Mental errors plague volleyball

A loss at Georgetown Saturday and a home loss to Duquesne Friday night brought the GW volleyball team to a seven-game losing streak, its longest since 1996.

The Colonials (4-13, 3-6 A-10) held brief leads in each of three matches at Georgetown, but succumbed to a 3-0 sweep to extend the streak to seven games. Despite their efforts, senior Shannon Farley said the team played better in this loss at Friday’s 3-2 loss to Duquesne.

Head Coach Jojit Coronel attributed the loss to GW’s mental game, which he said overshadowed the team’s improved physical play.

“We need to refocus,” Coronel said. “We work hard at practice but we need to transfer it to the games.”

The Hoyas (12-6) capitalized on GW’s match-high 11 errors en route to a 30-20 win. Georgetown had 14 kills and a .258 attack percentage while the Colonials had nine kills in 38 attempts, for a -.053 attack percentage. On the season, the Colonials have 460 errors to their opponents’ 260.

The Colonials notched positive attack percentages and cut their errors down in games two and three. The Hoyas stepped up their play and hit .395 in game two and .333 in game three to take both games 30-23 and 31-29. They had a combined 35 kills and only six errors. GW combined for 29 kills and 17 errors.

Friday night’s loss to Duquesne was the Colonials sixth-straight conference loss this season that also ended a winning streak against the Dukes that stretched back to 1998. At their last meeting, GW beat the Dukes 3-1. But it was a different story this time with the Dukes taking the match, 3-2.

Coronel, who usually holds the team for about 10 minutes after the game, held a 30-minute post-game meeting addressing a team that did not seem to play up to potential.

GW came out on top 31-29 in a close first game. The Colonials put up their best effort of the day, with match-high 25 kills. They hit .281, committing just seven errors.

Duquesne put up a fight in game two, proving that GW would not cruise to an easy win. They took the early 9-2 lead and never looked back. With some aggressive offensive hitting, sophomore Ruth Lazzari brought the Colonials within nine at 20-29, but Duquesne ran away with the win, 30-22.

GW made it tough for the Dukes to take the set, winning game three 30-21. Freshman Britta Stroman started the Colonials attack with a strong kill and GW took the early 9-4 lead. Duquesne put together some good offensive plays and crept within three, but Stroman and Sarah Hokum combined with strong kills and key defensive dig work to pick up ground. Just as she started the game, Stroman finished it, scoring the game winning point on a kill.

Duquesne (12-6, -5-4 A-10) made the Colonials efforts in game three futile. GW hit .302 in game three, its highest attack percentage of the day. They racked up 17 kills while committing only four errors. Duquesne had 11 errors and hit only .041.

The Dukes rallied to take game four 30-21 and game five 15-7 for the win. Duquesne took the tiebreaker easily, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. The Dukes continued their pounding of the Colonials with an 8-2 lead. The Colonials attempted a rally and came within 3 at 12-6, but Duquesne’s Sherene Lemonias spiked it for the win.

“It’s so tough when you’re not winning,” said Coronel. “When you’re losing, the tendency is for individuals to play for themselves.”

GW looks to break its losing streak in their next conference match Friday when Fordham rolls into the Smith Center. The Colonials beat the Rams 3-1 earlier this season.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.