A year ago, it was three up and three down for the Hoyas at the D.C. Challenge – they were shut out in all their matches, losing 3-0 three times.

It was the same script this year, but Georgetown played a different role, sweeping two matches in the season-opening tournament by identical scores of 3-0.

Led by freshman outside hitter Sara Manley and senior setter Caitlin Boland, two of six players named to the all-tournament team, the Hoyas (2-1) beat George Mason (0-3) and George Washington (2-1) 3-0 and fell to American (2-1) 3-0. The Colonials, Eagles and Hoyas all finished 2-1 in the tournament to share the title.

“I’m thrilled with where we are after the weekend,” Head Coach Arlisa Williams said. “We had a nice hitting efficiency, we passed well, we dug balls – we’re doing some really good things.”

Friday night in Fairfax, Va., Georgetown made quick work of George Mason, winning 25-22, 25-17, 25-23.

“Our players have worked so hard all preseason, and that was just their effort being rewarded,” Williams said of the season-opening sweep.

anley had 11 kills and an attacking percentage of .364 in her first collegiate match.

“I was really nervous and really excited,” Manley said in a press release. “The nerves wore off when I stepped on the court. I thought I could have put a few more open sets away, but I thought I hit well; I thought I was pretty consistent.”

Sophomore middle blocker Vanessa Dorismond had six kills and no errors in seven attempts for an attacking percentage of .857. Boland added 38 assists, while junior outside hitter Jessica Hardy put away 10 kills and dug 11 balls for her first double-double of the year.

Saturday afternoon Georgetown suffered its only defeat to American, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23. Four Hoyas had at least seven kills, but the Eagles overpowered them, posting 13 service aces and hitting .358 as a team.

The match belonged to American’s senior outside hitter Rubena Sukaj, who had 14 kills to just two errors and put away six service aces.

Georgetown bounced back against the previously undefeated George Washington Saturday night. Manley led the team with 14 kills, and she got plenty of support from Dorismond’s 12 kills, senior middle blocker Katherine Niesen’s 10 and Hardy’s nine. The Hoyas had an attacking percentage of .320, while the Colonials could muster just a .050 clip.

Georgetown jumped all over George Washington, winning the first two sets 25-7 and 25-15. The Colonials recovered in the third set to take a 26-25 lead, but an error and net violation from George Washington gave the game to Georgetown.

anley had 34 kills over the three matches to earn all-tournament honors.

“Sara Manley played lights out from beginning to end,” Williams said. “She’s taking swings like she’s an upperclassman.”

But it was Manley’s passing, rather than her hitting, that excited Williams the most.

“What I’m most pleased about with Sara is that we told her, `You’ve got to pass balls, you’re first contact has to be better,’ and by the end of the weekend she was passing nails,” the coach said.

Boland, also named to the all-tournament team for being the assist leader in all three of her matches, sang the praises of her teammates.

“You have to credit our hitters. Everyone hit so well, there was no one I had to go away from,” she said in a press release.

The senior co-captain, who battled a knee injury last year but is healthy now, is the facilitator for the team’s hitting.

“You can see Caitlin running an offense that is pretty good, and that’s her being healthy and her experience allowing us to do some more things with the ball,” Williams said.

Williams also noted that her middle blockers, Dorismond and Niesen, as well as Hardy, were keys to success this weekend.

Next up for the Hoyas is the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C., Friday afternoon, as Georgetown will look to avenge the men’s basketball team when they take on Davidson. Saturday, the Hoyas will play the Tar Heels of North Carolina and finish the weekend against Missouri State.

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