A-10s mark seniors’ last chance

The GW volleyball team will head to Philadelphia this weekend as the third seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament and will likely have to improve on its regular-season performance to have a shot at the title. Against Temple, Dayton and Xavier, the other three teams in the tournament, GW went just 1-5 in conference play this year.

GW will face Dayton (23-9, 13-2 A-10) Friday night, a team that has been dominant over A-10 opponents, including GW, this season. The Flyers’ only losses came to No. 1 seed Temple (19-7, 13-1 A-10) and a close late-season match against No. 4 seed Xavier (14-14, 8-6 A-10). Dayton beat GW both times they played this year, losing just one game total.

“To beat Dayton we need to have very good ball control, pass it well and play some very good defense,” head coach Jojit Coronel said. “That’s what watching tape has told us.”

The Flyers have strong veterans, including seniors Erin Treadway and Shannon Gardener and junior Christy Utnage. These three led the Flyers in kills, combining for 1,125 this season.

Comparatively, the Colonials’ top three hitters mustered just 888 kills while GW freshman standout Julienne McLaughlin had 135 kills.

The key to Flyers’ success this season has been their hitting accuracy, as they boasted a .258 kill percentage, which led the A-10. Dayton also posted a conference-low 589 errors, which was GW’s weakness this season, having 723 with a .189 kill percentage.

“Surprisingly, our confidence level is very high,” Coronel said. “Our girls, our team, truly believes that they can beat Dayton.”

If the Colonials advance they will play the winner of the Temple-Xavier match. GW split its matches with Xavier this year, while Temple has beaten the Colonials 12 straight times. If the Colonials match up against the Owls, it will be the seniors’ final chance to beat their rival.

“They are what we have to go through to keep playing and make the NCAA Tournament,” senior co-captain Lauren Dunning said. “I really want another crack at them. I don’t want to go my whole career having the same group of people beating me over and over again.”

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