Volleyball tops George Mason in five-set thriller

Natalie Fiorilli | The Duquesne Duke
Natalie Fiorilli | The Duquesne Duke
Natalie Fiorilli | The Duquesne Duke

By Jake King | The Duquesne Duke

Duquesne volleyball extended their win streak to four after topping the George Mason Patriots in five sets. However, the highlight of the night was not the win, but senior setter Mary Henry breaking the school record for career assists. Henry recorded 53 in the match, snapping the previous record of 4,180, which was set by Sarah Brown in 2003.

Duquesne was in control for most of the first set with sophomore outside hitter Molly Davet tallying nine kills and two aces. The Dukes got off to a slow start, but after trailing early they took control halfway through and never looked back, winning the set by a score of 25-21.

The second set belonged to George Mason. The Patriots got off to a quick 5-1 lead over the Dukes who never got a chance to get rolling due to their opponent’s controlled play and excellent job passing the ball. This made it extremely tough for Duquesne to defend their attacks, and George Mason eventually took the set by a score of 25-21.

After struggling in the second set, the Dukes came out firing in the third after a short 10-minute intermission. Henry, alongside fellow senior Nora Young, helped get their team back on track. Henry knotted 14 of her 53 assists in the third, which gave five different Dukes multiple kills. Henry and Young were both very vocal in the third and the rest of the team fed off that.

“In the [third] set, we made a mental switch, and as soon as we got out there we were bouncing off each other’s energy.” Young said. The Red & Blue would go on to win the third set by a score of 25-16.

Down 2-1, George Mason wouldn’t go out quietly. The Patriots took control early with a 6-2 advantage, but the Dukes battled back and took a 12-10 lead in the middle of the set. The set continued to go back and forth and was tied at 15, 18 and 20 points until Mason pulled ahead and eventually won the set 25-22. The Patriots’ Morghan Martin had six kills in the set, and her teammate Jelena Cobanovic had six digs.

Mary Henry started the fifth and final set needing four assists to break the all-time career assist record at Duquesne. She finished with six, helping the Dukes win the final set 15-10. Henry also had four digs and finished off the game with a kill of her own to seal the victory. She credits her record-setting career to all her teammates and especially the great hitters.

“I wouldn’t get any assists without great hitters,” Henry said. “I credit it all to the team.” With eight regular season games left for the Dukes, Henry has a great opportunity to build on her new feat.

Molly Davet finished with 21 kills to lead the Dukes, while Lacey Levers recorded five blocks. Nora Young had 12 kills and three aces.

The Dukes failed to stretch their win streak to five games the following Sunday afternoon when they fell to the George Washington Colonials in three straight sets.

The team finds themselves back on the court this Friday when they head to North Carolina to face the Davidson University Wildcats in their first of a three-game road trip.

As it stands in the Atlantic-10, the volleyball team currently sits in fifth place behind Dayton, Saint Louis, George Washington and Rhode Island. In the A-10 standings. The squad still has a chance to jump a few spots before the A-10 tournament, with seven games left in the regular season.