GW closes road trip with losses at Fordham, Va. Tech

The GW women’s volleyball team ended its three-week road trip with a five-game losing streak, falling to Fordham University Wednesday and Virginia Tech Saturday.

The Colonial women will be happy to play on their home court this Wednesday night against George Mason University. It is also “Nike Night,” where the first 500 attendees will receive free T-shirts.

The road has taken its toll on the team, especially with all the Atlantic 10 teams playing competitively and being evenly matched.

“There are no gimmes in the conference,” Homan said. “From start to finish there are no easy matches, so you have to be rested, prepared and ready to play on game day.”

In addition to worrying about their opponents and memorizing their game plans, the players must keep up with their studies.

“Traveling three weeks in mid-October and going through midterms is really tough, but that’s part of being a student athlete,” Homan said. “For our youth, we just haven’t experienced that on the road together, and it’s just really draining to travel week after week.”

It was the performance of a freshman that Homan said she felt was the highlight of the week.

“Julie Jahnke just really had an incredible week,” Homan said. “She played very much more explosively, confidently and aggressively than she has at any point in time during the season so far.”

Virginia Tech 3, GW 1

Although the Colonial women lost 15-7, 15-10, 12-15 and 15-10 to Virginia Tech, Homan said she thought it was the best game they’ve played since the first weekend of the road trip.

Ever since the five-game loss to Rhode Island, the team’s confidence has been shaken, but in the match against the Hokies, team members showed reflections of their old selves.

“For the first time last night I felt that we were playing very confidently in different spurts through the match, so I was really happy with that,” Homan said.

The match brought the Colonial women’s season record to 14-10 overall and 5-7 in A-10 play.

Crystal Akens played one of her best matches of the season with a team-high 15 kills and a game-high 18 digs. Jahnke contributed another 10 kills, while Jill Levey added 15 digs.

Fordham 3, GW 0

The Colonial women were swept by the same Fordham team they beat 3-1 in the teams’ first meeting, Sept. 17 at the Smith Center.

“I thought that Fordham played very similarly to the first time we played them,” Homan said. “I thought that we just didn’t play as well.”

GW was plagued by unforced errors at inopportune times. The team also has gotten into the habit of starting its matches slowly.

“We’ve had a tendency not to get out of the blocks very fast, and then we play really hard, but it always seems like the other team has an advantage just because of the hole that we dug,” Homan said.

Against the Rams, GW began the match with a 15-6 loss in the first game. Although the last two games were closer, the Colonial women proceeded to lose them both, 16-14 and 15-10 respectively.

Suzana Manole led the team with her 12 kills, and Jahnke had 11 kills and a .429 attack percentage. Overall, though, the team’s attack percentage was only .093.

Homan said she felt the team lacked the confidence to play more aggressively and push through adverse situations.

“The athletes have been working very hard when things are going well, and then at times our confidence seems very frail,” Homan said. “In the game of volleyball, if you let down for two minutes, the other team can be up by five or six points, and it makes it very hard to work out of that hole.”

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