Volleyball suffers first losses

It had to happen sometime.

The GW volleyball team’s record-breaking run of 10 straight wins came to an abrupt halt Friday as the Colonials were dominated by No. 17 (USA Today/AVCA) Santa Clara University, 3-0, in GW’s first match of the Gamecock Invitational at South Carolina University.

The Colonials finished off the tournament by defeating Duke University on Saturday in a come-from-behind 3-2 victory after a loss to the tournament hosts earlier in the day, 3-2.

Senior Sarah Hokom led the Colonials, earning the team’s only all-tournament selection, as GW placed third in the four-team event. The Colonials could have easily left South Carolina winless had they not come back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Duke.

Sophomore defensive specialist Jessica Vesey, who had a team- leading 41 digs over the weekend, called the tournament “a learning experience” and said GW “now knows what it takes to beat high-quality teams.”

“We definitely put a lot of pressure on ourselves playing a ranked team,” Vesey said. “As individuals, we all tried to do too much.”

GW 3, Duke 2
Sat., Sept. 20

After suffering a tough loss earlier that morning, GW faced Duke in the final match of the tournament. Duke, who went winless in the tournament, had a 4-7 record coming into the afternoon match. The Blue Devils jumped out to a 2-0 lead, winning the first two games, 30-21 and 30-17.

After dropping a hotly contested third game to the Colonials, 31-29, Duke gained a 13-11 advantage in the fourth game. But the Colonials put together a 7-1 rally that proved to be the turning point of both the fourth game and the match. After going on to win Game Four, 30-21, GW made an early surge in the fifth and final game and went on to win 17-15.

Senior Laura Harrison turned in the Colonials’ best performance, tallying 18 kills and 12 digs. Fellow senior Ruth Lazzari also contributed with 12 kills and 12 digs.

The win, a two hour and five minute marathon, came on the heels of another five-game match earlier in the day.

South Carolina 3, GW 2
Sat., Sept. 20

With their first loss of the season only a day old, the Colonials took on the Gamecocks of South Carolina in the second match of the tournament. After dropping the first two games, 30-20 and 30-22, GW rallied to win the next two games, both by a score of 30-27.

But in the final game, the Colonials lost their momentum and the Gamecocks regained their earlier form by beating GW handily, 15-9.

No. 17 Santa Clara 3, GW 0
Fri., Sept. 19

Entering thier match against Santa Clara unbeaten, the Colonials got a harsh wake-up call from their ranked opponent. GW was steam-rolled by the Broncos in three straight games, 30-15, 30-19 and 30-19. The loss, in which Hokom led the Colonials with 11 kills and 10 digs, ended GW’s run of 10 straight wins to start the season.

The tournament was GW’s last warm-up before beginning conference play next Saturday against Duquesne at 7 p.m. in the Smith Center.

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