After dropping its first game, the GW volleyball team rallied to pick up the next three and take the match Friday night against Fordham at Rose Hill Stadium in New York. With the win, the Colonials (4-6) improve their Atlantic 10 record to 3-0 and claim first place in the A-10 conference.
GW remains the only undefeated team in the A-10 after Temple (10-3, 3-1) and Dayton (8-4, 3-1) dropped their matches. Temple’s nine-game winning streak was broken Friday in a 3-1 loss to Duquesne (8-3, 2-1). The Colonials beat the Dukes 3-1 at home Sept. 22. Dayton fell 3-1 to Rhode Island (6-7, 3-1) last Friday.
Missed kill attempts and attack errors contributed to GW’s first-game loss to Fordham 18-30. The Rams (5-6, 0-3) out hit GW with a .436 attack percentage, holding the Colonials to .149. While GW had eight more attack attempts than the Rams, Fordham racked up four more kills. The Colonials posted seven attack errors to Fordham’s one.
“We weren’t playing as a team,” senior Shannon Farley about the first game. Farley said the team was hampered by “knowing they weren’t a good team and thinking we weren’t going to have to work as hard.”
The Colonials offense stepped up in the next three games, notching 54 kills to Fordham’s 36. GW took the games 30-22, 30-25 and 30-25.
“We realized we weren’t playing anywhere close to our potential and that this team wasn’t going to let us win,” Farley said. “The first game really woke us up.”
In game two, the Colonials racked up a match-high 19 kills while holding Fordham to just eight. GW’s attack percentage jumped to .267, their highest of the match, and Fordham’s dropped to .051.
GW kept up the pressure in games three and four with a combined team total 35 kills, holding the Rams to 28. Having Lindsay Ochs, who was out sick the last game, back in the middle provided the necessary height up the middle, Farley said. Ochs added 12 kills in only three games, finishing with a team-high .375 attack percentage.
Sophomore Ruth Lazzari stood out in the match, picking up another double-double with a team-high 18 kills and 17 digs. She also had a team-high four service aces.
Other sophomores Sarah Hokom and Laura Harrison added to the effort. Hokom had a double-double with 15 kills and 14 digs, while Harrison added seven kills and 10 digs in only three games.
Co-Rookie of the Week freshman Britta Stroman played another impressive match contributing 10 kills and nine digs.
The Colonials head to Philadelphia next Tuesday to take on the Temple Owls. Although GW is 3-0 and holds first place in the A-10’s, the Temple match will be the Colonials first test against highly ranked A-10 competition.
“Now that (Temple) lost, our confidence has gone up,” Farley said. “They are just as prone to losses and mistakes as we are. We are more excited to play them and see our real potential.”