Volleyball Drops Weekend Pair on the Road

October 22, 2018

The Georgetown volleyball team (13-10, 6-5 Big East) lost both ends of their weekend road trip north, falling to Seton Hall (8-16, 3-8 Big East) in straight sets in South Orange, NJ on Friday before coming up short in a five-set marathon against St. John’s (18-8, 7-4 Big East) in Queens, NY some twenty-two hours later. Senior outside hitter Alyssa Sinette was outstanding for the Hoyas with a combined 29 kills between the two matches, while fellow senior middle blocker Symone Speech also shined, recording 18 kills and 15 blocks.

Looking to gain ground on conference leaders Creighton and Marquette heading into the weekend, the Hoyas took a step back on Friday with their tight loss to struggling Seton Hall. In the first set, the two teams traded runs before Georgetown seemed poised to take the set after winning three straight points to gain a 24-21 advantage. The hosts fought back, however, fending off the three set points before taking the set 27-25.

The Pirates would carry that momentum into the second and third sets, always keeping the Hoyas at arm’s length in a 25-19 second set win, and then fending off a late comeback from the Hoyas to seal the win with a 25-23 victory in a third set during which the Hoyas were mostly playing from behind.

The senior duo of Sinette and Speech led the Hoyas with 11 and 10 kills, respectively, while senior libero Kenzie Higaraeda recorded 12 digs in the back row. Hall was led by junior middle blocker Haylee Gasser’s ten kills and four blocks, while freshman libero Eden Dolezal put in a strong performance with 16 digs.

The Blue and Gray had an opportunity to make amends Saturday evening against St. John’s, but were similarly unlucky in their first set against the Red Storm. The Hoyas were able to force extra points after being down 24-22 and winning two set points, but two consecutive kills from sophomore middle blocker Kayley Wood put the set away for the hosts.

The Hoyas were resilient in another second set highlighted by constant lead changes, winning three straight to seize the set and knot the score after the two teams were deadlocked at 22. St. John’s raced out to an early lead in the third set that proved insurmountable, ultimately winning by a comfortable 25-19 margin. The fourth set was a carbon copy of the first two, a lengthy back-and-forth that saw the joint third-placed Big East teams level at 22 again. This time, the Hoyas took control, winning three of four to post a 25-23 victory and force a decisive fifth set to be played to fifteen. The Red Storm pulled ahead with two four-point advantages in the fifth set, both of which the Hoyas rallied back from to within one, but the Johnnies were able to win the final two points of the match as the fifth set ended 15-12.

Sinette was instrumental again, recording 18 kills, ten more than any other Hoya. She was teed up time and time again by sophomore setter Margo Pivonka, who recorded 38 assists. Three players recorded ten digs or more for St. John’s, while junior libero Amanda Sanabia notched a game-high 26 digs.

The Hoyas have a lone game next weekend, hosting the Villanova Wildcats on Friday night in McDonough, where they will look to get back to winning ways. Follow @GUVoiceSports for more coverage of sports at Georgetown.

Will Shanahan
is a senior in the McDonough School of Business, and former Sports Executive and Editor of The Voice. He spends his days plotting visits to downstairs Leo's when the omelet line will be short and trying to recall memories of his middling high school football career.

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