After hosting the Georgetown Classic last weekend, Georgetown Volleyball (2-7) will look to rebound from dropping all three tournament games, as the team flies to Denver to take part in the Air Force Invitational.
Georgetown will play both of its matches on Friday, taking on the University of Northern Colorado (4-6) and the Air Force Academy (8-2).
The Hoyas are motivated to use the lessons from last weekend and prove to the coaching staff they are ready to play at a high level.
“Our team has worked really hard and they are extremely supportive of each other. They have recognized that we have raised the bar as a coaching staff, and we have raised the bar on what we can accomplish and they have stepped up and accepted that challenge,” head coach Arlisa Williams said.
Freshman libero/defensive specialist Sara Feld, who had a career-high 16 digs against Princeton, stressed that the team is focused on making strides toward playing effectively as a group. That was a point of emphasis in practice this week, especially improving their understanding of how each individual contributes to the team’s chemistry.
“We’ve been improving our level of play and working on being a more cohesive unit. We’ve also been getting to know each other more, which has been a big help, especially getting used to each other’s presence out on the court,” Feld said.
Georgetown first faces a Northern Colorado team that is also looking to rebound, coming off losses to Oregon State (4-4), Pacific University (6-4), and South Dakota (9-1) in the Pacific Community Classic. Sophomore outside hitter Kortney Lockey leads the bears in kills. The Hoyas’ second opponent of the tournament will be the Air Force Academy, who had a strong showing in the Fullerton Classic. The Falcons recorded 3 wins and 1 loss in California, and come back to Denver as winners of two matches in a row.
Coming into the Air Force Invitational, coach Williams remains focused on her own squad’s play, especially tightening up the execution on the offensive end. Serving and passing remained points of emphasis for the Hoyas throughout the practice week, and coach Williams expects the team to execute in those two areas when facing the Bears and Falcons.
“We have got to continue to serve aggressively, and [we] are doing that, and we just need to make sure we continue in that theme,” coach Williams said. “[The next] biggest thing after that, which we talked about over the weekend, is passing in system. We have watched that consistently improve so that our setter has more options of players to set. We have got to pass well this weekend.”
The players are also taking the challenge of travel in stride, finding the opportunity to play against teams from a very different area of the country as a test of the team’s resilience and ability to stay focused on their own performance.
“I think of [the travel to Colorado] as a great opportunity to play against girls that have had other experiences and a lot of different training. It’s exciting to be playing girls from all over the U.S. or even the world. It’s also very unexpected how another team will play, so it forces us to be prepared for any type of play,” Feld said.
Coach Williams explained that scheduling such a long road trip brings several advantages, both testing the team against different kinds of opponents and also bringing several players close to home.
“I like to get our players that don’t come from Big East country in front of their families. So we’re super excited to play in Denver because Megan Richards, our only junior, is from Boulder, Co. , and her family and friends will be there, which gives us an opportunity to play in front of a hometown crowd,” coach Williams said.
The Hoyas will take the added boost of playing for family along with their offensive goals into their matches this Friday, with first serve against Northern Colorado at 2 p.m. followed by Air Force Academy at 9 p.m.