In a sharp contrast to last year’s early season success, the GW volleyball team remains winless after dropping three straight at the Delaware Invitational last weekend.
Inexperience proved to be the Colonials’ main stumbling block, according to head coach Jojit Coronel.
“We have a lot of inexperienced players who aren’t used to playing on this level,” he said. “We are really trying to shuffle around and find a lineup that works. Players are carrying loads that they aren’t used to carrying. It’s going to be tough.”
GW is 0-7 this year after beginning 10-0 last season.
Saturday, against the University of Delaware, the Colonials captured the first game of the match 30-28. However, the Blue Hens rebounded and won the next three games in a dominant fashion. Sophomore Juliene McLaughlin led the Colonials, collecting 17 kills and 15 digs while freshman Janine Brown recorded double-digit kills for the first time in her young career.
“Our defense is our key and we are looking to solidify it,” sophomore Kaimana Lee said. “We had flashes of it over the weekend but when our defense is good, everything falls into place.”
In the second game of the day, the Colonials fell to the State University of New York at Albany. GW bounced back after losing the first game and won the second game 30-24.
Friday’s loss to the University of New Mexico was the Colonials’ best effort of the weekend.
Despite losing two straight games to the Lobos, sophomore Kelly Kabbes and Junior Shannon Parks had strong performances. Kabbes had 12 kills and Parks had seven in the loss.
The Lobos’ overpowering offensive performance was clear, as they posted a .305 kill percentage (74 kills) compared to a .176 average for the Colonials, who had 54 kills.
McLaughlin, who again was dominant at outside hitter, collected 53 kills on the weekend and was named to the all-tournament team.
After losing seniors Sarah Hokom and Ruth Lazzari to graduation in the spring, the Colonials are off to their worst start in the program’s 30-year history. Despite the losses, players said the team has not lost confidence or vigor.
“Going 0-7 is going to shake us up but we feel hungry,” Lee said. “I feel bad for the next team that we play because we are going to annihilate them.”
The Colonials will look to capture their first win next weekend as they host the GW Invitational, which will take place at the Smith Center on Friday and Saturday. The University of Jacksonville, SUNY-Binghamton and the University of Akron will come to Foggy Bottom for the tourney.
“There is no question that this is the hardest schedule in the school’s history,” Coronel said. “We have played some hard teams between this tournament and last week on the west coast and every team has been better than us.”