Volleyball ends season with two five-set losses

November 20, 2017

The Georgetown women’s volleyball team (8-22, 2-16 BIg East) dropped both of its weekend matches at home, losing in five sets (14-25, 25-13, 16-25, 25-23, 15-9) to Providence (17-15, 6-11 Big East) on Friday before coming up short in another five-set match (22-25, 25-15, 23-25, 25-21, 15-13) against No. 13 Creighton (23-6, 16-2 Big East) on Sunday. Sunday’s loss concludes the Hoyas’ season.

Junior outside hitter Alyssa Sinnette led the Hoyas against the Friars with 19 kills and 11 digs, contributing another offensive-defensive double-double, while junior middle blocker Symone Speech chipped in with 15 kills. Junior libero Kenzie Higareda led the defensive effort with 28 digs for the Hoyas, who finished the season by dropping 15 of their last 16 matches.

Against Providence, Georgetown came out firing on all cylinders, breaking an early 7-all tie to jump ahead 17-10 on a kill by Speech. The Hoyas would close the set strong as well, winning by a commanding score of 25-14. The script was flipped in the second set, as the Hoyas looked sluggish with their placement and execution, managing a paltry -9.4 percent hitting percentage. Georgetown bounced back in the third set thanks to an early 10-3 lead, which they preserved through a combination of strong service and unforced errors by the Friars. The fourth set presented the first nailbiter of the match, as Providence raced out to a 16-11 advantage only to see the Hoyas battle back to tie the game at 21-all. The Friars subsequently scored three straight points, which allowed them to seal the set on a kill at 25-23. Providence would then take the deciding fifth set by a score of 15-9, capitalizing on an early 10-4 lead in the frame.

The Hoyas brought the same fight they showed against Providence to the matchup with Creighton, competing at a high level against the best team in the Big East. The Hoyas took a commanding 21-11 lead in the first set and weathered a spirited Bluejays rally to hang on for a 25-22 result. Creighton overpowered Georgetown in the second set, but the Hoyas came out strong in the third set and escaped with another 25-23 win. The fourth set was tight once more, as the Hoyas were in a position to win the match following a Speech kill to draw to within one, at 21-22. However, three straight kills by Creighton senior right side hitter Marysa Wilkerson earned the Bluejays the 25-21 victory. In the fifth and final set, the Hoyas held a 13-12 lead late in the match courtesy of a timeout-inducing dig by Higareda. The Bluejays would close the game with three straight points, ending the Hoyas’ season with a loss.

After the conclusion of Sunday’s match, Georgetown announced that head coach Arlisa Williams would be resigning after 12 seasons at the helm, and that a search for a new coach would commence immediately. Williams compiled a 122-231 record during her time on the Hilltop. The Hoyas will return 13 letterwinners, including five starters, in 2018.

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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