VOLLEYBALL | GU Falters in Richmond
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 01:09
Going into last weekend’s Third Degree Sports Invitational, Georgetown’s volleyball team (6-2) was undefeated, displaying impressive depth and confidence. After a tough weekend against strong competition, the Hoyas look to regain their early-season magic — and quickly — as they head out on the road for another match today.
Georgetown knew that sweeping the competition in Richmond over the weekend would be a tough task, but they were still taken aback by the stellar play of Appalachian State (2-8) in their first match on Friday.
“We thought maybe if we could overpower [Appalachian State] a little bit, we would be okay,” Head Coach Arlisa Williams said. “But they came out and dug so many balls and just kept bringing things back over the net, and we were not in a position to terminate.”
The Hoyas took two of the first three sets thanks to standout sophomore outside hitter Alex Johnson, who had game-high totals in kills, digs, service aces and hitting performance. Appalachian State, however, took advantage of Georgetown’s mistakes to roar back, forcing a close fifth set that the Mountaineers won, 15-12.
“We had 30 unforced errors, and they had 19,” Williams said. “You do not beat a team when you are giving away that many points, especially a good team.”
Georgetown had its best match of the tournament against physically superior Virginia (4-5) on Saturday. The Hoyas comfortably won the first two sets, 25-19, thanks once again to Johnson and fellow sophomore Dani White, a middle blocker.
The third set was much closer; the Blue and Gray faced an intimidating 12-6 deficit against the Cavaliers but dug their way out of the hole en route to a 25-21 win.
“We came out composed. Everybody played an even game of volleyball,” Williams said. “Even when we went down in the third set, we stayed composed the entire way, and that really helped us to do what we needed to do on the floor.”
VCU (9-2) was Georgetown’s biggest threat going into the weekend, and the Rams did not disappoint. Appearing overmatched, the Hoyas dropped the first two sets, 25-14 and 25-20.
But, exhibiting an encouraging never-say-die attitude, the Blue and Gray fought back to take the third set, 25-23, and only narrowly dropped the fourth set — and with it, the game — 27-25.
“Once we got our legs under us, we battled back,” Williams said. “But they were just too big and their libero was too fast for us to overcome the deficit.”
Luckily for Georgetown, they get a chance to return to form and pick up a victory when they take on Delaware (1-7) today in another road match. On paper, the Hoyas appear to have a distinct advantage over the Blue Hens. But as the Appalachian State match proved, Georgetown must be ready to compete in every match or face the very real danger of losing.
Nonetheless, Williams is confident that the Blue and Gray can win — if they play to their full ability and execute the right tactics.
“They have got a big block in front, but they have got some areas in the back line where they are deficient,” Williams said. “If we can make sure we have got good swings past the block, we should be okay.”
The Hoyas’ match against Delaware takes place today in Newark, Del., at 7 p.m.