The Georgetown women’s volleyball team suffered a tough set of losses on the road last weekend at the 2017 Rice Adidas Invitational II, where it went 0-3 overall against Arkansas State, Stephen F. Austin and Rice.

After winning the opening set in a nail biter against Arkansas State (7-6), the Hoyas dropped the next three. Junior hitter Symone Speech led the team with 15 kills, and junior setter Paige McKnight tallied 40 assists. Despite the team’s strong efforts, the match ended in a 3-1 defeat by the Red Wolves.

Later that day, the Blue and Gray (6-6) faced the Stephen F. Austin Lady Jacks (12-4). The Hoyas reduced their service errors to eight and improved their blocking, but lost the first two sets. Georgetown rallied to win the third set but could not keep the win alive, dropping the fourth and final set for another 3-1 loss. Graduate student middle blocker Aima Eichie led the squad with 12 kills, and junior libero Kenzie Higareda dug out 15 of the Lady Jacks’ attack attempts.

On Saturday, the Hoyas fell to their hosts, the Rice University Owls (10-4), in another first set victory that turned into 3-1 defeat. Georgetown easily handled Rice in the first set, outhitting Rice .300 to -.031, but the Owls fought hard to even the score and pull away from the Hoyas in the next three sets.

Georgetown Head Coach Arlisa Williams attributed the trend of tough losses to a lack of stamina.

“We really have to stay focused every single point, be intentional every single point, and it’s difficult to do that,” Williams said. “The stronger that we are mentally, the easier that will be for us, so that’s an area that we continue to work on.”

Against Rice, Speech once again led the team with 14 kills and a match-best three blocks. She was named to the All-Tournament team for her stellar performance on the weekend. Junior outside hitter Alyssa Sinnette contributed with her first double-double of the season, adding 11 kills and 11 digs. McKnight also had a double-double with 39 assists and 11 digs; it is her sixth double-double of the season. Higareda racked up 20 out of the team’s weekend-high 74 digs in the match.

Despite the final record for the tournament, Williams said she remained optimistic.

“We had moments that we just did really good things, playing clean volleyball,” Williams said. “We had moments that we were a very, very talented serving team and when our serves are in, we are very good at getting other teams out of system. So, I was pleased with that.”

The Hoyas have the opportunity to put everything together when they begin Big East play this coming weekend with two competitions. First, they will play at No. 12 Creighton (7-4) on Friday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.

“[Our first 12 games] allowed us to see where we stand, highlighted some areas that we need to work on, and overall, the group is pretty confident moving forward and we’re ready for Big East play,” Williams said.

Creighton comes into the match-up also following a losing weekend. The Blue Jays dropped matches to Wichita State (8-3) and No. 19 Iowa State (9-1) at the Shocker Volleyball Classic in Wichita, Ks.

The Hoyas then leave Omaha, Neb. and head to Providence, R.I. to take on the Friars (11-3), who are also looking for a win after losing all three matches last weekend at the USMA Army Invitational. The game will take place Sunday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. and will be aired on Fox Sports.

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