Look at the court while watching any of their matches and they will likely be the first players you see. They soar into the air, one arm outstretched and swinging forward, their eyes laser-focused on their target. Positioned on the sidelines of the court, they are the team’s go-to players during tense plays, whether the team is scrambling just to get the ball over the net or trying to clinch a victory in a game-point situation.
Since the early days of the season, freshman outside hitters Alyssa Sinnette and Liv King have not shied away from their task of driving the Georgetown volleyball team’s offense (6-9, 0-2 Big East). Sinnette leads the team with 201 total kills and 3.59 kills per set this season, while King follows her with 137 total kills and 2.45 kills per set.
Even in losses, their offensive efforts shine. On Sept. 4, Sinnette recorded a 20-kill, 21-dig effort when Georgetown fell 3-1 to Robert Morris, marking the Hoyas’ first 20-20 performance since 2012. In Georgetown’s loss to Seton Hall on Sept. 27, King picked up 23 kills for a career-high performance.
King’s and Sinnette’s offensive roles were all but cemented during the Hoyas’ first match of the season when they combined for 51 attack attempts, more attempts than all their other teammates combined. However, the freshmen said they did not expect to have as large a role on the team’s offense as they currently do when they first joined the team.
“I did not know that we would get involved and [my team would] just be like, ‘We need you guys, and these are the balls you’re going to get,’” Sinnette said.
The Hoyas are primarily practicing together as one unit, focusing on building team chemistry on the floor. Nevertheless, King and Sinnette know that they can look to their upperclassmen, particularly fellow outside hitter and lone senior Lauren Saar, to guide them through the ins and outs of collegiate play.
“I think it’s really nice to have someone that’s influential and a leader to help out specifically in the position because they know what we’re going through, and they know the different view from our position compared to different positions,” King said.
Saar, one of the three returning players on the team, embraces her role as a leader and finds ways for her team to grow as players by learning from each other.
“I think we all have different strengths,” Saar said. “I’m a little bit more savvy, I guess, whereas Alyssa can jump through the roof and Liv just has a really strong arm. So I think we each kind of can teach each other a little bit.”
The freshman pair have been the volume hitters for the team, but their hitting percentages still lag behind, with Sinnette and King hitting .134 and .122 for the season, respectively. While their low efficiency can be partially attributed to the team having difficulty setting up a good ball for Sinnette and King to hit, Head Coach Arlisa Williams recognized that Sinette and King strive to improve their performances at every game.
“Both of them want to be the best that they can be, they want this team to be the best that it can be, and they each come in trying to get better every day,” Williams said.
With most of the conference season still left to play and several more opportunities to soar and smoke the volleyball over the net, Sinnette and King knew exactly what they look forward to as their season progresses.
“Getting better,” Sinnette said, without hesitation.
“Getting better, getting more wins,” King said, nodding in agreement.
Special to The Hoya Ryan McCoy contributed to reporting.