Although they may have stumbled out of the gates, the Hoyas (1-3) have a chance to be one of the best teams Head Coach Arlisa Williams has ever coached. “This is the best team I have had in my years based on their skill level, playing experience and attitude,” Williams said.

Despite their talent, Georgetown has started 1-3, but their one win was a crucial one against American on Saturday.

“The win over American was really big. We just took care of business,” Williams said. “We are still trying to find our chemistry. On the court, we normally have two true freshmen and several sophomores. We are very, very young.”

Williams is looking for leadership from a solid senior class, which includes middle blocker Vanessa Dorismond, outside hitter Kortney Robinson and outside hitter Samantha Trauth.

Georgetown’s setting game has been led by junior setter and captain Ashley Malone. On the season, Malone leads the Hoyas in assists with 125 out of Georgetown’s 150.

“[Malone] . is a more mature player than [she was] last year,” Williams said. Malone has also recorded two double-doubles, giving her 10 for her college career.

Junior libero Tory Rezin is Georgetown’s dig leader with 50, followed closely by Malone, who has 39.

“We are looking for a lot from Tory this year,” Williams said.

Several Hoyas have compiled over 20 kills including Trauth, Robinson, freshman middle blocker Elizabeth Riggins and freshman outside hitter Brooke Bachesta. Only one Hoya, sophomore middle blocker Lindsay Wise, has reached 30 kills on the season.

On Aug. 27, the Hoyas started their 2010 campaign at home with a 3-1 loss (25-21, 25-19, 23-25, 25-19) to George Washington in four hotly contested sets. In the first set, the Hoyas were down early but rallied to get within three at 13-10, but could not get any closer the rest of the way.

The Blue and Gray led for most of the second set, but the Colonials persevered and won eight of the last 10 points after tying it at 17.

The Hoyas responded to win a hard-fought third set that included three lead changes and 14 ties. With the set tied at 22, Robinson gave Georgetown the last lead of the set as a George Washington error and a kill by Bachesta gave the Hoyas the set. Unfortunately for the home fans, the Hoyas were unable to capitalize on their momentum and GW clinched the match by winning the fourth set.

The Blue and Gray traveled to Fairfax, Va., the following day where they faced George Mason and American in a doubleheader. They were overwhelmed 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-13) in the first match by George Mason but recovered to sweep American, 3-0 (27-25, 25-19, 25-20).

In the second set against George Mason, the Hoyas came within three points of a set win at 24-22, but dropped the set. In the first set, Wise posted four kills and two blocks, but the closest the Hoyas would come was within three points.

Against American, the Hoyas used a great team effort to notch a 3-0 victory, as Trauth led the way with 13 kills.

“We played well the whole game from points one to 25. It was just an all around solid game with few errors,” Williams said.

The first set went back and forth, and eventually the score was tied at 25. Then Trauth stepped up to single-handedly end the set with a kill and an ace.

Both teams were locked in at the beginning of the second set and there were several ties before the Hoyas took a commanding 17-12 lead with two aces from Bachesta and a kill by Wise. Georgetown kept up its solid play in the third set, maintaining a lead for most of the set. Bachesta led the Hoyas with five kills and .714 hitting percentage in the third. It was Trauth, however, who ended the set and the match with a kill.

On Tuesday, Georgetown visited Towson and was able to gain one set win, but ultimately lost 3-1. Georgetown lost the first two sets 25-19 and 25-23, respectively. With the help of three kills by Robinson and Riggins, the Hoyas answered back in the third set, gaining a late 24-20 lead and won the set 25-23 after a Towson error. The Hoyas fought hard in the fourth set, but were ultimately unable to overcome Towson’s late lead. On the brink of defeat at 24-21, Georgetown forced a Towson error and Wise recorded a kill, but the Blue and Gray were not able to complete the comeback and fell 25-23.

“When we get it together, we can challenge every team on our schedule with a lot of firepower and work ethic,” Williams said.

This weekend the Hoyas travel to College Park, Md., to compete in the Maryland Invitational. Georgetown will return home to face Howard on Friday, Sept. 8, but are already focusing on a later date against a well-known foe.

“We really want to try to jam the gym against Binghamton, who were the American East Champions last year,” Williams said.

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