Volleyball caught by Fordham

Sometimes a few percentage points make all the difference.

The GW volleyball team found that out the hard way Sunday, losing a tightly contested 3-2 match to Fordham at Smith Center.

“Fordham played well,” head coach Jojit Coronel said after the match. “They played 7 percent better than us that last game, and we have the numbers – 7 percent better.”

The Colonials (12-16, 4-8 Atlantic 10) lost the first game despite an early lead but came back to dominate the second game 30-19 and narrowly take the third 32-30. After Fordham evened the match at two games apiece, the Colonials seemed to be in position to come away with a victory, serving for the match in the fifth game with a 14-11 advantage. Four consecutive Fordham points put GW on the defensive before eventually dropping the game and match.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Coronel said. “When you have game point 14-12 and you can’t get (the win), you sort of lose that aggressiveness right there.”

Senior Janine Brown led the Colonials with 22 kills and 22.5 points but also had a team-high eight errors. Besides letting the fifth game slip away, GW also lost leads of 19-12 and 16-9 in the match and allowed the momentum to be traded back and forth.

“It’s just sort of a picture of our season – a lot of inconsistency,” Coronel said. “They just got on a run. Volleyball is a game of runs.”

The loss to Fordham may further complicate the composition of the upcoming A-10 tournament. Fordham, now 4-7 in conference, pulled ahead of GW for the third and final tournament berth from the A-10 East division. Just ahead of both teams is Charlotte, the Colonials’ opponent in this Friday’s season-ending home match, meaning GW’s chances are still alive.

The Charlotte contest will be a rematch of last Friday’s meeting, which GW also lost 3-2. Brown registered 24 kills and 24 points, while junior Maggie Wright and senior Jess Buche tied for a team-high 21 digs.

Coronel said the loss was similar to Sunday’s, citing inconsistency and insufficient aggressiveness as keys to the outcome.

“We had our chances there too,” he said. “We were down in that fifth game and we had a few swings and tipped balls. You don’t want to tip balls for match point. You want to be aggressive.”

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