Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Dominates in New Orleans and the District

Andreas Jeninga/The Hoya Senior middle blocker Sara Albert goes up for a hit against Howard. Albert has emerged as the team leader this season.

The action in New Orleans was not on Bourbon Street this weekend, but rather on the Tulane University campus, as the Georgetown women’s volleyball team took part in the Tulane Classic tournament. The Hoyas left Louisiana with a winning record for the weekend after taking two out of three matches.

The tournament opened on Sept. 3, with a match between the Hoyas and the Salukis of Southern Illinois. Georgetown took the match in four games (30-28, 30-20, 18-30, 30-25) despite being outhit and outblocked by its opponent. The Hoyas had a .174 hitting percentage which was slightly lower than the .187 the Salukis posted. The Georgetown women had seven blocks on the night, a total that was bested by the 11.5 that Southern Illinois collected.

The Hoyas won behind a strong performance by senior middle blocker Sara Albert who had an impressive 18 kills and only two errors. They also got a boost from one of the newest players on the team, freshman setter Katie Fisher, who had 22 assists and seven digs in her NCAA debut. Fisher split setting duties with senior argaret Vernon who opened the season with a double-double contributing 18 assists and 10 digs.

Another new addition to the Georgetown squad, junior transfer right-side hitter Jenny Weed, made a good first impression with a match-high five blocks along with four kills and two digs.

On Saturday, Georgetown took on Nicholls State and swept the match in three games (30-22, 30-17, 31-29) behind another strong performance from Albert, who is quickly emerging as the team’s leader. Albert had 13 kills (a .632 hitting percentage) as well as five digs, four blocks and two aces.

Junior outside hitter Rachel Nelson was also in double-digits with 11 kills. Vernon continued her hot streak with her second double-double in as many days with 12 digs and 21 assists.

Head Coach Li Liu points to the team’s desire and excitement on the court as a large part of its victories.

The win over Nicholls State advanced Georgetown to the Championship match Saturday night against host team Tulane. Georgetown did not experience the fabled Southern hospitality as it fell to Tulane in three games (30-21, 30-19, 30-27).

The Hoyas did not have the same high level of play they had displayed in the tournament’s first two matches and hit a dismal .031 for the match. Tulane’s .179 was more than enough to put Georgetown away.

No Georgetown player reached double-digits in kills, with Nelson leading the way with nine kills and nine digs. Sophomore middle blocker Annie Connor had a strong defensive game with five blocks as well as two digs.

Liu said that the difference in the third match for the Hoyas was the quality of their opponent.

“[Tulane] is more solid with older players. They were a lot calmer that we are, and that’s why they won,” she said.

Although the weekend did not end the way the Hoyas would have liked, the women quickly rebounded, returning to McDonough to open the home season with a resounding victory over cross-town rival Howard.

Howard looked overmatched as it fell to Georgetown in three straight games (30-13, 30-12, 30-13).

It was clear from the first game that Howard was not going to give Georgetown a lot of competition, and the Hoyas took advantage of that.

“It’s a good practice for us,” Liu said. “Our focus was on our own game and not making errors.”

Albert, who was named co-Big East Player of the Week for her performance in New Orleans, certainly took the statement about not making errors to heart. Albert finished the match with 15 kills and only one hitting error for a hitting rate of .778. That impressive performance did not even give her the highest percentage on the team, however. Connor finished the night with six kills on seven attempts for an .857 rate.

Freshman outside hitter Katie Nulty also turned in an impressive performance while putting on a passing clinic on the court. She showed remarkable court sense for a freshman.

“She’s a good passer and she’s getting to know all the players around her. She could end up being great,” Liu said of Nulty.

Liu knew what to expect of Howard, thanks to conversations with other coaches, but she has warned her team that the competition this weekend will be much tougher. Georgetown is playing host to University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Wright State and George Mason this weekend for the annual Georgetown Hoyas Tournament.

George Mason has defeated Georgetown in the past two years but the team is entering this season with a new look after losing a lot of seniors this summer. The Hoyas have never faced the other two teams, but they have both played hard against some tough competition.

Georgetown will play its first game Friday night at 7 p.m. against Wright State. The Hoyas also have games at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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