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Junior right side hitters Kiersten McKoy (left) and Courtney Cohen

The volleyball team was definitely not affected by the norovirus this weekend.

Georgetown (10-7, 3-1 Big East) had a successful road trip, coming home with impressive wins against West Virginia (5-10, 0-4) and Pittsburgh (10-8, 3-1). The victories were not a cake-walk – in each match, the Hoyas had to fight from behind to end up on the winning end. Georgetown is tied for first place in the Big East with three teams after this past weekend.

In its Friday match, Georgetown beat West Virginia 3-1. The Hoyas and Mountaineers exchanged leads throughout the first set. After falling behind 15-18, the Mountaineers bounced back to gain a 22-21 lead. The Hoyas kept it close, but the Mountaineers prevailed, 26-24.

“West Virginia is a scrappy team that just kept bringing the balls over,” Head Coach Arlisa Williams said. “We tried to go for different balls in different places.”

West Virginia appeared to have the momentum early on in the second set. But, after trailing 7-12, Georgetown came within one point. The Mountaineers would not collapse however, and upped their play to take a 20-15 lead. Then, freshman setter Ashley Malone served five straight points for the Hoyas, including three aces, to tie the score. Strong offensive play from junior outside hitter Jessica Hardy and freshman outside hitter Sara Manley helped the Hoyas to a 25-21 second set win.

The Hoyas came out swinging in the third set, jumping out to a 16-8 lead. Guided by senior setter Caitlin Boland’s nine assists, Georgetown won the third set handily, 25-17.

West Virginia, however, was far from finished. The Mountaineers took a 13-7 lead to start the third fourth set. They continued on to a 22-15 lead, but the Hoyas were resilient. An 8-0 run put Georgetown on top by one. Fittingly, Hardy, the kill-leader in the match, converted on match point at 25-23 to cement the Hoya victory.

Georgetown displayed gritty defensive play, with four Hoyas ending the match with at least 10 digs.

“We’ve practiced all week defensive discipline . being in the right place and making the right movements,” Williams said. “[The team] came out and executed that.”

Freshman libero Tory Rezin led the defense with 14 digs. The Hoyas out-blocked the Mountaineers, 14-6. Serving was solid on both sides, with Georgetown tallying 11 aces and West Virginia nine.

On Sunday, Georgetown dropped its first two sets against Big East contender Pittsburgh before storming back to win 3-2. The Hoyas also beat the Panthers after falling into 2-0 hole last year.

In both of the first two sets, the teams were close early on, but the Panthers went on runs to claim 25-14 and 25-19 wins. According to Williams, the turning point of the match was in the second set.

“Even though we lost the set,” she said, “we were gaining momentum and doing good things.”

The Hoyas did not allow another repeat in the third set. They went ahead at 13-12 and never gave up the lead, winning 25-20. Williams said the team made adjustments during the break between the second and third sets.

“We talked about covering defensively and taking care of the ball,” Williams said. She added that Pittsburgh is a great blocking team, which meant the Hoyas needed to effectively handle the balls coming back onto their side.

“We had an atypical change in setter; Ashley Malone went out with no fear and kept the team in tempo,” Williams said.

The fourth set featured two 5-0 Hoya runs, which meant a steady lead for Georgetown. Sophomore middle blocker Vanessa Dorismond was dynamic at the net, with four blocks, and Malone was consistent on offense, with nine assists and two kills.

“Vanessa Dorismond didn’t play Friday night but came out with 13 kills that led our team against Pittsburgh,” Williams said.

The decisive set was all about serving. Manley served three aces and five consecutive points for the Hoyas to give them a comfortable 7-2 lead. After some exchange of points, the Hoyas pulled away with four straight service points from Malone. They defeated the Panthers 15-12 to seal the comeback win. Williams still thinks the Hoyas have plenty of lessons to take away from the match.

“We definitely need to focus on blocking. … [Especially] when you get out blocked by 19 in a five-game match,” Williams said.

On the eve of Homecoming, Georgetown will have its Dig Pink event, hosting Big East rival Syracuse Friday night. “The goal,” Williams said of the Dig Pink, “is to increase awareness and education about breast cancer.”

The game is set for 7 p.m.

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