In what has been a tough season, the Georgetown women’s volleyball team dropped both matches this past weekend 3-1 in conference play against DePaul on Friday and Marquette (20-5, 10-3 Big East) on Saturday.
The Hoyas (6-19, 2-10 Big East) had a dominating first set against the Blue Demons (13-12, 7-6 Big East), taking a commanding 7-1 lead early on. The women played with very few errors in the first set, hitting .478 on offense compared to the Demons’ offense at .178. The Hoyas also notched 12 kills in the opening game, with only one attack error, before they closed out the set by a large margin with a score of 7-25.
Sophomore outside hitter Alyssa Sinnette led the Blue and Gray with 11 kills, while sophomore outside Liv King had 10. Middle blockers senior Ashlie Williams and sophomore Symone Speech both notched nine kills. Sophomore setter Paige McKnight had her 10th double-double of the season with a match high 42 assists and 10 digs in the back row. Defensively, sophomore libero Kenzie Higareda led the back row with 11 digs.
Despite their opening performance against DePaul, the Hoyas could not sustain their level of play for the entire match. They fought with the Blue Demons on several occasions for a lead but could never clinch another win.
Freshman outside hitter Claire Anderson led the Blue Demons with a match-high 12 kills, while junior libero Haley Bueser led all players with 17 digs in the back row.
Against Marquette on Saturday, the Hoyas played a similar game. Starting off strong in the first set with a 16-25 win, they could not keep pace with the Golden Eagles dropping the following sets 25-18, 25-21 and 25-18.
“I loved the energy we played with tonight,” Head Coach Arlisa Williams said. “We came out with such high energy in the first set and one of the things I enjoyed the most about coaching tonight with this group is that they continued to sustain that energy. And even down 18-8 in the fourth set, they fought so hard, and to me, that’s just great energy from them and good communication. I’m super proud of them for that.”
Georgetown had a strong showing against Marquette, but the match proved tough for the Hoyas as they struggled playing out of system. Strong serving from the Golden Eagles, particularly redshirt senior middle Meghan Niemann, made it challenging to execute a good offense as the Hoyas were rattled in serve receive.
“[In practice] we are going to work on hitting out of system sets. That’s honestly what we talked about in the locker room. We served aggressively, we passed decently, but we need to make sure we can terminate when plays are not in system and if we can do that life will be good for us,” Coach Williams said.
Despite tough serving and offense from the Golden Eagles, the Hoyas held their own offensively. Outside hitter King notched a team high-nine kills, while middle blockers Speech and Williams had seven each. Junior right side Megan Richard chipped in five as well.
For Marquette, redshirt sophomore middle hitter Jenna Rosenthal, redshirt sophomore outside Taylor Louis, and freshman outside Allie Barber all led the team with 11 kills each. In the backcourt, senior libero Lauren Houg recorded a match-high 15 digs for the Golden Eagles.
In the last three weeks of the season, the Hoyas will look to improve their record by maintaining consistency throughout the entire match.
“We are trying to figure out what we can do to replicate what we did in the first set tonight, and the first set last night [against DePaul]. How can we sustain that energy and move forward? If we can play like this, it is going to be a very fun last six matches and that’s what we are looking forward to,” Coach Williams said.
Georgetown will face Big East conference opponents Seton Hall (12-14, 6-7 Big East) and St. John’s (13-13, 4-9 Big East) on the road this coming weekend. The Hoyas battle against the Pirates at 7 p.m. on Friday and at 5 p.m. against the Red Storms on Saturday.