Volleyball maintains A-10 standing with weekend split

The GW volleyball team kept its Atlantic 10 tournament spot intact with a weekend split in Philadelphia, knocking off La Salle Saturday after losing to Temple Friday. Despite the one loss, the Colonials remain among the top four teams in the Atlantic 10 standings with only two conference games left in the regular season.

Temple leads the current standings, with Dayton, GW and Rhode Island in second, third and fourth place, respectively. The top four teams in the standings at the end of the season advance to the tournament.

Friday’s loss marks the ninth straight match the Colonials (16-11, 7-5 A-10) have dropped to the Owls, while Saturday’s win continued another GW opponent’s streak. LaSalle (10-21, 0-12 A-10) remains winless in A-10 play.

GW has a non-conference game against Maryland-Eastern Shore Monday before finishing the A-10 season with home games against Fordham and Rhode Island next weekend. Head Coach Jojit Coronel said he is confident the Colonials will survive the week and advance to the A-10s.

“We’re in a position where we control our own destiny right now, but there are so many scenarios,” he said. “It’s just a matter of a few games here and there, but I think we’re going to make it and I want us to go in with confidence.”

Freshman Lindsey Vernand continued her strong rookie season with 15 kills and 10 digs to lead the Colonials to a 30-27, 30-16, 30-25 sweep over LaSalle Saturday. The three-time A-10 Rookie of the Week also received help from veteran leader Sarah Hokom, who added 13 kills and 10 digs.

Coronel said Vernand’s performance was similar to how she responded after GW’s Oct. 5 loss to Temple.

“That was really the start of when she grew up as a player,” he said. “Since then, she’s gotten so much better. There is a lot of pressure placed on her but overall she’s going to be a very good player in this conference.”

The Colonials fell behind 4-0 early in the first game before tying the score at six and eventually taking control of the game. GW took the momentum into the second game and won handily before edging out a tough third game.

“We had already beat LaSalle, but every team in this conference always has a chance to upset someone,” Coronel said. “The girls were immediately focused after the loss to Temple, so I was very happy with the way we came back and took care business.”

The Colonials lost to the Owls for the second time this season in four games (23-30, 30-11, 34-32, 30-22) Friday despite a 14-kill, 11-dig performance by Hokom. Freshman Shannon Parks also added nine kills en route to an errorless hitting night with no errors in 18 attempts.

“We played them better than we did before and improved a bit there,” Coronel said. “But we should get another opportunity in the A-10 Tournament.”

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