Georgetown Volleyball (1-2) is preparing for its first road trip of the season after losing two games at the D.C. Challenge last weekend and will fly south to participate in the Stetson/University of South Florida Invitational this weekend.
The Hoyas begin with two matches Friday against Florida Atlantic and Western Carolina, before taking on Stetson on Saturday morning.
As the Hoyas prepare for the upcoming matches, the team remains optimistic. After a tough season last year, which saw the team field several freshmen, the improvement has been obvious, according to senior middle blocker Ashlie Williams.
“We’re really excited about how we’re playing as a team right now. Last year we were a completely new team. Now it definitely shows that we’ve been playing together for a while,” Williams said. “We’re trusting each other more on the court, and things are looking a lot more in-flow. I’m really excited for us to continue growing as a team.”
Williams touched on many aspects of the Hoyas’ game that has improved, noting an overall improvement on both sides of the net.
“Our offense has been looking pretty good this season. It can go up and down, obviously, but I think we’ve been really strong. We’re definitely going to be able to compete against Creighton and some of the big hitters out there,” Williams said. “And our defense — I don’t think there’s anyone better out there right now. And we’re just going to continue to get better.”
Meanwhile, sophomore libero Kenzie Higareda emphasized the team’s improved chemistry, especially in reference to last year’s roster woes.
“Everyone has a positive attitude, and we’re all in here working hard every day. Last year we didn’t have as many people to go through the drills hard all the time. But now that we have a full roster and 16 great girls that try every single day, we’re able to do those drills and it makes everyone a lot better,” Higareda said.
Head Coach Arlisa Williams echoed the sentiment when asked about the strengths of the current team.
“They get along extremely well; our team dynamic is really good,” Williams said. “They understand how each other plays. They’ve got a very good feel for each other. But they also have a year under their belt playing together, so they are communicating more, they understand how to lift each other up and encourage each other, the setter-hitter connection is better, the defense is awesome, just because they are very comfortable with each other.”
Now, the Hoyas look to use that newfound experience against some formidable non-conference opponents.
“We have not looked at the teams yet, but when we get down there we will. We’re really excited to play these teams; they’re going to be good competition for us for sure. These Florida teams are all over the place; [they have played] indoor, outdoor and have really good training. We’re really excited to get in the gym and play these tough teams,” Higareda said.
Meanwhile, Coach Williams preferred to focus on her own team, listing the things she wanted to see from her team this weekend.
“We want to go out, play hard, fine tune some things that we didn’t do well last weekend and just make sure that we’re aggressive and competitive from beginning to end.”
With that in mind, the Hoyas look to translate their optimism into success on the court. First serve is set for Friday at 9 a.m.
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