For the 13th straight time, Atlantic 10 rival Temple got the best of the GW volleyball team.
The Owls, GW’s biggest volleyball rival, again overcame a seemingly insurmountable deficit to beat the Colonials 3-2 in one of the most closely contested matches yet this season.
“If it’s any conciliation, that was our best performance so far this year,” sophomore Juliene McLaughlin said. “We didn’t win, but we need to get over it and prepare for the next match.”
The loss comes after GW beat (2-9, 1-2 A-10) La Salle Friday evening.
With the Smith Center was filled with players’ families and friends on Parents/Alumni weekend, GW looked sharp early against Temple, winning the first two games of the match. The Colonials had opportunity after opportunity to put away the Owls in third and fourth game but could not.
Trailing 13-10 in game five, the Colonials tied the game at 14, but a Temple (5-11, 2-0 A-10) kill and then a double touch ended GW’s bid to beat the Owls for the first time in five years.
The Colonials’ team leaders were stellar performers. McLaughlin pounded her way to 28 kills with a .323 kill percentage. Senior Molly Law collected 18 kills and 23 digs while junior Abigail Hatter also came through as middle hitter for the Colonials, collecting a career-high 12 kills.
“I think it was really great that my coach gave me a chance to step up and I was just really happy to play,” Hatter said.
GW collected strong statistics on the court, but once again could not overcome their foe. After winning games one and two 30-26 and 32-30, respectively, the Colonials then lost 30-28 in both the third and fourth games.
In the fifth and deciding game, Temple defeated GW 16-14. The team will have another opportunity to break the streak at Temple later this season.
After the game, members of the team were teary-eyed.
“(This loss) hurts your confidence because we were up 2-0,” McLaughlin said. “But there is nothing we can do about it now.”
On Friday, the Colonials captured their first A-10 win, sweeping La Salle (7-11, 0-2 A-10) in three straight games, 30-24, 30-28 and 30-23.
The Colonials stayed focused throughout, as McLaughlin led with 19 kills and seven aces. Law led the Colonials with a team-high 14 digs and 10 kills. Sophomore Abigail Greenleaf saw significant time, registering five kills.
The Colonials secured the victory with a dominant 5-0 run in the third game, which McLaughlin capped off with a kill to end the game. In one of her most powerful performances of the year, McLaughlin registered a kill percentage of .371.