The GW volleyball team split two games in Pittsburgh, Pa., this weekend, beating Duquesne Saturday, 3-0, after being swept by Robert Morris University on Friday.
The win over Duquesne (10-14, 2-4 Atlantic 10) marked the second time this season that GW (18-5, 6-2 A-10) beat the Dukes, with both victories coming in straight games. The win kept GW in third place in the league, two games back in the loss column of undefeated and first-place Dayton.
“It was an important win after being thoroughly beaten by a good Robert Morris team,” GW head coach Jojit Coronel said. “It wasn’t an easy win, but I thought we played well.”
GW was led by the consistent duo of seniors Ruth Lazzari and Sarah Hokom. Lazzari posted 15 kills and 11 digs while Hokom notched 14 kills and 14 digs. Senior co-captain Lauren Dunning, who missed the last two games with a wrist injury, returned to the starting lineup and recorded 40 assists in the victory.
Coronel used the same starting lineup Saturday that played in the A-10 Championship game last year, choosing experience over youth.
“The freshmen have been doing a good job, but they don’t have the experience to grind it out right now,” Coronel said. “We have older, more experienced players that know what do at this point of the season.”
That lineup included sophomore Lindsey Vernand, who had previously seen little playing time this season. She had 11 kills in the match but made 10 errors.
“She was a little rusty, but overall she played well,” Coronel said. “When she plays aggressively at the net, she is a very good player.”
Friday night, GW played its worst match of the season against Robert Morris, which is also nicknamed the Colonials. GW had 35 errors and a kill percentage of negative .060, meaning they had more errors than kills. No GW player reached double-digits in kills, and freshman Kamiana Lee was the only player to record an assist with 24. Robert Morris (16-10) won every game easily, 30-11, 30-21 and 30-17.
“We had to drive up to Robert Morris the same day (as the match), and it’s a five-hour drive, so it’s not good for our players physically,” Coronel said. “We are at a disadvantage because of our travel arrangements, and this will affect us next weekend because of the long bus ride to Rhode Island and New York.”
Next weekend, GW will travel north to play Rhode Island (9-14, 4-3 A-10) Friday and then to Bronx, N.Y., to play Fordham (8-15, 1-6 A-10) Saturday. The Colonials beat URI with a 3-2 comeback victory at the Smith Center earlier this season and also swept Fordham at home.
GW will have to win both of these games to stay in contention for the A-10 regular season championship.