VOLLEYBALL | Hoyas Can't Overcome Slow Start, Lose Two
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 02:10
Though the Georgetown volleyball team beat Seton Hall and St. John’s last weekend on the road, it was unable to repeat its success at home this past weekend, dropping both matches to the Big East foes.
Georgetown (8-12, 2-5 Big East) was looking for another win against Seton Hall (10-10, 3-4 Big East), whom it swept last week. But it fell behind early, losing the first two sets of the match 25-20 and 25-12 to find itself deep in the hole going into the break.
“I think that Seton Hall served really tough tonight. We had a very difficult time staying consistently in system, which meant that our hitters had the double block in front of them a lot, and it’s pretty tough to score against that double block,” Head Coach Arlisa Williams said.
But the Blue and Gray made a match of it, winning the third set 25-22 and tying it up with a dominant fourth set, 25-17.
“We came out with a whole lot of fight,” Williams said. “We showed grit, they served tough, we got them out of system, we were finally able to hit past their block and make them play defense, and in doing that, we were able to capitalize.”
Junior outside hitter Alex Johnson had five kills in the fourth set, while middle blockers, freshman Ashlie Williams and junior Dani White, contributed six each in the Hoyas’ two winning sets.
But the Pirates came out firing in the decisive fifth set, scoring four straight points on a serving run by senior libero Alyssa Warren before the Hoyas could get on the board. Seton Hall ran with its momentum, never letting Georgetown back in the game and winning the set 15-5 to take the match.
“They came out on fire, they served well [and] they had a momentum shifting block,” Williams said. “They made a whole lot of noise, and that noise got into our heads. We can’t let that happen, and that was the biggest difference.”
Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Saar led the team with 14 kills in the match and added 13 digs for her 13th double-double this year, and Johnson had a double-double of her own with 11 kills and 14 digs. White recorded 12 kills and nine blocks, a season-high. Junior libero MacKenzie Simpson led the defensive effort with 21 digs.
Georgetown was back in McDonough Arena Saturday night to take on St. John’s (14-9, 3-4 Big East), hoping for a different outcome. It had come out on the winning side of a tough five set battle last week and was looking for another win.
Again they found themselves in trouble early on with St. John’s comfortably winning the first set 25-11.
“We didn’t pass well tonight, and so we weren’t in system early on,” Williams said.
In the second set, the Hoyas kept it close and led by five in the beginning, but the Red Storm rode a serving run from sophomore libero Shawna-Lei Santos to get back in it and ultimately closed it out 25-20.
“Our passing got better as the match went on, but we just dug ourselves so far in a hole, not being able to take good swings, and that hurt us,” Williams said.
St. John’s sophomore outside hitter Karin Palgutova gave Georgetown problems with 18 kills in only three sets, hitting 60.7 percent on the night.
“Their outsides went off, and ours did not,” Williams said.
The Blue and Gray struggled in the third and ultimately final set, as they kept it close early only to see the Red Storm pull away for a decisive 25-13 win to complete the sweep.
White led the team with seven kills on the night.
Though it was a disappointing weekend for Georgetown, who had been looking for season sweeps against both teams, the team will have to take these losses in stride moving forward.
“We’ve got to take care of everything every single day,” Williams said. “There’s no moment that we can ever take off. We can’t think, ‘Oh we’ve played well, we got it.’ We can’t think it’s going to be easy. We have to do the hard things every single time.”