The GW volleyball team lost to Temple on Friday, 3-0, failing to avenge last year’s loss to the Owls in the Atlantic 10 Tournament final. Temple has now beaten the Colonials ten consecutive times dating back to 1998. GW rebounded Saturday, though, easily defeating La Salle, 3-0.
Senior Sarah Hokom led GW with 13 kills and 14 digs against Temple, while freshman Juliene McLaughlin added eight kills and 11 digs. Lauren Dunning also had 29 assists, but their performances were not enough as the Owls swept the Colonials in one hour and 28 minutes, 30-22, 30-19 and 30-23.
Temple (8-7, 5-1 A-10) played superior defense to earn the victory as the Colonials (16-4, 5-2 A-10) were out-blocked 9-6. They were also out-hit by the Owls, whose .254 percentage proved substantially better than GW’s .081.
Temple’s Xu Yun, the 2002 A-10 Player of the Year, had 14 kills and 13 digs for the Owls, while Liu Shu contributed 10 kills and Yamit Haba had 15 digs.
The Colonials salvaged their weekend Saturday afternoon by beating up on A-10 cellar dweller La Salle (8-17, 0-7 A-10). GW dominated the match, which lasted one hour and 27 minutes, beating the Explorers 30-18, 30-22 and 30-21. The Colonials had a .209 kill percentage compared to the Explorers’ .060 percentage.
Hokom led the Colonials again with 18 kills and 15 digs, while senior Ruth Lazzari notched 12 kills and 13 digs. Jessica Vesey and Lindsey Vernand also had double digit digs, with 16 and 11, respectively.
Junior Katie Downey also starred for GW, only committing one error as she went six for 13 in kill chances to hit .385.
La Salle’s Lauren Woods had a team-high 13 kills and Caitlin DeJong added 30 digs. Explorer freshman Caitlin Conner had 28 assists on La Salle’s 35 kills. The loss to Temple was particularly difficult, as the Owls and Colonials are considered the conference favorites. It marked the second straight week that GW lost a Friday match only to win its Saturday match, but last Friday’s loss to Dayton came against an inferior team.
The Colonials’ seniors, who have never beaten Temple in their four years at GW, will have at least one more shot on Nov. 15, Senior Night at the Smith Center.
GW gets a breather from the pressure of A-10 play on Tuesday night at the Smith Center against local rival George Mason (9-9). The Colonials won a close match earlier this season at George Mason, 3-2, in the Patriot Invitational.
Next weekend, GW travels to Pittsburgh, Pa. for a non-conference match against Robert Morris University (13-10) Friday night and returns to A-10 play Saturday night against Duquesne (8-12, 2-3 A-10).