Georgetown will try to salvage its losing Big East season as they play host to Notre Dame Friday at 8 p.m. and DePaul Sunday at 2 p.m. in McDonough Gymnasium for their final two home games.
The conference schedule has proved to be challenging for the young Hoyas, as they have managed only one win in 10 matches.
The Hoyas’ (7-16, 1-9 Big East) lone conference win, posted Oct. 20 against Rutgers, was the first Big East home game they had won since the 2004 season. It was also Georgetown Head Coach Arlisa Hagan’s only conference win since arriving on the Hilltop at the beginning of the season.
Georgetown will look to snap its current three-match losing streak as the team takes on a streaky Notre Dame (13-10, 7-3 Big East) squad on Friday night.
The Irish, who two weeks ago were atop the Big East standings, now find themselves in sixth place and in the middle of a fight for a spot in the eight team conference tournament.
Notre Dame entered its Oct. 22 match against St. John’s (25-1, 10-0) with an unblemished 7-0 Big East record, but the Irish fell to the Red Storm by 3-0 decision. They dropped two more 3-0 conference matches to Louisville (16-6, 9-1) and Cincinnati (18-5, 7-3) last weekend to extend their losing streak to three.
The Irish are led by freshman outside hitter Christina Kaelin, who records a team-high 238 kills, and junior outside hitter Adrianna Stasiuk, who is second on the team in both kills with 231 and digs with 249 on the season.
Hagan said she has been working on simulating Notre Dame’s faster offense in practice to prepare her team for the Irish attack.
The Hoyas will look to sophomore outside hitter Jessica Buffum and senior middle blocker Annie Connor to carry the load offensively. The duo has accounted for nearly half of Georgetown’s kills this season.
Hagan will also call on her freshmen, who have played a significant role all season. Freshman outside hitter Kortney Robinson is third on the team in kills with 103, and freshman outside hitter Jessica Hardy has been libero for about half the Hoyas’ matches and is second on the team with 222 digs. Freshman middle blocker Kiersten McKoy has also seen significant playing time.
Hagan has been pleased with the play of Hardy, Robinson and cKoy, and she said that her other freshmen, outside hitter Dana Dumas and middle blocker Courtney Cohen, have been working hard in practice and will likely be on the court a lot this weekend.
In total, Georgetown has five freshmen and three sophomores who have been forced to learn quickly in the competitive Big East.
Georgetown will take on the only team below them in the Big East standings Sunday as they square off against DePaul (5-20, 0-9 Big East).
Of the Blue Demons nine conference losses, they have been swept 3-0 in six and were only able to force a fifth game in one of their matches.
DePaul is led by senior outside hitter Morgan Ingersoll, who has collected 361 over the course of the season.
Hagan said that her team will not overlook a well-coached DePaul team, and that they will continue to work on fundamentals like serving and digging.