The Georgetown volleyball team hosted back-to-back home matches Friday and Saturday against Big East opponents Providence and Creighton. The first match saw Georgetown win against Providence 3-0, but it was unable to keep up its momentum as it lost its match against Creighton 0-3.
The Hoyas (13-15, 3-11 Big East) defeated the Friars (6-21, 1-13 Big East) in straight sets Friday afternoon. This sweep marked their eighth three-set victory of the season, with five of those victories being at home. Providence has not had much success in Big East conference play, with only one conference match victory this year in their game against Seton Hall on Nov. 1. This match against the Friars broke a five-match losing streak for Georgetown.
The Hoyas took the first set with a 25-14 victory but struggled to maintain leads in the second two sets, jumping out to leads of at least six in each of them. They still achieved victories, however, winning the last two sets 25-22 and 25-23. Victories for the Hoyas in these tight sets showed that they have improved in close matchups after dropping numerous close sets earlier in the year.
Junior setter Margo Pivonka paced the offense with 28 assists, along with six digs, five kills, four aces and two blocks. Senior outside hitter Iva Vujosevic continued her offensive streak with 10 kills, marking a match-high for the season. Sophomore defensive specialist Jessica Cusi also showed a strong performance again with eight digs.
On Saturday, the Hoyas faced a more difficult challenge when they faced the Creighton Blue Jays (20-4, 13-1 Big East). At the time, Creighton ranked No. 9 in the NCAA, though it has since fallen to No. 14.The Blue Jays surprisingly dropped their match the previous night on the road against the Villanova Wildcats, in a 0-3 sweep that left NCAA volleyball fans shocked, with the Wildcats representing one of the conference’s weakest teams. The Blue Jays then drove to Washington, D.C., looking to make up for Friday’s disappointment.
Georgetown found itself at a loss coming into its game against Creighton with eight players sick and injured — only nine players on the team were able to dress for the match, leaving the Hoyas tired with a severe reduction in substitutions. However, the team refused to let the ball drop throughout the high stakes game against some of the toughest competition on the Hoyas’ schedule, particularly in the first set of the match. The Hoyas extended the set to lose by 27-25 despite having their backs up against the wall, facing a 24-21 deficit.
This energy went away in the final two sets, likely the result of their lack of substitutions, which again ties back to the team entering the match with nine healthy players, six of whom play at a time, as opposed to the normal 17 players on the roster. Overall, the defensive effort in this game was impressive, with Creighton getting spikes over the net frequently with the Hoyas consistently able to keep them alive, recording 40 successful digs. The strong defensive performance is a satisfying improvement in spite of the Hoyas losing energy and falling in the second two sets 25-17 and 25-15.
Sophomore outside hitter Elissa Barbosa led the offense with seven kills. Freshman right side Peyton Wilhite also contributed five kills and played aggressively. On defense, Cusi led once again with 13 digs.
The Hoyas will be on the road this week, facing Marquette and DePaul on Friday and Saturday before a road match at St. John’s on Nov. 22. They will finish their season Nov. 24 in McDonough Gymnasium against Seton Hall.