Georgetown women’s volleyball (4-4, Big East) went 2-2 in the annual Georgetown Classic tournament, playing four games through August 31 and Sept. 1. They started out strong, winning in straight sets in their home opener against Norfolk State (0-4, MEAC), going 25-13, 25-17, and 25-10. But in their second match against Penn (2-2, Ivy), Georgetown lost 3-2 in close sets. They went 22-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-18, and 14-16.
On Saturday, Georgetown won their first match of the day against George Mason (2-3, A-10) 3-1, with set scores of 25-14, 25-22, 15-25, and 25-16. And in their final match of the tournament against UNC Wilmington (3-3, CAA), the Hoyas lost 2-3, going 19-25, 25-23, 25-22, and 9-15.
“I came in fully expecting to win the tournaments. I thought we were capable of it,” said Head Coach Toby Rens, who is in his first season coaching at Georgetown. “But we had amazing growth as a team in terms of how we came together, and just the heart and character that we showed.”
In the Hoya’s match against Mason, they started out strong, and poor ball control on the Patriot’s side forced the team to forgo hits and pass the ball over the net multiple times in a row.
Georgetown continued to make smart plays, going for second-touch tips and short serves. The third set was off to a slow start for the Hoyas, who let Mason go 10-1. They came back to 8-12 before the Patriots got back control of the ball. Georgetown’s ball control faltered, many GMU serves and hits turn to aces. The Hoyas lost the third set 15-25.
Georgetown came back in the fourth set, winning 25-16 to end the game. Senior outside hitter Olivia King racked up 15 kills to lead the Hoyas in the match.
The Hoyas then took on UNC Wilmington, who won its first two matches of the tournament against Norfolk State and Penn. The game started slowly with multiple serve errors and few rallies, but that soon changed as the rest of the game included some hard-fought plays and a lot of back and forth. UNCW junior middle blocker Kendell Bender racked up 11 blocks against the Hoyas. The first set ended in a Georgetown loss 19-25.
The second set was neck-and-neck, but Georgetown got the win in the end with a score of 25-23. And while the third set seemed to be heading toward an easy win for the Hoyas with a 23-13 lead, the seahawks rallied back to 24-22. Georgetown edged it out in the end with a final score of 25-22. The fourth set was dominated by UNCW, who held the lead the entire way through, ending 25-19. And in the fifth and final set, the Hoyas fell to the Seahawks 9-15.
Junior outside hitter Iva Vujosevic, who came to Georgetown from UMD Eastern Shore with Rens, recorded 28 kills in the match against UNCW.
“There’s some really good fight there,” Rens said. “She ended really well this weekend. She had her moments, had a couple of rough patches, but ended really well and showed great fight as a player and as a hitter. It helps the team embody that.”
In the final match of the tournament, senior libero/defensive specialist Kenzie Higareda made Georgetown history by breaking the previously-held career dig record.
“Kenzie has been such a staple defensively for the program for such a long time now,” said head coach Toby Rens. “[I’m] really really happy for her, and that it happened at home.”
Higareda said that she didn’t know what was happening when her achievement was announced in the middle of the match.
“I knew kind of somewhat how many I needed but I was just playing,” she said. “It was really nice because my teammates were so supportive the entire time. It was so great.”
The Hoyas next match is against VCU in Richmond on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Their next home game is against Memphis on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. Follow @GUVoiceSports for breaking news and more coverage of Georgetown fall sports