Colonial women win two to stay alive in A-10 race

The GW women’s volleyball team stayed alive for the postseason with two crucial Atlantic 10 wins this weekend.

GW beat La Salle and Temple to preserve its chances of being one of four teams that makes the Atlantic 10 Tournament at the end of November.

The Colonial women face Duquesne and Virginia Tech on the road next weekend in their final two matches of the season. GW head coach Susie Homan said her team must win both of these matches to make A-10s.

GW 3, La Salle 0

GW seniors Tai Bethune and Angela Vitale led the charge against the La Salle Explorers Sunday, winning the match in three games on Senior Day at the Smith Center.

“Senior Day is about the careers of these two women,” Homan said. “Tai and Angela have both had great careers at GW, and have tremendously helped the volleyball program.”

The Colonial women (18-9, 12-6 A-10) triumphed after being down in each of the three games with strong serving and timely kills.

The last game proved the most challenging for the Colonial women, as they found themselves down 9-2 and 13-6 at two crucial points in the game. Bethune rallied the Colonial women, serving them to seven straight points to tie the score at 13-13. The teams then exchanged points until La Salle was finally put away by a kill from sophomore Julie Jahnke, following up a diving dig from Bethune.

The Colonial women were down 6-1 in the first game but came back to win 15-11, and fought back from a 5-0 deficit in the second game to win again, 15-11. Vitale served off the final six points of the second game.

Junior Gabriela Mojska led the Colonial women with 16 kills, followed by 10 for Bethune.

“This is a great way to go out,” Vitale said.

“The greatest gift we could give to Tai and Angela would be to win these next two matches,” Homan said. “And for them to go out with an Atlantic 10 Championship.”

GW 3, Temple 1

After an overwhelming loss a month ago in Philadelphia, GW turned the tables on Temple Saturday at the Smith Center and won an intense four-game match, led by junior Gabriela Mojska’s match-high 23 kills.

One game away from one of GW’s most important victories of the season, Jill Levey and Suzana Manole pounded kills in GW’s early 6-1 lead in the fourth game. Temple came back to cut the Colonial women’s lead to 9-7, but GW ran off the final six points to send Temple home with a 15-7 fourth-game loss.

The opening game set the intensity level that would be sustained for the two-hour match. After several lead changes in the game, Temple took a 13-9 lead and looked as if it would come out victorious. But the Colonial women mounted a comeback after a timeout. GW fought back to win the game 17-15 behind back-to-back blocks from Jill Levey and Tai Bethune and kills from Mojska and Renee Arnold. Temple’s match-high 13 errors in the game came at costly moments, not resembling the dominating team GW played in October.

“It was nice to be up one game,” Homan said. “We felt somewhat in control.”

The Lady Owls bounced back in strong fashion in the second game, winning 15-8. GW made a brief comeback, cutting a 12-4 deficit to 12-8. But the Lady Owls, behind impressive sophomore Alma Kovaci (18 kills), won the next three points and the game.

In a game that was marked by many disputes over officials’ calls, GW put on one of its most dominant single-game performances as the Colonial women ran out to a 10-0 lead and eventually won 15-5.

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