Volleyball | Sluggish Start Dooms GU

COURTESY GUHOYAS Senior middle blocker Ashlie Williams has recorded 94 kills and 34 total blocks this season.

Senior middle blocker Ashlie Williams has recorded 94 kills and 34 total blocks this season.

The Georgetown Women’s volleyball team (5-11, 1-2 Big East) could not keep up its momentum from their big conference win against Villanova (10-5, 1-1 Big East) this past weekend, losing to Seton Hall (9-8, 3-1 Big East) Tuesday night in three straight sets.

The Hoyas kept close for much of the night but could not secure a strong lead, falling to the Pirates by two points in each game.

“We started off very slow and showed a whole lot of grit battling out of that and being able to finish all three sets within two points,” Georgetown Head Coach Arlisa Williams said. “What we learned tonight is that we have to come out and set the tone from the beginning. When we play good volleyball, we’ll play with anyone in the conference.”

Despite the loss, the Hoyas boasted impressive offensive and defensive highlights due to strong performances from their sophomore class. Sophomore outside hitter Alyssa Sinnette led the team with 10 kills, while sophomore middle blocker Symone Speech and sophomore outside Liv King both added eight kills. Junior setter Meghan Richard and Speech had very few attacking errors as well, swinging at .462 and .438 respectively. Speech also had a match-high six blocks at the net.

In the back row, sophomore libero Kenzie Higareda led the team with 10 digs. Higareda also had a strong night from the back line, serving a contest best five aces.

The Hoyas were down by six points, at 9-3 in the first set, until they eventually cut their deficit to 14-12. However, Seton Hall pushed through on a 5-0 run to reestablish their lead at 21-16, before closing out the game at 25-23.

In the second, the girls started off slowly as the Pirates took a 5-1 lead. The Hoyas battled hard to come back, capturing the first lead of the night at 8-7. They capitalized on their advantage, pushing it even farther to 13-9 after a key block by Speech and Richard on the right. The Pirates did not give up and ultimately retook the lead at 19-18 before closing the game out once again at 25-23.

Looking to change the momentum of the match, Georgetown came out with a strong 4-1 lead in the third. But once again, the Blue and Gray could not keep the Pirates down.

Shortly thereafter, Seton Hall tied the set at 8-8. Following a 9-4 run, the Hoyas trailed by five points at 17-12. After a strong serving run by Higareda and a few key kills by Speech and senior middle blocker Ashlie Williams, the third set was tied 23 all, and it looked promising for Georgetown. The last few points were a battle, but ultimately Seton Hall clinched the final set at 26-24.

The Hoyas will now look to take their strengths from this match and improve upon them in their upcoming game to secure a win and improve their conference record.

Georgetown heads to the Midwest this weekend to continue conference play against Marquette on Friday, and DePaul on Saturday. Marquette boasts an impressive 11-3 overall record, offensively led by powerhouse outside hitter Taylor Louis, Big East player of the week last week. The Hoyas are looking for an upset much like their past Villanova victory.

“I think what we are seeing is that every single team in our conference is going to be competitive and we’ll take what we did well against Villanova, we’ll take what we did well tonight, and we’ll apply that to our work in practice on Wednesday and Thursday to get ready for the weekend,” Williams said.

Friday’s game against Marquette is set to start at 8 p.m. ET.

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