Loyola and George Mason following a two-year hiatus will once again play each other during the upcoming season.
George Mason coach Jay Hosack said in an interview Off the Block during the weekend that the Patriots have agreed to play a non-conference home match against the Ramblers in 2017.
This will be the 19th all-time meeting between the two teams, including their last meeting in 2014 when Loyola swept against George Mason. It also will be the Patriots’ first home match against the Ramblers since 2013.
George Mason under first-year head coach Hosack finished last season winning the EIVA championship and reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time in almost 30 years. Among the starters returning for George Mason includes all-conference setter Brian Negron and all-conference outside attackers Christian Malias and Radoslav Popov.
Loyola as the two-time defending NCAA champions ended the regular season in second place in the MIVA and lost in the conference tournament semifinals. Despite graduating multiple all-conference starters, the Ramblers return All-American middle attacker Jeff Jendryk and freshman all-conference honorable mention outside attacker Collin Mahan.
Loyola also enters the 2017 season a combined 16-1 versus EIVA opponents during the last three seasons.
Both the Ramblers and Patriots ended last season in the top 10 of the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Media Poll. In addition, Loyola was No. 10 in the final national coaches poll, while George Mason finished at No. 11.
Loyola leads 14-4 in the all-time series against George Mason that dates back to 1996.