Erin NaPier/THE HOYA Senior libero MacKenzie Simpson had ten digs in three sets played.Georgetown lost in staight sets to Creighton in its Big East opener.
Erin NaPier/THE HOYA
Senior libero MacKenzie Simpson had ten digs in three sets played.Georgetown lost in staight sets to Creighton in its Big East opener.

Kicking off Big East play in its 2014 campaign, Georgetown volleyball (6-8, Big East 0-1) fell to the Creighton Blue Jays (8-6, Big East 1-0) in straight sets Tuesday, Sept. 23 in McDonough Arena.

The Hoyas headed into Tuesday’s match coming off a trio of losses at the Fullerton Classic at California State University, Fullerton the previous weekend. After falling to the Yale Bulldogs in the last game of the tournament, the Hoyas were ready to embark on the brunt of regular-season play against their Big East counterparts.

“Our players were amped, I mean, they were hungry, they were ready for Big East play,” Head Coach Arlisa Williams said. “They’ve been talking about it — we’re ready for [the] Big East, we’re ready to start this next chapter.”

Creighton came out extremely strong in the first set. Although the Hoyas got on the board first after an attack error by Creighton’s Marysa Wilkinson, the Blue Jays proceeded on an eight-point run. Creighton went on to dominate the set 25-7, with Georgetown only serving in eight points in the entire set.

“We did not play inspired volleyball to start, and then we just picked it up. There were only a few adjustments we could make,” Williams said of the team’s mentality after the first set. “We couldn’t pass in system, and so we started to focus on the ball coming off the server’s hands … so we could get back in the system.”

Even with the adjustments made, Georgetown still dropped the second set with a final score of 25-15. Though it showed greater offensive prowess with eight kills in comparison to its two kills in the first set, the Bluejays were still largely unchallenged.

“We just needed everybody, all cylinders running, and it was no one person who was out there making mistakes — it’s just all of us playing together,” Williams said.

Georgetown continued its gradual improvement in play in the third set, when they notched twelve kills, committed only three errors and forced three lead changes.

“Our players came out of the locker room a little hungrier than we had in the first two sets, and it was the mentality that ‘We’re going to go out and get this,’” Williams said. Creighton gave us a few points in the beginning with some missed serves and a hitting error, and that allowed us to get our legs underneath us. Then we tried to move from there.”

With a tie game at 15-15, Williams called timeout.

FILE PHOTO: CHRIS GRIVAS/THE HOYA Georgetown coach Arlisa Williams lead the Hoyas against Creighton.
FILE PHOTO: CHRIS GRIVAS/THE HOYA
Georgetown coach Arlisa Williams lead the Hoyas against Creighton.

“I told them we know how to grind, we’ve done it plenty of times — we know how to take big swings, we know how to stay aggressive, we know how to stay competitive and we just need to dig deep right now and try to do that,” Williams said.

Georgetown dug deep and stayed neck-and-neck with Creighton in the end of the third set with two lead changes and three tie scores. Unfortunately for Georgetown, it was too little too late. The Bluejays defeated the Hoyas 25-22 in the third set to win the match.

“We need to come out fast and strong, we cannot wait to do that in the third set,” Williams said. “That’s something that we’ll talk about. We just have to be aggressive from the beginning — we can’t kind of get a feel of what’s going on, we have to come out and take charge.”

Despite the loss, Williams praised two athletes in particular for their energy and perseverance on the court.

“I think [senior libero] MacKenzie [Simpson] does a great job in the back row for us, she brings some energy. I think that [redshirt senior outside hitter] Liz Riggins played a good game. She came out, she’s hitting hard, she’s taking some good swings, she’s keeping balls in play when the rest of us were struggling in that area,” Williams said.

Now Georgetown looks to continue its improvement against another Big East foe, the Xavier Musketeers(7-5). The match will tip off tonight at 7 p.m. in McDonough Arena.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*