VOLLEYBALL | Big East Foes Win With Ease
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 01:10
In what turned out to be a disappointing homestand, the Georgetown volleyball team dropped both its matches in straight sets this weekend, losing to Big East foes Marquette and DePaul.
The Hoyas (6-10, 0-3 Big East) had a slow start against a strong Marquette team Friday and could not mount a big enough comeback to overcome the Golden Eagles (10-4, 3-0 Big East).
The first set stayed even early, but Marquette soon jumped out to a five-point lead and never looked back, using multiple long runs to take the first set 25-14.
The Blue and Gray struggled to return serves, with the Golden Eagles recording six aces, four of which from freshman Autumn Bailey, who also had three kills in the first set.
In the second, Marquette again took a big lead, going up 23-14. Although Georgetown battled back, scoring six straight points to come within four, the Golden Eagles would win the next point and the set to go up 2-0.
“We started serving a little bit tougher, so we were scoring a few more points every time we were back at the service line, and that helped us,” Head Coach Arlisa Williams said.
Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Saar led that charge, with her serving run giving the Hoyas that late-set surge.
“Our outsides were taking some really good high swings at the ball, so we were able to start using the block and that won us some points as well,” Williams said.
Junior outside hitter Alex Johnson had three of her four set kills during that final Georgetown run, and she led all players with 15 on the night.
In the third set, the Hoyas kept it close, tying it up at 10 before the Golden Eagles pulled ahead. Georgetown pushed but could not overtake Marquette, who took the set 25-21 to win the match.
Despite the lopsided score, Georgetown stayed aggressive throughout the entire match.
“You see us fight back, you see us make runs, you see us start blocking balls in the third set and putting good touches on it, and it just speaks to their resilience,” Williams said.
The next night, Georgetown was hopeful for a comeback win against DePaul (14-2, 1-2 Big East). With both teams still seeking their first Big East victory, the Hoyas aimed to put their skills to use on their home court to get the conference win. Williams knew her team was up for the challenge if they could remain sharp and focused.
“We see flashes of it every single day, just how talented this group can be. It is just finding out how to do it consistently, regardless of the personnel that’s on the floor,” Williams said.
DePaul took the lead in the first set, and while the Blue and Gray kept it close, they couldn’t pull ahead and lost 25-21. Saar had six of her 15 kills in the first set.
“I think that early on, we were passing extremely well in the first set, so we were able to stay in system,” Williams said.
The second set was a nail-biter, as the squads traded points past 25. Both had chances to close out the win, but ultimately, the Blue Demons won it on a kill, 29-27, to go up 2-0. Despite the disappointing result, Williams took away some positives from the second set.
“Annalee Abell on the right side took some great swings and they could not stop her early, and so I think that that is what allowed us to stay in it, and then we got Lauren Saar going as well,” Williams said.
Abell, a redshirt senior right side hitter, recorded five kills in the set and nine in the match.
In the third set, DePaul caught fire, lighting up the scoreboard for 10 straight points, which gave them an 11-1 lead. They never looked back, and the Hoyas never threatened, scattering points to ultimately record a 25-13 loss, which gave DePaul the match victory.
“We came out and we let them get the jump on us. We changed our rotation trying to get a better blocking matchup, and in doing that, they went off on us serving-wise, and we just couldn’t get our legs under us,” Williams said.
Georgetown has skill and talent, but also tends to have patterns of inconsistency. The team ran into problems at different points in sets, sometimes struggling to get on the board early and sometimes struggling to finish. Williams says the team will continue to work on taking care of the details, which will lead to a more balanced point spread.
“The biggest thing is us making sure that every single day, we take care of the little things. It’s the little things that don’t show up in the stats that make a big difference in the end result,” she said.