Courtesy Georgetown Sports Information
Courtesy Georgetown Sports Information

After an up-and-down 2011 season, Georgetown’s volleyball team would eventually close things out with a record of 14-13, just above .500. This time around, though, senior middle blocker and captain Lindsay Wise and her teammates are looking to move up in the Big East.

“We’ve got depth at every single position,” Head CoachArlisa Williams said. “And we’re hoping that with the foundation that we’ve laid and the work that the returnees put in over the spring, [we will be able to be successful].”

The Blue and Gray may have lost libero Tory Rezin (COL ’12) and setter Ashley Malone (MSB ’12) to graduation, but the rest of the team will be back this fall for another go-round. Add junior transfer and setter HaleyLowrance and two freshmen to the mix, and it’s no wonder Williams is keen on her squad’s depth.

Even before the team played its first competitive game, that trademark attribute has been paying dividends.

“The level of play in our gym [at practice] has increased significantly,” Williams said of Georgetown’s offseason practices.

And the team’s appearance in the weekend’s D.C. Volleyball Challenge showed that better practice is paying off the Hoyas.

A pair of 3-0 victories over American and George Mason has also helped to help boost confidence for the Blue and Gray.

“There were times when we got down,” Williams told after the match. “But what I like about this team is they keep fighting back and never let the pressure get to them.”

Two players whose D.C. Volleyball Challenge performances validated preseason indications were last year’s impact freshmen — middle blocker Dani White and outside hitter Alex Johnson.

White hit the game winner in the victory over George Mason while Johnson, who led the team in kills last season, posted a career high 19 kills in Georgetown’s win over American.

But the Hoyas’ assignments only get tougher the rest of the season, with the nonconference schedule including four teams that made the NCAA tournament last year. This may not help the win-loss percentage, but it should ensure the Hoyas will be well-prepared for the grueling Big East season.

A match at preseason Big East favorite Louisville is the most daunting on the schedule, but the Cardinals are just one of many tough opponents that the Hoyas will face in league play.

Still, Williams believes her squad is up for the challenge.

“Hopefully this group is ready to step up to the plate.” Williams said. “I think that they’ve demonstrated that every single day.”

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