By Erin ReillyHoya Staff Writer

The Georgetown volleyball team came away from the George Mason Invitational with a 1-2 record to kick off the 2001 season.

On Friday, the Hoyas took on the University of Illinois Fighting Illini of the Big Ten, and lost in five games (30-27, 30-18, 25-30, 26-30, 15-8).

This season of women’s volleyball begins with a change in scoring which is intended to make the game easier for viewers to follow. With this change, all games will be scored by rally scoring up to 30 points until game five. If a game five is necessary, the game will be played on rally scoring up to 15 points as usual.

The Illini out-blocked the Hoyas 18-9 in the match and out-hit Georgetown .288 to .178. The Illini took the first and second games, while the Hoyas surged back and took the third game. They also forced game five by scoring nine straight points in the fourth with the help of senior Yulia Vtyurina who had five kills and an ace. The Illini won the final game 15-8. Sophomore Jen Ward contributed 49 assists, three kills, three aces, six digs and two blocks.

“We had a slow start, but then they picked it up, but we still lost,” Liu said.

The Hoyas struggled mightily against William and Mary on Saturday.

“We didn’t come up to play,” Liu said, “Everyone has to go for balls, receiving hurt us so bad.”

The Tribe took games two, three and four from the Hoyas to defeat them in four games (23-30, 30-28, 30-27, 33-31). Game four was tied at 29, and match-point was held off with a kill by junior Lauren Warner, but the Hoyas couldn’t hold on.

“They were working hard but it didn’t go through how we wanted,” Liu said. Senior Megan Mullen had a match-high 21 digs, 11 kills, two blocks and an ace while Warner had 20 digs, 12 kills, one ace and three blocks. Vtyurina also posted 17 kills, 13 digs four blocks and one ace against the Tribe.

By the last game on Saturday afternoon, Liu said, “We were tuckered out and needed a change. We knew we couldn’t focus on [the losses]. We had a good meeting and put everything else behind.” Liu also said that she was happy they made the change and played up to their potential in the last match.

“George Mason is a good team, we really battled back,” Liu said. “We learned from our loss to Illinois. If we work hard and lose, it’s okay as long we tried our best and don’t have any regrets.”

Georgetown lost the first game to the Patriots, but battled back taking games two, three and four to come away with the win (32-34, 30-28, 30-27, 30-27). The Hoyas out blocked the Patriots 12-6 and out hit them .291 to .230. Georgetown won game two on a kill by junior Lauren Warner who posted 13 kills in the match. Mullen had 12 kills while freshman Sara Albert had 11 kills and a match-high seven blocks. Vtyurina led the team in the 3-1 victory with 22 kills and nine digs. Warner and Vtyurina garnered all-tournament team honors for the Hoyas.

“Everyone is still positive, definitely. We can only get better,” Liu said, “This weekend will be very tough. We are facing Georgia Tech and Colorado State, both of which are in the top 25. Our goal is to put up a good fight, have a good receiving day, pass better and just play our best,” Liu said.

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