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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Volleyball | GU Splits Big East Matchups

ERICA WONG/The hoya Freshman outside hitter Terese Cannon has 222 kills on the season, good for first on the team. Cannon also has 68 digs.
Freshman outside hitter Terese Cannon has 222 kills on the season, good for first on the team. Cannon also has 68 digs.

The Georgetown volleyball team (8-14, 2-7 Big East) earned a hard-fought split of its two weekend home games, defeating Providence (4-18, 0-8 Big East) 3-0 on Friday before falling to St. John’s (15-9, 4-5 Big East) 3-1 on Sunday.

On Friday, Georgetown was led by senior outside hitter Alex Johnson, who recorded a season-high 21 kills, and senior setter Casey Speer, who registered an impressive 41 assists.

The first set of the match against the Friars was neck and neck, with the teams tied at 8-8 before the Hoyas went on a 7-1 run, highlighted by three kills from Johnson, to take a decisive lead at 15-9. However, Providence fought back, closing the lead to 16-13 before Georgetown seized the set by winning nine of the final 13 points.

In the second set, neither team was able to gain separation in the early going. Three consecutive Georgetown kills opened up an 11-7 lead, but Providence then took advantage of two Georgetown service errors and an attack error to close back within one point at 13-12. After a few more back- and-forth plays, Georgetown rattled off five consecutive points to build what proved to be an insurmountable 21-14 lead. The Hoyas captured the set by a score of 25-21, capped by one of freshman outside hitter Terese Cannon’s 15 kills.

Despite the Georgetown lead, Providence came out of the intermission energized and quickly built an 8-3 lead in the third set. However, after four more kills from Johnson and two from junior outside hitter Lauren Saar, the Hoyas earned a 14-12 lead.

The Hoyas were able to close out the game in straight sets, after Cannon recorded two consecutive kills to end the set at a score of 25-22.

Head Coach Arlisa Williams was thrilled with her team’s victorious performance.

“I think that we played a good game of volleyball. We were able to terminate points, we served aggressively, and we passed extremely well,” Williams said.

Georgetown returned to McDonough Arena on Sunday looking to build upon its win over Providence but could not overcome a tough St. John’s team. Johnson recorded 16 kills and 15 digs in the match, both team highs, while senior libero MacKenzie Simpson had 13 digs. St. John’s was led by its two imposing outside hitters, junior Karin Palgutova and senior Aleksandra Wachowicz, who each recorded 17 kills.

Georgetown did not play to the best of its ability in the first two sets, allowing the Red Storm set wins of 25-18 and 25-20. Johnson was not pleased with her team’s performance in the early going, which was riddled with attack and ball handling erros.

“The first game was rough, we didn’t look good,” Johnson said. “The second game was better, and we realized in intermission that we could play with this team if we gave it our all.”

The Hoyas came out with an aggressive mindset after the second set and recorded 16 kills to win the third. Speer recorded 12 assists in the set, as the Hoyas seized a 7-4 lead with a 5-0 run in the early going and never relinquished that lead.

However, the Red Storm bounced back with a strong performance in the fourth set, with Wachowicz leading their attack with six kills. In addition, the St. John’s defense had its best game, as Georgetown’s attack percentage was only 19.4 percent in the fourth set, down from 40 percent in the third. In the end, the Hoyas’ deficit proved too much to overcome.

Despite the disappointing loss, Johnson was able to reach an important milestone, as she recorded her 1,000th dig. That number, combined with the 1,000 kill mark that she surpassed earlier this season, puts her in an elite group of Georgetown players.

“It’s extremely exciting to have made such an impact over my four years. Not a lot of people get to say that. I feel very lucky and blessed, and I’m really excited about the accomplishment,” Johnson said.

Williams expressed pride in her senior’s career achievements.

“That’s an awesome accomplishment. She has worked very hard in her time here, and it’s been really fun to see her develop as a player and a teammate. I’m very proud of her,” Williams said.

Georgetown continues its Big East home stand with a game against DePaul as the Hoyas look to improve their 2-7 conference record.

“We’re halfway through the Big East, and we’re going to do our best to turn it around, especially the seniors, because we only have nine matches left [in our careers],” Johnson said.

The Hoyas will face the Blue Demons at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24 at McDonough Arena.

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