George Mason for the first time in almost 30 years is heading back to the NCAA Tournament.
Outside attacker Jack Wilson had a match-high 22 kills on a .417 attack percentage as George Mason defeated No. 15 St. Francis 25-14, 17-25, 25-18, 25-19 in the EIVA Tournament finals on Saturday in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Wilson was the only Patriot to finish with double-digit kills to help win their first EIVA Tournament championship since and their NCAA Tournament appearance since 1988.
Setter Brian Negron was named the EIVA Tournament Most Outstanding Player after guiding the George Mason offense to a .314 attack percentage in the finals. The Patriots also had .455 attack percentage in the six-point fourth-game victory and hit a match-best .526 with two attack errors in its opening-game win.
Libero Johnny Gomez led George Mason defensively with a season-high 20 digs. Middle attacker Dom Edgley also finished with a match-high six blocks and added eight kills against St. Francis.
All-conference outside attacker Jeff Hogan in the loss had a team-high 16 kills.
This was the second consecutive postseason match that Hogan led the Red Flash in kills. Hogan had a match-high 22 kills in St. Francis’ upset semifinal victory against No. 9/10 Penn State — the first time in almost 20 years the Nittany Lions lost in the EIVA Tournament.
George Mason in its semifinal sweep against Harvard had a .423 attack percentage and Negron finished with a match-high 35 assists.
The Patriots under first-year head coach Jay Hosack return to the NCAA Tournament after starting the first month of the season 1-6. However, George Mason rallied in the second half of the season during conference play and on the final week of the regular season earned a berth to the four-team EIVA Tournament.
George Mason is projected to be the No. 6 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, according to the latest Off the Block bracketology.