A split was what the GW volleyball team needed to earn its first Atlantic 10 Tournament berth since 1995, and a split was what the Colonial women fought hard to get over the weekend.
GW defeated Massachusetts Saturday night to advance to the tourney in Philadelphia, Nov 26-27.
After falling to Rhode Island the night before in three games, GW’s playoff hopes came down to one match on the final night of the regular season. With a 15-9 victory in the fifth and final game against UMass, the Colonial women finished in fourth place in the conference and will join top-seeded Temple, URI and Xavier in the four-team tournament that will send its winner to the NCAA Tournament beginning in December.
GW has made the A-10 Tournament seven times in the decade and have won three times – in 1993, ’94 and ’95.
GW 3, UMass 2
Saturday, Nov. 20
Nearly 500 people attended Saturday night’s two-hour, 13-minute volleyball season finale at the Curry Hicks Cage to see which team would advance to the A-10 Tournament.
Entering the game tied for fourth place at 10-7 in the A-10, with UMass having won the previous contest between the teams at the Smith Center in October, the scenario was simple. The winner advanced to Philadelphia. With a thrilling five-game victory over fifth-place Massachusetts, the Colonial women will play in the postseason.
GW won the playoff-clinching fifth game 15-9 behind a .300 attack percentage of eight kills and two errors in 20 total attacks. It was the Colonial women’s highest attack percentage of the match.
Despite committing 15 errors in the match, GW senior Gabriela Mojska pounded a match-high 21 kills and junior Renee Arnold nailed 17 kills for the Colonial women. Fellow juniors Julie Jahnke and Tracee Brown contributed 12 and 11 kills, respectively for GW.
Down two games to one, GW fought hard to earn a 15-11 fourth-game victory. GW pounded its match-high 19 kills in the game, which saw both teams commit 10 errors.
UMass won the third game of the match 15-6 as GW’s offense struggled. GW had a tough time containing UMass’ Rebecca Hasson and Kari Hogancamp, who combined for 32 kills in the match. The two Minutewomen combined for 33 against GW at the Smith Center.
UMass won the second game 15-11 behind a strong attack percentage of .333 – 18 kills and five errors in 39 total attempts.
GW won the opener 15-9 as the Colonial women pounded 15 errors and benefited from 17 UMass errors. Junior setter Jill Levey contributed 16 digs in her second game back from a foot injury, and junior Suzana Manole contributed a match-high 58 assists for GW.
URI 3, GW 0
Friday, Nov. 19
Rhode Island swept GW 3-0 at Keaney Gymnasium Friday night, marking the Lady Rams’ fourth-consecutive home victory over the Colonial women.
URI (17-8, 12-5) out-pounded GW in kills by a 54-44 margin and committed only 19 errors in the match.
The final game was GW’s most competitive, although the Colonial women fell 15-11. GW pounded 17 kills, but the team’s 14 errors proved costly. The middle game was dominated by URI 15-5 as the Lady Rams had 22 kills and only five errors in the game. GW lost the first game 15-6 as URI’s 21 kills were good enough for the victory.
Mojska led GW with 14 kills, and Jahnke contributed 11 for the Colonial women.