The Georgetown women’s volleyball team and new head coach AJ Bonetti have started their season with everything the Hoyas could have hoped for — a three-game win streak that saw the Hoyas defeat local rivals Howard University, George Mason University and American University.
The triple victory began with the Hoyas (3-0, 0-0 Big East) taking on the Howard University Bisons (2-1, 0-0 MEAC) in a 3-1 win. Junior outside hitter Mary Grace Goyena led the way with a team-high 15 kills, and junior outside hitter Giselle Williams was right behind her with 14 kills. Graduate student and right-side player Peyton Wilhite also had a fantastic showing in the season opener, leading all players with 20 digs coupled with an impressive nine block assists and eight kills. In her collegiate debut, first-year setter Emily Wen made her mark with a team-high of 37 assists. To round out the Hoyas’ strong performance, junior libero Karis Park contributed a service ace as well as a notable 12 digs.
For the Bison, outside hitter Dami Awojobi finished with a game-high 22 kills and 22 points. She worked well with graduate student setter Kayla Diaz, who finished with a game-high 48 assists, but their efforts ultimately failed to outperform the fighting Hoyas.
The second victory of the week occurred against the George Mason Patriots (0-3, 0-0 Atlantic 10), in which the Hoyas swept all three sets, winning each by a score of 25-15, 25-19 and 25-23. The Hoyas were led once again by Goyena, who finished with a whopping 11 kills, her second consecutive game with double-digit kills. Goyena was helped in the victory by first-year middle blocker Kamryn Lee-Caracci, who recorded nine kills and two blocks of her own. Wilhite also made an impressive return to the court with eight kills, four block assists, and 11 digs. Finally, first-year outside hitter Grace Albaugh started off her career as a Hoya with six kills and two aces to help launch the Hoyas into their first season beginning with back-to-back victories since 2019.
The Patriots’ middle blocker Camille Larkin recorded a career-high five aces and outside hitter Nani Spaar pitched in with 11 points of her own on 30 attacks, but it was not enough.
To finish the triad of victories, the Hoyas took home their first win over the American University Eagles (2-1, 0-0 Patriot League) since 2017 in a nail-biting triumph. Highlights from this five-set thriller include Goyena’s third straight night with double-digit kills, with 16 against the Eagles. Lee-Caracci and Wilhite matched Goyena’s energy by adding nine and 11 kills, respectively. Graduate student middle blocker Makayla Serrett tied her career-high with nine kills and set a career-high of eight total blocks, helping push the Hoyas to victory. Wen also contributed to the victory with an impressive 38 assists, putting her well above 30 assists in every game she has played for the Hoyas.
For the Eagles, setter Esma Sipahi recorded a career-high four aces, and Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year Zeynep Uzen continued to perform with a game-high 25 kills and 28 points in the loss.
Next weekend will mark the first time the Hoyas travel outside of the metropolitan region. They will leave for Richmond, Va. this Friday, Sept. 1 to compete in the VCU Invitational against Radford, Iona and VCU and will hope to continue their current undefeated pre-season.