Men's Volleyball Falls at Ball State
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Men's Volleyball Falls at Ball State

The George Mason men's volleyball team traveled to Ball State on Saturday night and the Patriots were unable to pick up the road win as Mason fell to Ball State, 3-1. The Patriots were looking for a season sweep of the non-conference opponent but couldn't come away with the win as the Cardinals beat the Patriots, 25-20, 25-27, 25-11, 25-17.

Mason (11-6) beat Ball State (9-6) earlier this year when it was ranked No. 11 in the nation. This time around, the teams split the first two sets before Ball State dominated the final two to take the win and hand Mason its third-straight loss.

Mark Jones and Eric Lucas each had 11 kills and nine digs while Brandon Joyner had 32 assists and 12 digs. The Patriots hit just .115 in the match, though, while Ball State hit .255. The Cardinals got 11 kills and just two errors from Anders Nelson while Greg Herceg had 13 kills and 13 digs.

The Patriots led early in the first set, 6-4, but the Cardinals turned the tables and went ahead 13-11. With the set tied at 14-14, Ball State took over. The Cardinals won three straight points and that difference proved  critical down the stretch as Mason was unable to close the gap, falling 25-20.

The second set was also tight for most of the match but with the score tied 17-17, Ball State picked up three straight points to get some breathing room. Mason rebounded to make it 21-20, but Ball State won three of the next four points to take a 24-21 lead. But over three straight set points, the Patriots stepped up big. First Ball State made a service error, then the Patriots got a block from Eric Lucas , Mark Jones and Charlie Swingle . Lucas followed with a kill and Brandon Joyner had a service ace to suddenly give the Patriots a set point. Ball State responded by tying the match but the Patriots pulled out the set to even things at 1-1.

The third set was all Ball State. The Cardinals went ahead 7-1 and kept extending the lead, taking the game 25-11. The final set was tied early at 6-6 before Ball State won 5 of 6 to go ahead 11-7. That was enough for Ball State, which stayed in control throughout the set and picked up the victory.

The Patriots will return to action on Wednesday night when they host Mount Olive at 7 p.m.

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