It was a disappointing weekend for Georgetown women’s volleyball as the Hoyas opened Big East play with consecutive losses to the DePaul Blue Demons and the Marquette Golden Eagles. These matches were preceded by four consecutive nonconference losses, giving the Hoyas a disheartening start to the season with a six-game winless streak.
The Hoyas’ (4-8-0, 0-2-0 Big East) first match of the weekend on Friday, Sept. 24 against the Blue Demons (9-5-0, 2-0-0 Big East) kicked off with a contentious first set. Early on, DePaul established a four-point lead, 11-7. The Hoyas maintained pressure throughout the set and eventually closed the deficit to 21-20, but ultimately lost the set at 25-20 after a four-point run from the Blue Demons.
The Hoyas continued to pressure the Blue Demons in the second set, but fell again. In the final set, Georgetown came out strong with a 4-0 lead and eventually built a five-point cushion at 19-14, which prompted a DePaul timeout. However, a standout performance from DePaul outside hitter Jill Pressly earned the side a crushing comeback, with the Blue Demons winning the third and final set.
Although the Hoyas ultimately lost, Georgetown senior libero Jessica Cusi and junior middle blocker Makayla Serrett both demonstrated skill and maturity on the court. Cusi was vital to the Hoyas’ defense, completing 13 digs across all sets, while Serrett engaged frequently in both defense and attack, completing five kills and five blocks.
Georgetown took the court again on Saturday, Sept. 25 to face off against Marquette (11-2-0, 2-0-0 Big East). The Golden Eagles developed an early 14-8 lead in the first set and the Hoyas took a crucial timeout, which seemed to rally the team. The squad displayed composure and coordination to close the point deficit, forcing a Marquette timeout at 15-13. However, the Hoyas were unable to maintain their momentum, and the lethal Golden Eagles finished the set with a strong 25-18 point win.
To start the second set, the Hoyas fell behind after committing a few errors early on. After substituting junior right side Peyton Wilhite, they rebounded to a 12-12 draw. Marquette responded with effective team chemistry, a strong middle presence, and organized movement to win the set 25-19.
Similar to the night before, the third set again came down to the wire. The Hoyas played with passion, and they fought to put points on the board. They developed a late 18-15 lead, but ultimately lost their momentum because of a string of errors. Marquette eventually came back to win 25-23.
The martialled defense and effective collaborative mentality of the Golden Eagles made the difference. While Georgetown looked uncoordinated facing balls within the 10-foot line, Marquette was a well-oiled machine. The Golden Eagles maintained a strong presence in every area of the court and put together a mature performance overall, securing the win.
In both matches, Georgetown found itself outperformed in major statistical categories by their Big East opponents. The Hoyas were outnumbered 96-60 in kills across the two matches, while also recording just 54 assists opposed to DePaul and Marquette’s 88.
Despite these losses, first-year outside hitters Mary Grace Goyena and Giselle Williams performed impressively and provided reason for hope for Georgetown moving forward. Williams was especially lethal against Marquette, recording 11 kills and six tenacious digs, demonstrating her ability to be a long-term asset to Georgetown. Elsewhere on the team, Cusi proved herself as the heart of the Hoyas’ defense, making vital defensive interventions and recording 10 digs.
Georgetown displayed clear energy and drive, most notably from its younger players, and as a team, the Hoyas showed they are capable of creating moments of unstoppable team play, albeit with room for improvement in terms of consistency.
The Hoyas will continue Big East play against rival Butler (7-8-0, 1-1-0 Big East) on Friday, Oct. 1. The match is scheduled for 5 p.m. and will be played at McDonough Arena. The Hoyas will then welcome the Xavier Musketeers (6-6-0, 1-1-0 Big East) at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2.