Patriots Return To The RAC To Face Mount Olive
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Patriots Return To The RAC To Face Mount Olive

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY VS. UNIVERSITY OF MOUNT OLIVE
WHEN:
 Friday, Jan. 19, 2018 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: RAC Gym (1,550)
RECORDS: Mason (1-4), Mount Olive (1-2)
SERIES RECORD: Mason leads 3-0
LAST MEETING: Mason def. Mount Olive 3-0 [25-15, 25-19, 25-20] on Mar. 9, 2011 (Fairfax, Va.)

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FAIRFAX, Va. - The George Mason men's volleyball team returns home to begin an eight-match home stand starting with Mount Olive on Friday night. First serve between the Patriots and Trojans is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the RAC. 

The long home stand for the Green and Gold will serve as the longest of the season and will keep the team playing its matches in Fairfax for the next four weeks. Friday also marks the first of two weekends during that stretch where Mason will play just one match that weekend - Saturday, Feb. 3 vs. Ohio State being the other one. This year is the first time since 2016 the team has had eight or more consecutive home matches. 

PATRIOT POINTS

• Historically, George Mason is a perfect 14-0 against Conference Carolina opponents dating back to the CVAC inaugural 2010 season of men's volleyball. 

• Mason and Mount Olive have similar statistics from the service line. As a team the Patriots have an of average 1.33 per set while Mount Olive is close behind at 1.27 on the young season. 

• Fast starts have been a strength of the Patriots this season. In the first set Mason has hit .242 as a team, but .212 combined in sets 2-5. 

• The Patriots are one of three teams in the EIVA to have three players with multiple solo blocks this season (Kyle Barnes, Malias, Jack Reese).

• RS-Senior Christian Malias enters Friday's match just three kills shy of reaching 500 for his career. In the five matches Mason has played this year, Malias has compiled double-digit kills in three of them, including his last two where he posted 12 at #7 Loyola-Chicago and 11 at #11 Lewis.

• Through his first five matches of the regular season, Malias has posted seven service aces, tying his career best 2016 total within the first five matches. 

• Sophomore Hayden Wagner had a career night against #7 Loyola-Chicago on Jan. 12. He recorded career highs in kills (16), attempts (41), aces (2) and points (18.0).

• In Friday's match at #7 Loyola-Chicago, the Patriots had three players with double-digit kills in a match [Wagner (16), Malias (12), Sam Greenslade (11)] for the first time since 3/4/17 vs. Coker.  

• Over the weekend Greenslade set a single-match career high in digs at #7 Loyola-Chicago, and tied his single-match career highs in assists and solo blocks at #11 Lewis.

• Senior Brian Negron started and played every set at setter in the Patriots two weekend matches. He notched 69 assists for an average of 9.86 per set.

• Patriots who crack the top-5 in EIVA individual statistical categories include Christian Malias (5th in service aces per set - 0.44; 5th in points per set 3.75), Johnny Gomez (3rd in digs per set - 2.12) and Jack Reese (4th in blocks per set - 1.22). 

• Flu-like symptoms hit the Patriots hard last weekend, causing a handful of key players to miss the road trip all together. A week later, the coaching staff will have a much larger selection of players to use in Friday's contest.

HISTORY VS. MOUNT OLIVE
The Patriots hold a 3-0 record all-time against the Trojans with the last meeting being a 3-0 Mason victory back in 2011. The only other two matchups the two programs have faced one-another was back in 2005 for a home-and-home approximately a month apart - both 3-0 wins for the Green and Gold. The most recent matchup in 2011 saw the Patriots hit .371 as a team, led by outside hitter Patrick Maloney's .611 performance (12-1-18).

A LOOK AT THE TROJANS (1-2, 0-0 CVAC)
Mount Olive, picked to finish second in the Conference Carolinas, is off to a 1-2 start by most recently defeating Queens (N.C.) 3-1 Tuesday night. The 2017 CVAC runner-ups are coming off a solid 2017 campaign that saw them go 14-4 in conference play, and also enjoyed two separate six-match winning streaks on their way to the conference championship, a match they lost to Barton College 3-0. The Trojan attack is primarily run through opposite hitter Robert Poole, whose averages on attacks per set (9.27) and kills per set (3.82) rank fourth and seventh in the country respectively. Poole is also tied with teammate Jeff Yasalonis for fourth in the conference in aces per set (0.455). Friday night marks the team's final non-conference match before the first portion of CVAC play begins for head coach David Heller and the team.
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