Volleyball completes A-10

An enthusiastic crowd for Parent/Alumni Weekend could only propel the GW volleyball team to one victory at the Smith Center this past weekend. The Colonials rolled over the La Salle Explorers 3-0 Friday night, but were swept 3-0 on Saturday by archrival Temple, their second Atlantic 10 Conference adversary from Philadelphia that weekend.

Temple 3, GW 0

The Colonials lost to Temple in straight games (20-30, 20-30, 28-30). The Owls (11-8, 4-1 A-10) led for all of the match’s first two games and carried healthy leads to victory. Temple’s offense was led by freshman middle blocker Patricia Vernon’s 12 kills and .476 hitting average. Sophomore middle blocker Christina DeMarco added 10 kills for the Owls.

After the intermission, the Colonials started the third game strong. Temple’s 3-1 lead evaporated with two straight kills by junior outside hitter Juliene McLaughlin to tie the game. An ace by junior Kelley Kabbes’ extended the lead to 7-4 for the Colonials. Later, senior middle hitter Shannon Parks’ ace would put GW up 10-4.

Errors by the Colonials and kills by Temple brought the Owls from a 17-13 deficit to 17-17 with an ace by DeMarco.

“We steamrolled them until we made errors,” GW head coach Jojit Coronel said. “If you make errors against them, they add up.”

GW and Temple scored back and forth for the next several minutes with the Owls taking a timeout when GW went up 22-21. Senior middle blocker Zhen Jia Liu came back from the timeout with a kill to tie the game. McLauglin’s ensuing kill put the Colonials up 26-24 before the Owls would come back with three consecutive points capped by a kill by Vernon.

The Colonials took a timeout and returned to the court with a kill by to tie the game at 27-27. After another tie at 28-28, Temple’s sophomore outside hitter Yue Liu registered a kill. She then served for game and match point to close out GW in three straight games over one hour and 32 minutes.

The Colonials extended their losing streak to 13 games against Temple, beginning in 1999.

Sophomore outside hitter Ying Sun Ling had a team-high 20 digs for the Owls’ defense during the match. Yue Liu had another 13. Temple had 12 blocks total, 10 more than GW did. The Owls hit .233 overall whereas the Colonials hit only .044.

Senior Abigail Hatter recorded a team high of seven kills for GW, followed by McLaughlin’s six. Senior libero and team captain Jessica Vesey led the Colonials with nine digs as did junior setter Kaimana Lee.

The Colonial’s next game is across town at Howard University at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The volleyball team returns to the Smith Center next weekend to host A-10 newcomer Saint Louis at 7 p.m. Friday and A-10 rival Duquesne at noon Saturday.

Coronel said he is looking ahead to GW’s Oct. 23 match against volleyball powerhouse Charlotte, who is new to the A-10 this year.

“I’m anxious to see a few more tapes on Charlotte,” said Coronel.

With their losing record at more than halfway through the season, Coronel said the girls “are just hungry, they know they are good.”

GW 3, La Salle 0

The Colonials (6-10, 1-3 A-10) took down La Salle (6-10, 0-4 A-10) in straight matches, 30-19, 30-27, 30-26, in an hour and 26 minutes. Hatter led GW with nine kills hitting .750 with no errors during the match. Sophomore outside hitter Janine Brown also had nine kills, as did Kabbes, who hit .471.

The Colonials’ easy game one victory was followed by early leads in the second game. With his team faltering due to errors, La Salle head coach Dave Stever received a yellow card and then a red card after contesting GW’s ninth point. The Colonials led by as much as 22-15 before the Explorers fought back to trail by only one point at 27-26. Two of the next three GW points came from Brown, who put the game away at 30-27.

The third game began with a 5-1 lead for La Salle. GW was behind until another kill by Brown put the Colonials up 14-13. The rest of the match was close, tied late at 26-26. More La Salle errors put the Explorers behind 29-26 before senior middle hitter Shannon Parks finished the game off with a kill at 30-26.

La Salle had three players with 10 kills each and the team as a whole hit .246 with 45 kills and 13 errors. GW hit .289 with 49 kills and 14 errors.

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