Lucye Rafferty/The Hoya Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Nelson sets up a shot against Rutgers Sunday afternoon. Nelson recorded a game-high 12 kills in the Hoyas’ 3-0 loss.

The Hoyas spent the weekend playing host to two New Jersey teams – defeating one from South Orange but falling to another from Piscataway. On Saturday, the women’s volleyball team extended its winning streak to three games against Seton Hall but saw that streak snapped by Rutgers on Sunday.

Georgetown defeated the Pirates in Saturday’s three games (30-22, 30-27, 30-24). This win came a week after the volleyball team swept a two-game Big East road trip.

Saturday’s competition started at 5 p.m. in front of a small crowd. Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Nelson came out strong in the first game with five kills and only one error.

The Pirates were unable to mount a consistent attack, due in large part to four service errors. The Hoyas had two errors, but also two aces in the eight-point win.

Georgetown emerged victorious from a closer second game. Seton Hall was plagued by bad serves, committing three service errors. Those mistakes prevented the Pirates from holding a lead.

Pirates’ head coach Rich Pickrell implored his team to “fight hard,” but the coach’s encouraging words were not enough to put his team over the top.

Junior middle blocker Sara Albert built off a strong first game, in which she had seven kills on nine attempts. The Hoyas were able to capitalize on Albert’s performance and come away with a win. The game ended on a big assisted block by freshman middle blockers Annie Connor and Basak Karamehmet.

The third game went back and forth until Georgetown was able to put together a string of big plays for the win.

Seton Hall took its first lead of the match at 14-13 in the third game. From that point on, the score went back and forth without either team taking more than a two-point advantage until Georgetown put together an 8-2 run to cap the game.

Albert ended the match with a .600 killing percentage. She had 15 kills on 25 attempts with no errors. She also had 12 digs, giving her a double-double. Nelson and freshman middle blocker Jennifer Fountain also posted double-digit kill totals. Nelson had 13 – along with 11 digs – and Fountain had 11.

Fountain has been doing well over the past two weeks filling in for injured sophomore outside hitter Ashley Lancaster. Lancaster, who sprained her foot over three weeks ago, will be out for the rest of the season.

The Pirates were led offensively by freshman outside hitter Katherine Whitney, who had 11 kills and eight digs.

The game on Saturday was one of the strongest performances by the Hoyas on the season, but was followed by a lackluster match against the Scarlet Knights. Georgetown fell to a loud and dominant Rutgers team in three straight games (30-23, 30-21, 30-24).

The first game started off poorly for the Hoyas, as they committed six service errors. The bright spot was Nelson, who had eight kills in the first game.

In the second game it became clear that the Knights held all the momentum. As their lead grew, Georgetown’s enthusiasm fell. Head coach Li Liu said she felt her team’s energy was not where it should have been. “We have talent but we didn’t fight,” she said. “We were so hesitant to play.”

The Hoyas did manage to put together a nice run at the end, but by that time the game had fallen out of reach.

In the third game, Georgetown’s level of play continued to plummet. The Hoyas could not sustain the same playing intensity as the Knights, even though the two teams have had similar seasons.

“We’re about the same, but they’re a little more solid. They have more upper-class players,” Liu said of Rutgers.

The team was despondent after the game, as the players watched the visitors celebrate in their gym. Liu took time after the game to talk to her players about what she saw out on the court.

The Hoyas did receive some impressive performances from individual players. Albert turned in another strong performance with nine kills on 15 attempts. She was errorless for the second match in a row. Nelson had a team high 12 kills. Freshman right-side hitter Jessica George had five kills and a .833 hitting percentage, as she saw some rare playing time.

Junior outside hitter Dawn Christjaener led the Knights with a match-high 14 kills. Rutgers assistant coach Craig Dyer was nothing but smiles after seeing his team win.

“This is the very best we’ve played in a long time,” he said. “We knew [Georgetown] had a good team but we kept them on their heels with our service. They couldn’t really get into an offensive flow.”

That fact was reflected in the final statistics. Georgetown finished with 13 serve errors and nine serve-receive errors. The hitting numbers were not much better as the Hoyas had a .208 hitting percentage. Their opponent more than doubled that with .420.

“We made more errors than they did. We need to step up and get the job done,” Liu said. “We need somebody to rely on to do their job.”

The Hoyas saw their Big East record fall to 4-7 after Sunday’s game. With only two games remaining, Georgetown will finish below .500 this year but Liu said she would like to see a strong finish.

The Hoyas’ final two games of the season are both at home. The next one is Friday at 8 p.m. in McDonough Gymnasium when Georgetown takes on the University of Connecticut.

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