Colonial Affair: Volleyball falls to crosstown rival George Washington

September 17, 2015

Photo: Georgetown Sports Information

The Georgetown volleyball team (4-6, Big East) fell to George Washington (7-4, Atlantic 10) 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-19) Wednesday night at McDonough Arena. Hurt by slow starts to each set, the Hoyas fought back each time, falling just short of winning the set all three times.

Despite the loss, Georgetown Head Coach Arlisa Williams admired her team’s resiliency.

“I think overall we played hard, and had good energy coming back out of holes,” Williams said after the match. “I like the scrappiness, tough serving, high-flying team we’re showing we can be. Now, we don’t want to put ourselves into those holes to begin with, but that’s a part of the process of getting better.”

Freshman outside setter Alyssa Sinnette led the way for the Hoyas with 11 kills and 10 digs, her fourth double-double of the season. Freshman middle blocker Symone Speech added 12 kills, and junior middle blocker Ashlie Williams chipped in 11 kills.

“I feel like we came out well,” said Williams, who has taken on the role of veteran leader for the freshman-laden Hoyas. “This is the best we’ve played so far, and I’m really proud of our team for battling,”

Junior outside hitter Loren Williams paced the Colonials with 11 kills, averaging 3.67 per set. Freshman outside hitter Kelsey Clark also came on strong towards the end of the match, with four of her 11 kills in the final set, an 80 percent conversion clip. Overall, George Washington came out with an aggressive mindset, totalling 11 team blocks to keep the pressure on the Hoyas all night long. The Colonials also managed to gain an advantage in their mistake-free play, committing just nine attacking errors to the Hoyas’ 20.

The Hoyas found themselves trailing early in the first set, falling behind 15-10 before a timeout. Out of the timeout, Georgetown embarked on a 7-2 spurt to pull to a 17-all tie, highlighted by Sinnette and Williams converting back-to-back with kills. Speech put the Hoyas up for the first time since 2-1 with a kill, to make it 23-22, but the Colonials closed out the set with three straight points out of a timeout.

The second set was tightly contested, highlighted for the Hoyas by a 5-1 run midway through the set that saw well-placed kills by Williams and Sinnette. After shaving a four-point deficit back down to two at 24-22, the Hoyas conceded a kill from Colonials senior middle blocker Maggie Skjelbred to drop the set.

In the third set, George Washington came out roaring, jumping out to a 13-3 advantage before a combination of service aces and hustle plays helped the Hoyas claw back to 21-17. However, the Colonials sealed it with a kill at 25-19.

The Hoyas will return to action this Friday, Sept. 18 at 1:00 p.m, against North Carolina Central (0-13, MEAC) as a part of the James Madison Invitational in Harrisonburg, Va., before meeting tournament host James Madison (7-3, CAA) later that day at 7:00 p.m.

Despite her team’s inexperience, which showed at times against George Washington, Williams’s outlook for the remainder of the season remains optimistic.

“I’m really hopeful for the future with a team full of freshmen.”

Santul Nerkar
Santul is the Voice's former executive culture editor and Halftime Sports editor. Follow him on Twitter @SantulN to become one of his rare few followers.

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