Stockton, Calif. – Pacific Men's Volleyball opened the 2013 campaign with a bang on Friday, January 4 in the Alex G. Spanos Center in a season opening 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-23) victory over No. 14 George Mason.
Senior outside hitter Taylor Hughes and sophomore Tommy Carmody led the Tigers on the night. Hughes led all players with 16 kills, while Carmody added a career and match-high nine blocks. Also, the passing duo of junior Javier Caceres and senior Patrick Tunnell was on fire. Caceres showed he is still at his second team all-conference form from a year ago totaling 12 digs, while Tunnell collected 32 assists.
The victory started the Tigers out at 1-0 on the season, while the Patriots fell to 0-1.
The Tigers outlasted George Mason to take the opening set of the season, 25-23, in a back and forth battle. Pacific jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Patriots would rally back to tie the game at five. The trading of points would continue throughout the set until the teams would find themselves knotted at 20. Despite the Patriots picking up three late points, four George Mason errors and a kill from Pacific's Adam Troy would prove to be the difference, giving the Orange and Black the opening set victory.
Leading Pacific in the opening frame was Hughes with seven kills on 16 attacks. He also added four blocks in the set. Also, helping the Tigers' cause in the opening set was Carmody with a set-best six blocks and three kills. As a team the Tigers recorded seven total team blocks.
Pacific rolled George Mason in the second set leading 18-13 at one point while going on to take the game, 25-19. Hughes led the Tigers' surge with four kills, while Carmody added a pair of blocks. Senior Matthew Houlihan and Troy each tallied three kills to help the Pacific attack. Defensively, senior Christian Ahlin recorded a pair of blocks in the frame.
George Mason opened up an early 8-5 lead in the third set to force a Pacific timeout, but out of the break the Tigers would regain their momentum from the previous set to take control of the contest. The Orange and Black would eventually take the set and match with a 25-23 victory.
The final set victory was due in large part to six kills from Troy and five strikes from Hughes. Defensively, Hughes, Houlihan, Ahlin and Carmody all added blocks to help end the match in three sets. As a team the Tigers collected 15.5 blocks.
The Tigers are back in action on January 12 at the Stanford Cardinal to open Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) play.