VOLLEYBALL | Louisville, Cincy Next for GU
Published: Friday, November 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 00:11
For the Georgetown volleyball team (7-17, 1-10 Big East), 2012 has been a season of close calls and missed opportunities. After two more losses to Marquette and Syracuse — in four and five sets, respectively — the Hoyas will try to flip the script and pull off an upset this weekend when they face off against Cincinnati (9-16, 7-4 Big East) and No. 12 Louisville (21-3, 10-1 Big East).
“Getting back in the gym after [Hurricane] Sandy was tough, but we’ve been focusing on playing low-error and high-energy volleyball,” Head Coach Arlisa Williams said. “It’s really hard at this point with the end in sight, not having accomplished everything we were trying to.”
Nearing the end of an unsuccessful season, the Blue and Gray are hoping to finish the year in style with success in their final four matches. Georgetown can take heart in its excellent play against Marquette, who is tied with Louisville for the Big East lead.
“We’re more confident than we were in earlier parts of the season because we know that we can play good volleyball, but our opponents ahead of us are a little daunting,” Williams said. “When we look at this weekend’s opponents, we just have to believe in ourselves and our confidence and our abilities to stay in the matches. If we for one second think that we can’t, we won’t.”
This weekend’s slate of matches is one of the toughest of the season for the Hoyas. On Friday, they will face Cincinnati and its star outside hitter, Jordanne Scott, who ranks second in the Big East with 4.36 kills per set.
Williams characterized the Bearcats as extremely physical, athletic and fast paced. However, she does not believe that Cincinnati is without weaknesses.
“They’re prone to make mistakes, so we just need to be patient with them,” Williams said. “I think that we can compete with anybody on a given day. The difficult part is making sure that when they step up their game, we step ours up. Sometimes we just get frustrated that they have another gear, and we forget what we do well and try to play someone else’s game.”
On Sunday, the Blue and Gray will face a juggernaut in a Louisville team whose only losses have come to No. 3 Penn State, No. 7 Texas and Notre Dame, a squad that dismantled Georgetown two weeks ago.
The Cardinals will pose a challenge on a level that the Hoyas have not yet faced this season, thanks in large part to senior outside hitter Lola Arslanbekova, arguably the best player in the Big East and an All-American candidate.
Despite being underdogs, the Hoyas will go to Louisville on Sunday and attempt to pull off a miracle. No matter how unlikely that may be, Williams said that she is proud of the way her team has worked to compete and improve, even though the Hoyas have nothing left to play for at this point but pride.
“We had a high-energy practice this morning. They came in, they worked hard, they wanted to get better, they were learning the game plan [and] they were attentive in video, and this group is amazing in how they go out every single day,” Williams said. “The attitude hasn’t changed. We’re still that high-energy, get-after-it, passionate, purposeful group that’s trying to execute at a high level.”