Volleyball tops crosstown foe

The volleyball team earned city bragging rights Tuesday by rallying to topple Georgetown at the Hoyas’ McDonough Gymnasium. It was the team’s third straight win.

GW dropped the first game 28-30 despite their late offensive surge before taking the next three games 31-29, 30-23 and 30-22 over two hours and two minutes.

“It doesn’t matter who we play, we are getting better at playing clutch,” GW head coach Jojit Coronel said.

Tuesday night’s win advances GW (10-12, 3-5 Atlantic 10) to just two games under .500, still a half game behind Fordham in the A-10 East standings. The loss was the sixth in a row for Georgetown (5-15, 1-6 Big East).

“One of our goals was to have a winning record,” Coronel said. He added that his team is taking their schedule “one game at a time” and “one day at a time” in hopes of reaching that objective.

Coronel said Tuesday’s win came after a late return to Foggy Bottom with little rest following the Colonials’ weekend road trip to the Northeast, where GW defeated A-10 rivals Rhode Island and Fordham.

In Tuesday’s game one the Hoyas kept the game tight, building a 28-23 lead with five unanswered points. Junior setter Kaimana Lee snapped Georgetown’s hot streak with a kill, jumpstarting a 5-1 GW run. The Hoyas put the first game away, however, at 30-28 with a kill by Georgetown’s Jenny Weed.

Georgetown started off strong in game two, jumping out to an 8-2 lead in the opening minutes. GW steadily rallied back, but the Colonials found themselves down 28-19 with the Hoyas in position to go up two games to none in the match. GW began putting together a 12-1 run after the Hoyas hit the hanging scoreboard above the net to give the Colonials the serve. Georgetown’s errors also contributed to the Colonials’ 31-29 comeback win on sophomore outside hitter Janine Brown’s kill.

With the match now tied 1-1, GW dominated the beginning of game three by maintaining their momentum and picking up where they left off following their comeback in game two. Hoya errors again helped propel the Colonials to 10-point leads for much of the game. Georgetown showed their own comeback potential late in the game, but could not trim the Colonials’ lead to less than seven points in the eventual 30-23 GW win.

Game four was close with errors plaguing both teams. GW took advantage of the Hoyas’ miscues and continued to block well, finishing the game at 30-21 on a 6-1 run.

Much of the Colonials’ late points came from senior outside hitter Lindsey Vernand, who landed an ace on the serve for game and match point.

Vernand led the Colonials with 15 kills during the match, followed by junior middle hitter Kelly Kabbes with 11 kills and a personal hitting average of .420. Sophomore outside hitter Janine Brown added 10 kills. Though the Colonials had fewer kills than the Hoyas overall (58-64), Georgetown’s 37 errors helped GW to come out on top.

Georgetown’s head coach Li Liu is a 1996 GW graduate and was the A-10 Player of the Year in 1994. The Colonials have also beaten another team coached by an alumnus this season, when GW faced Delaware State led by 2001 alumna Renee Arnold.

The Colonials’ next match is against A-10 newcomer Charlotte in the Smith Center at 2 p.m. Sunday. GW will continue A-10 matches next weekend, traveling to Philadelphia to take on Temple and La Salle.

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