George Mason, Pepperdine to meet again in 2019 season

Photo courtesy of George Mason athletics

[Editor’s note: Off the Block in collaboration with the EIVA is presenting The Top 15 EIVA Non-Conference Matches. This list spotlights the best non-conference matches scheduled for EIVA teams in 2019 and will be the first time several of these matches have been publicly announced. George Mason versus Pepperdine is ranked No. 7 on the list.]

George Mason will get another shot next season at trying to stop the MPSF Player of the Year.

Coach Jay Hosack informed Off the Block that George Mason for the second straight year will play a non-conference match against Pepperdine and outside attacker David Wieczorek.

In his 2018 season debut after missing the opening three weeks, Wieczorek had a match-high 14 kills while hitting .444 as Pepperdine swept George Mason. The All-American also had two aces in the road victory en route to finishing 2018 with a career-high 42 aces and being a finalist for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year.

Wieczorek ended his junior season fourth in the nation with a 4.00 kills per game average and became the first Pepperdine player in almost a decade to earn the conference player of the year.

Both Pepperdine and George Mason enter the upcoming season after being upset early in the 2018 postseason.

The Waves were in the top 10 of the national rankings throughout the season but lost in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals.

George Mason finished last season winning the program’s first EIVA regular season championship during the rally scoring era. However, it lost to Princeton in the EIVA Tournament semifinals to miss making the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.

The Patriots return three All-EIVA starters, including outside attacker Kyle Barnes. Barnes was among the EIVA leaders in 2018 with a 2.40 kills per game average and had double-digit kills in seven of the team’s final nine matches.

George Mason 0-9 all-time against Pepperdine and has won two games during the entire series.

The Patriots will play the Waves on March 12 in one of their final non-conference matches of the season. The team following this match will have a two-match series versus Grand Canyon starting March 15.