The GW volleyball team started the season in record-breaking fashion by beating cross-town rival Georgetown on Tuesday, 3-1. The win marked the Colonials’ tenth straight victory to open the year, breaking the old mark for best team start set in 1979.
“This win was important mentally because we have never beaten Georgetown (in my five years with the program),” head coach Jojit Coronel said. “Mentally to go 10-0 and to not stop the run is very important.”
The Colonials were once again led by the strong play of senior Sarah Hokom, who had a team-high 10 kills. Her performance came one day after she was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for the second straight week.
The Colonials started well, taking an early lead and never looking back in an easy 30-15 win in Game One. GW’s superior depth was evident and Coronel said he was especially impressed with his bench players’ performance.
Game Two was much closer, but again the Colonials showed why they are undefeated. The game was tight and the Hoyas (3-8) had the lead at 16-12, but seven consecutive points put the Colonials right back in the game. Then the team’s most reliable force, Hokom, crushed a kill to help GW win 30-28.
After an intermission, the Hoyas came out looking to keep their five-year reign over Coronel’s Colonials intact. Georgetown, who is coached by former GW standout Li Liu, played an impressive third game, winning 30-23. The Hoyas were led by junior Sara Albert, who had 14 kills and six blocks.
The Colonials rebounded in game three, playing a more disciplined style. Hokom was exceptional, serving three straight aces to tie the score at 15 apiece. The Colonials and Hoyas were then knotted at 22 when freshman Kelly Kabbes recorded a soft kill to spark a Colonials rally, which ended in 30-25 victory.
Coronel said while he was happy with the win, he was not pleased with his team’s overall quality of play.
“Athletically we are solid, but we put too much pressure on ourselves, and it affected us mentally,” he said. “We need to make strides mentally.”
Coronel further downplayed the victory, adding, “It’s just another win right now.” But he added that when the girls have graduated and moved on from volleyball, they will probably remember this game more than any other.
The Colonials’ next matches are at the Gamecock Invitational in South Carolina this weekend.