JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Senior middle blocker Dani White has 62 kills and 24 digs this season in 23 sets played. In her 22 sets.
JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA
Senior middle blocker Dani White has 62 kills and 24 digs this season in 23 sets played.

Georgetown volleyball (4-3) capped off a successful weekend by winning the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Invitational Championship.

The Hoyas managed to shake off their opening 3-0 loss to Cleveland State (3-4) as they went on to post a pair of 3-0 victories on Saturday over Colgate (2-2) and the University of Pennsylvania (2-2), giving them a tournament-best 2-1 record.

Head Coach Arlisa Williams was pleased with how the squad responded to the loss against the Vikings.

“We bounced back with a new mentality, knowing that we are a pretty talented team when all of us are playing well and they came out and they played hard,” Williams said. “They executed the game plan and had fun doing it and they got two wins.”

The Hoyas claimed some individual accolades as well. Junior outside hitter and co-captain Lauren Saar won the tournament’s most valuable player award, posting an average of 4.0 kills and 3.11 digs per set. Senior middle blocker Dani White, who averaged 2.89 kills per set and had 10 blocks, was named to the all-tournament team.

In addition to the individual honors, the Philadelphia tournament saw strong team effort from the Hoyas, and budding early-season chemistry.

“It’s easy when your team is doing really well, and there is nothing we could do without our teammates,” Saar said.

With two freshmen and two sophomores in the starting rotation, the focus early in the year has been on overcoming inexperience and creating a cohesive first unit. Georgetown believes its tournament performance went a long way in accomplishing this goal.

“I think we’re still trying to figure out our chemistry and how everything works within our 900 square feet,” White said. “But I think our tournament day on Saturday [showed that] we’re getting real close to getting consistent.”

Freshman Terese Cannon has played a significant part in this increasingly consistent squad. At 6-feet 3-inches”, the outside hitter is the tallest member of the team and has settled nicely into the starting rotation. She had an impressive tournament, averaging 3.9 kills per set.

JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA  In her 22 sets, outside hitter Terese Cannon has 14 blocks and 74 kills, including 15 in a 3-1 loss against Liberty University on Tuesday.
JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA
In her 22 sets, outside hitter Terese Cannon has 14 blocks and 74 kills, including 15 in a 3-1 loss against Liberty University on Tuesday.

“[Cannon] is at a contact point that we haven’t had from an outside in my nine years here,” Williams said. “She’s going to go hard, she’s going to go after balls all the time, she’s going to be scrappy, and she’s going to keep things in play. [Cannon and Speer] definitely add value and depth to what we’re doing.”

In its first home game after the tournament, Georgetown dropped a 3-1 decision against Liberty on Tuesday. Despite this setback, Williams remains optimistic, as the Hoyas had some strong moments against a tough Flames team.

The match featured a number of notable individual performances, including another strong showing from Cannon. She continued where she left off in Philadelphia, posting a career-high 15 kills.

“I think that we were extremely competitive last night,” Williams, who largely attributed the loss to several momentum-killing careless mistakes, said. “We did some good things.”

White, who had 14 kills in the loss, says the focus is not necessarily on the final score this early in the season.

“Our big thing is we either win, or we learn. There’s no losing involved. So every match, every practice we move forward,” White said.

Georgetown volleyball begins conference play Sept. 23 at home against Creighton. It will then have plenty of time to establish chemistry before the Big East tournament in November — a target White and her teammates have their eye on.

“I think it’s going to be a productive preseason for us,” White said. “By the time we get to Big East, we’re going to be a different team.”

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