Volleyball defeats Rhode Island, sweeps UMass

Tracee Brown made her case for Atlantic 10 Player of the Week after the GW senior pounded 55 kills over the weekend in the Colonials’ two solid victories over Rhode Island and Massachusetts at the Smith Center. GW’s outside hitter has struck 115 kills in just five A-10 games, a major reason for the team’s strong 4-1 start in conference play.

I just think that senior year I’ve really come into my own, Brown said. I’m just really prepared to go all out.

While Brown has been the offensive leader for the GW volleyball team (11-3), the steady Suzana Manole recorded her fifth double-double in seven matches against Massachusetts Friday night. One major test in the schedule will come next weekend, when the Colonials travel to Ohio to battle Dayton and Xavier. GW has not defeated Dayton on the road since 1995.

GW 3, Rhode Island 1
Saturday, Sept. 30

Brown pounded a career-high 30 kills Saturday to lead the charging Colonials past the Rams in four games. Rhode Island (1-12), which fell to 0-5 in A-10 play, won the third game of the match 15-10 after the Colonials began substituting freely with their young players.

The Colonials won the final game 15-12 behind Brown and Julie Jahnke (12 kills). GW easily won the first and second games, 15-3, 15-4, respectively. The GW defense stood strong with 20 more defensive digs than Rhode Island in the match (68-48) and had a team attack percentage of .297 (69 kills, 25 errors in 148 total attacks). The Colonials’ victory over the Rams was only the team’s second win in their last nine matches against Rhode Island.

GW 3, UMass 0
Friday, Sept. 29

The Colonials swept visiting UMass Friday night behind the impressive play of senior Tracee Brown. Brown’s 25 kills in the match led GW’s 15-10, 15-2, 16-14 win – the team’s first A-10 home victory of the season. GW received strong support from Manole (10 kills) and Renee Arnold (nine kills).

Tracee carried the team, interim head coach Jojit Coronel said. When you find your money player you just keep on going there.

The final game was one of streaks as the Colonials took an early 3-0 lead then found themselves down 9-7. After grabbing back the lead at 13-9, the GW defense faltered, enabling UMass (4-9, 1-3 A-10) to take a 14-13 lead with possession. But the Colonials stood firm at the end staving off two game points. First, freshman Ruth Lazzari made a tremendous defensive dig to keep possession alive when the Minutewomen began their early celebration. Jahnke pounded a kill from the right side to fight off UMass the second time.

After a strong Brown kill the Colonials regained the momentum and closed out the three-game win when UMass’ Lymarie Llovet hit the ball out on game point.

My confidence is really high and I’m ready to take a swing at balls in key points, Brown said.

GW won the second game easily behind a .356 attack percentage (20 kills, four errors in 45 total attempts) and strong kills from Manole.

The Colonials pounded a game-high 24 kills in the opener and broke a 10-10 tie with five unanswered points to win. Levey ended the game with her signature lob-kill shot to finish off UMass.

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