GW downs Xavier, falls to Dayton in A-10 play

The Colonial women split a pair of Atlantic 10 matches at the Smith Center this weekend, dominating Xavier Friday night and falling to Dayton Saturday.

Against Xavier, GW displayed signs it should be considered a postseason threat in the A-10. But the loss to Dayton proved the conference clearly has teams superior to GW.

GW (13-8, 7-5 A-10) visits an improved Fordham University team Wednesday night.

Dayton 3, GW 0

After defeating Xavier in what GW head coach Susie Homan described as its best match of the season, GW was never able to take the lead against Dayton and was swept in three games.

The loss to the Lady Flyers (17-5, 10-2) ended GW1s four-game conference winning streak. Falling behind early in each game, GW battled back but the breaks did not fall in the Colonial women1s favor.

The Lady Flyers also defeated GW in September and completed a season sweep of the Colonial women Saturday.

The Colonial women struggled early in the final game but continued to come back. GW spotted the Lady Flyers a seven-point lead but battled back behind the kills and good touch of senior Tai Bethune.

Down 12-7, a Bethune kill and a strong block by sophomore reserve Tracee Brown helped GW cut the deficit to 12-11. But missed hits and poor positioning, which plagued GW throughout the match, cost the Colonial women as Dayton won the next three points and the third game 15-11.

3This was about us not performing,? Homan said. 3We beat ourselves and that makes the loss harder to swallow.?

The middle game of the match was a back and forth contest, which GW desperately needed to win. The game was tied at 3-3, 5-5 and a four-point GW run tied the game at 10-10. But Dayton senior Ou Huang1s tough serve shattered GW1s momentum, giving the Flyers an 11-10 lead and the eventual 15-11 victory. Homan called two timeouts to slow Dayton1s momentum, but GW1s 10 game-two errors came at costly times.

3We went from playing our best last night to playing one of our weaker matches,? Homan said. 3You can1t afford a lack of consistency if your goal is to win a championship.?

Dayton started the match strong, jumping out to an 8-0 lead in the first game. The powerful serve of Dayton junior Karen Maciaga had the Colonial women backtracking. Maciaga had seven kills and match-high 16 digs and five service aces.

Well-placed kills by Huang had GW diving all over the court. The Colonial women played with Dayton in the latter part of the game thanks to junior Gabriela Mojska, who had a match-high 16 kills and sophomore Suzana Manole, who had 22 assists and 13 digs. GW fell too far behind to come back and lost 15-7.

3We just couldn1t put the ball down,? Manole said. 3We need to keep focus.?

GW 3, Xavier 1

GW completed a season sweep of Xavier, defeating the Lady Musketeers in impressive fashion Friday at the Smith Center.

The four-game match had solid team play as GW controlled the net with 62 kills, compared to Xavier1s 36. The outstanding effort by Mojska, who contributed a match-high 20 kills, and a triple-double for Suzana Manole were keys to the win. Manole1s 11 kills, 28 assists and 14 digs helped GW dominate the Lady Musketeers (11-8, 8-3 A-10).

The final game of the match was a lopsided one as GW won 15-6. Mojska, who finished up the contest with a .385 hitting percentage, was too powerful for Xavier.

3I felt great and so confident,? Mojska said. 3Every time I felt like I could put the ball down.?

GW was equally dominant in the third game of the match, which was crucial for the Colonial women. Tied at one game apiece, GW pounded 11 kills and was helped by Xavier1s mediocre play. GW only committed five errors in the game as the Colonial women took the lead early and won, 15-5.

After easily winning the first game of the match, GW committed seven errors and found itself losing to Xavier 15-13 in game two. Down 10-5, GW fought back and tied Xavier at 13-13 behind a strong block by Bethune and kills by Mojska before Xavier notched two points for the win.

GW jumped out to an early 8-1 lead in the first game as A-10 Player of the Week Jill Levey and Bethune led the way. Levey1s sensational play of late continued as she had a .364 hitting percentage along with 23 assists and 14 digs. Bethune added 10 kills and tied sophomore Julie Jahnke with a match-high five blocks. GW won the first game 15-5, in command from the beginning.

3We played our best match of the year,? Homan said.

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