VOLLEYBALL | Ohio Valley Trip Ends in Defeat
Published: Monday, November 5, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 23:11
The hard-luck Georgetown volleyball team (7-19, 1-12 Big East) knew that this past weekend presented two opportunities for it to pull off an upset over a Big East heavyweight. Unfortunately, both Cincinnati (11-16, 9-4 Big East) and No. 12 Louisville (23-3, 12-1 Big East) proved too much for the Big East cellar dwellers, as each defeated the Hoyas in three sets.
“We played well for short periods of time this weekend, like in the second game against Louisville and the third set against Cincinnati,” Head Coach Arlisa Williams said. “Our passing was excellent at times, but we just weren’t consistent enough.”
On Friday, the Blue and Gray fell to Cincinnati by a score of 25-22, 25-16, 25-22. The Bearcats, led by senior middle blocker Jordanne Scott — who had 14 kills and hit .433 in the match — swept aside a Georgetown team that could not close out the first and third sets.
These late-set collapses came as a particular disappointment to Williams, who has put the team through several different pressure-situation drills in practice throughout the season.
“We were tied at 18 in both sets, and at the end, they just pulled away both times,” Williams said. “Part of it was that they are more physical than we are, but we also committed a lot of unforced errors. In the first set, we had four unforced errors in the last seven points [we lost], and in set three, we had six unforced errors in the last seven points [we lost]. You can’t win like that.”
Redshirt junior right-side hitter Annalee Abell had one of her best matches of the season in the loss, contributing 12 kills. Sophomore middle blocker Dani White, who has cemented herself as Georgetown’s most consistent hitter this season, added 11 kills on .429 hitting.
On Sunday, it perhaps would have been too much to ask Georgetown to pull off a shocker against conference leaders Louisville. Like many would have expected, the Cardinals trounced the Hoyas to the tune of a 25-10, 25-18, 25-12 thrashing. Louisville star senior outside hitter Lola Arslanbekova dominated by recording 21 kills, and — perhaps affected by the raucous crowd in the KFC Yum! Center — the Hoyas could not keep up.
“Louisville is an amazing environment. They have all the bells and whistles and a band and cheerleaders,” Williams said. “It’s a wow factor we’ve never seen, and our young players needed to experience that. It bodes well for us being able to look past that when we come back in the future.”
Williams sat sophomore outside hitter Alex Johnson, the team’s kills leader, for both games last weekend; the reason she cited for Johnson’s benching was the solid play of Georgetown’s other outside hitters, such as redshirt sophomore Elizabeth Riggins and junior Brooke Bachesta.
Immediately after returning from Louisville, the Blue and Gray began preparations for its final home game of the 2012 campaign, a rare midweek clash against Connecticut (17-11, 8-5 Big East) Wednesday.
“The hardest thing was coming home late [Sunday] night and the quick turnaround for the players, with practice at 7:30 a.m. Monday,” Williams said.
Despite this inconvenient scheduling, Williams said that her team would be ready for the Huskies in the second meeting between the two teams this season. In the first match, UConn prevailed in a five-set nail-biter back on Sept. 23.
“When we played UConn at UConn, there were some things we didn’t do that we’d like to do this time around,” Williams said. “We know what they bring, and our experience that we [have from the] last time we played them will help.”
While UConn has already clinched a spot in the eight-team Big East tournament in mid-November, Georgetown cannot reach the tournament and must instead play its final three games for pride. Wednesday’s match, which will mark the final home game of senior middle blocker Lindsay Wise’s career, will be played in McDonough Arena at 11:30 a.m.