Fighting for its postseason life, the GW women’s volleyball team (18-11, 12-8 A-10) was upset at Duquesne Friday night and narrowly lost to Virginia Tech the following evening, ending GW’s bid for an Atlantic 10 Tournament berth.
GW defeated Virginia Tech, Temple and Xavier this year, three of the four A-10 teams competing in the postseason tournament at Duquesne this Friday. GW was swept this season by the other playoff team, Dayton.
Had the Colonial women won both matches this weekend, they would have clinched a playoff berth. Instead they finish fifth in the A-10.
“We felt awful about Friday night, we let ourselves and a lot of people down,” GW head coach Susie Homan said.
Seniors Tai Bethune and Angela Vitale played in their last match Saturday.
Virginia Tech 3, GW 2
In a match that could have had enormous playoff implications had GW defeated Duquesne the night before, GW lost a tough five-game battle to Virginia Tech (20-8, 15-5 A-10) at the Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va., Saturday.
The 15-13 fifth-game loss embodied the Colonial women’s season, as GW came close to winning, but fell just short. The Lady Hokies’ nine kills to GW’s five were the difference in the end.
GW jumped out to a one-game lead as it took advantage of Virginia Tech errors and had 15 kills to win the opener 15-8. But GW, which had 18 kills in the second game and only eight errors, couldn’t take a two-game lead as the Lady Hokies won 15-13.
The Colonial women bounced back in the third game, posting a 15-9 victory. GW’s 21 kills and only four errors in 46 total attempts led to its match-high .370 hitting percentage.
Four Colonial women had double-digit kills, led by Bethune’s 16 and junior Gabriela Mojska’s 15 kills. Julie Jahnke had 13 kills and Suzana Manole ended the season with another triple-double. She had 10 kills, 17 assists and 20 digs.
“We went out playing intensely and competitively,” Homan said. “We walked away proud of what we accomplished.”
Virginia Tech, led by Kerry Majewski’s 17 kills, came back in game four 15-8 before winning the final game.
“It was about us ending the season playing the best we could play, and I think we did that,” Homan said. “Nobody deserved to lose.”
Duquesne 3, GW 1
In GW’s most critical weekend of the year, the Colonial women jumped out to an early 15-5 first-game victory and looked as if they would put the Lady Dukes away quickly.
But Duquesne (8-20, 3-17 A-10) hung around the rest of the way and GW made many costly errors as the Lady Dukes won their third and final conference match at the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh.
GW’s level of play dropped after the first game as the Colonial women lost the following three, 15-10, 15-13, 15-10.
“It was something typical, we came out and played well and expected them not to play,” Homan said. “But Duquesne just kept on playing.”
The Colonial women had seven kills and 10 errors in 32 attempts for a -.094 hitting percentage in the second game. GW had a strong .268 hitting percentage in the third game, which included 15 kills, but the Lady Dukes’ 21 kills helped them win. GW was mediocre in the finale, as it had 13 kills and 12 errors.
No GW players had double-digits kills, but sophomore Jill Levey had 22 assists and a team-high 13 digs.
The disappointing loss to a weaker Duquesne team ended GW’s playoff hopes.
“We didn’t think that it would be a problem and then suddenly it was,” Homan said.