The GW volleyball team is off to its best start since 1979 after sweeping the Clarion Suites Classic at Rutgers University last weekend. The team has now won three consecutive tournaments to start the season at 9-0, tying its best start in team history.
The Colonials were led by Atlantic 10 Player of the Week Sarah Hokom. The senior led the team in kills with 54 on the weekend and picked up her second straight tournament Most Valuable Player award. Seniors Ruth Lazzari and Lauren Dunning joined Hokom on the all-tournament team for the second straight week.
GW Head Coach Jojit Coronel said the team is continuing to use its depth to its advantage.
“Our senior class – Sarah, Lauren, Ruth and Laura – are the key to our success,” he said. “Lauren Dunning’s setting is the real key to our success, and she is the backbone of our team.”
Saturday’s third and final game was against rival Rutgers, who beat the Colonials in the final game of the GW Invitational last year. Freshman Kelly Kabbes played an important role in defending against the Rutgers attack. Hokom and Lazzari both posted double-digit kills, but the difference maker was Dunning. The setter posted 51 assists, helping the Colonials gain redemption against the Scarlet Knights.
In Saturday’s afternoon game, the Colonials were helped by the Blue Hens’ sloppy performance. Delaware allowed nine service aces and made seven service errors, as the Colonials rolled, 3-0, in a win reminiscent of the previous weekend’s win over Lafayette College.
“In the Delaware match, we pounded them,” Coronel said. “We had an extra gear.” The coach credited the play of freshman Abigail Hatter in particular, calling her performance “dominating” and “unstoppable.”
Friday night’s tournament-opener against St. Peter’s was an indication of the Colonials’ veteran leadership, as Hokom and Lazzari tallied 20 kills apiece in GW’s 3-1 victory.
But Coronel said the Colonials did not put forth their best effort in the first game, leaving him uncertain about how they would perform against the other two teams in the tournament, Delaware and Rutgers.
“We didn’t play our best. We were slow,” he said. “(Delaware and Rutgers) were quick and they were handling the ball well.”
GW’s next match is at Georgetown Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The Colonials will then travel to Columbia, S.C., where they will play in a tournament against Santa Clara and Duke universities and the University of South Carolina.
“Being 9-0, a lot is on the line,” Coronel said. “We have never beaten Georgetown since I have been here.”
The coach also offered a prediction, adding, “We are going to beat Georgetown, go 10-0, set the new record, leave our mark and go to Carolina looking for a win there.”