VOLLEYBALL | Victory Bolsters GU Hopes
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 22:10
After spending the majority of the conference season in the Big East cellar, the Georgetown volleyball team (7-15, 1-8 Big East) looks to climb up the standings this weekend after recording its first conference win of the season in a three-set sweep of DePaul (7-15, 2-7 Big East) last Sunday.
“This group works so hard, and we knew that good things would come,” Head Coach Arlisa Williams said. “I’m excited that good things came last weekend, and I’m hoping we can build on [them].”
Although the Hoyas are relieved to have a win under their belts, the players hope to avoid complacency by sustaining their momentum and recording more wins.
“I’m not sure the [team’s] mood has changed,” sophomore outside hitter Alex Johnson said. “It’s one win; it’s not like a championship. We should’ve had way more than one, but we’re just trying to work hard and get another one.”
That chance will come this evening, when Georgetown faces Marquette (18-4, 8-1 Big East). The Golden Eagles, second in the Big East standings, suffered their first conference defeat of the season on Sunday, losing to No. 13 Louisville in four sets.
Marquette boasts a duo of attackers that might be the best in conference in senior right-side hitter Holly Mertens and senior middle blocker Kelsey Mattai. While the Golden Eagles look superior to the Hoyas on paper, Johnson argues that the Blue and Gray should not be overlooked.
“Marquette’s someone … we can beat. It’s just whether we play all the way to the end or not,” Johnson said. “We’ve been confident every weekend despite what the record shows. We all believe that we can do it. I’ve never thought that a team was better than us and [that] we can’t beat them.”
Johnson has been Georgetown’s most versatile player this season, spending time both as the team’s primary hitter on the front line and as a defensive specialist in the back row.
In both roles, she has been successful, leading the Hoyas in kills with 3.65 per set and placing second with 3.33 digs per set. In the win against DePaul, Johnson spent most of her time on the attack, recording 12 kills on a whopping 46 attempts.
While Johnson said that she feels she makes more of an impact in the front row, Williams said that Johnson must continue her all-around play in order for Georgetown to have success.
“Alex is talented in both areas,” Williams said. “We know that in the back row she’s going to pass great, she’s going to keep us in system and she’s going to dig some balls, and in the front row, she’s going to score for us. It’s a coin flip on every different day. She’s got to play all around, and that’s what I expect of her.”
Georgetown’s weekend will end with a clash with Syracuse (9-15, 1-8 Big East) in a battle of the two teams at the bottom of the Big East standings. The Hoyas will undoubtedly be confident against the Orange, who are mired in a five-game losing streak.
Although Syracuse’s slump does not compare to Georgetown’s recently broken 14-game losing streak, the Blue and Gray’s recent win gives the Hoyas a psychological advantage, one boosted by playing at home.
“As I’ve said all year long — this team has had a great attitude, they’re coming in every day, they’re working hard and morale is high,” Williams said. “It feels good to have the win, but we still know that there’s work to be done, and I think they have that in mind.”
Georgetown plays Marquette at 8 p.m. tonight before facing Syracuse at noon Sunday. Both games will be played in McDonough Arena.