Andrew Mishler

Thirteen days of rest for the Ball State men's volleyball team wasn't enough to overpower George Mason on Friday night.

The Cardinals managed to win only one set in the match, losing 3-1 ( 21-25, 25-20, 34-32, 25-21) to the Patriots in a back-and-forth contest.

The lose pushes Ball State under .500 for the first time in the 2011 season at 2-3, while George Mason improved to 6-1.

Ball State opened the game hot to win the first set by four points. Nelson led the way early with three straight kills in the middle of the set.

After George Mason tied the game by winning the next set, the two teams fought hard for control of the match in the third set. Only after the game was tied at 32-32, seven points past the 25-point mark, did Ball State commit a fatal handling error to quickly end it at 34-32.

While Ball State led by five points in the middle of the fourth set, it wasn't able to fend off a late George Mason run to finish the game.

Sophomore Larry Wrather had a standout game for Ball State, totaling 15 kills, his highest of the season. Senior middle blockers J.D. Gasparovic and Anders Nelson followed him with 14 and 12 kills, respectively.

Freshmen Graham Mcllvaine and Tommy Rouse also had one of the games of their short careers. Mcllvaine collected a career-high 11 digs to go along with 48 assists, while Rouse also had a career high with 18 digs.

Coach Joel Walton wasn't available for comment.

Ball State will travel to Connecticut next to play against Sacred Heart with the hopes of evening its record at 3-3.