking the set, 25-13.

The fourth set was a constant back and forth between the two teams, with each team going point for point amounting to 14 ties and seven lead changes.  Many of the points came from long rallies with neither team wanting to surrender a point.  All locked up at 23, the Owls were able to steal the final two points to win the set, 25-23, and the match 3 -1. 

“You wish everything would go your way and sometimes it doesn’t,” said sophomore outside hitter Morghan Martin, who had 20 attacks.  “I’m not mad.  I look to future.  You cannot look at right now.  That game is behind us.  We’re ready for the next one.”

Zonjic led the team with 16 kills and 18 points. Lolade Owokoniran, a member of last year’s CAA All-Rookie team, assisted with nine blocks and was second on the team with 12.5 points.

The Patriots finished with a 1-3 record during the tournament. On Friday, Mason beat Coppin State 3-1 before losing to Princeton by the same score.  Earlier on Saturday, the Patriots suffered another loss to Radford 3-2.

A couple bright spots for the Lady Patriots were Zonjic and Owokoniran making the all-tournament team. 

Coach Pat Kendrick was encouraged by the team’s overall improvement but said there were things that needed to be worked on. 

“I thought we had some exciting matches.  I thought we did some good job.  We’re still trying to work on our consistent game,” Kendrick said.  “Being able to put the ball away initially and not have these long rallies is certainly something we could be better at.”

Despite the slow start to the season, Kendrick is not very worried.

“We’re getting better every time out.  All these tournaments are trying to get us ready for conference play,” said Kendrick.  “I think we’re showing some improvements and showing some good things.  We just have to work on our consistency.”

The Patriots, who fell to 2 – 6 on the season, will look to comeback Friday against Villanova at the College Park Invitational.

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