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ShaLi Niu's Career Night Lifts Mason to a Comeback Victory


  • After falling behind 2-0 in the match, the Patriots took the final three sets to defeat Duquesne on Friday night.

  • Freshman ShaLi Niu posted a career-high 28 kills for a .385 hitting percentage.

  • Sophomore Emily Konchan recorded her second career 50-plus assist game with 55. The setter also notched a double-double with 14 digs.

FINAL: Mason 3, Duquesne 2 (PDF Box Score) Niu – 28 kills; Konhcan – 55 assists; Catie Espinoza – 31 digs Pittsburgh – George Mason University women's volleyball battled back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Duquesne in five sets on Friday night. This is the first time since 2016 that Mason came back from a 2-0 deficit to claim the victory (Sept. 10 vs. Bucknell). The Patriots earned its first away victory of the season. Mason improves to 5-3 in conference play for an overall record of 7-11. Duquesne drops to 9-12 overall and 3-5 in the Atlantic 10. "It was one of the best wins I have ever been a part of and I can't say enough of how proud I am of the team tonight," said head coach Aylene Ilkson. "Every single one of them fought so hard for this win." In the opening set, Duquesne jumped out to an 8-0 lead. Mason responded and scored eight-straight points behind Niu's serving. The opposite hitter tallied three service aces during the run. The two teams exchanged points until Mason cut Duquesne's lead to one, 19-18. Ultimately, the Patriots were never able to take the lead, leading to the Dukes taking the first 25-22. Duquesne started strong for the second-straight set, taking a 7-1 lead. The Patriots cut the Dukes' lead to two after a block by Peyton Ehmke and Bailey Williams. Mason went on a 4-0 run for a score of 23-20, in favor of Duquesne. Although Mason threatened to take the set, Duquesne claimed the final two points – winning the set 25-20. Mason found its rhythm to start the third set, jumping out to an 8-3 lead. During the run, Niu tallied three-straight kills. A four-point run by Mason gave the team its largest lead of the set, 22-12. The Dukes went on a late 6-0 run to cut the Patriots' lead to three. Niu was able to seal the set victory with a kill – 25-21. Unlike the previous three sets, no team jumped out to a large lead as both programs exchanged points early on. Mason then scored five-straight points to take a 12-6 advantage. Late in the set, Duquesne went on a four-point run to cut Mason's lead to two. Ultimately, the fourth set went in Mason's favor – 25-21. After finding themselves down 8-3 to start the fifth set, the Patriots tabbed back-to-back points to close in on the Dukes' lead. Mason took its first lead of the set 11-10. In a five-set thriller, it was only fitting the final set was decided in extra points. The Patriots claimed the victory – winning the set 18-16. NOTABLE STATS

  • Espinoza registered her third 30-plus dig match of the season with 31 digs. This is the second-straight match the libero has tallied 30 or more digs.

  • Junior Katrina Santos had her second highest hitting percentage of the season with .400. The middle blocker contributed 11 kills.

  • Williams recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 10 kills and 17 digs.

UP NEXT The Patriots take on the La Salle Explorers at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Tom Gola Arena.


ShaLi Niu's Career Night Lifts Mason

to a Comeback Victory

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