Volleyball seniors say goodbye with win

The GW women’s volleyball team bid farewell to a trio of veterans in Sunday’s Senior Day game, making sure to send them off in style with a 3-0 sweep of Charlotte for their second win in three days.

Families came to support the departing Colonials (21-9, 8-5 Atlantic 10) as they said goodbye to their home court. Seniors Abby Syverson, Katie Butz and Madelyn Bagby were recognized and honored for their leadership and commitment to the program during their GW careers.

After the public address announcer referred to her as the team’s “go-to player,” Butz lived up to her reputation, registering the Colonials’ first point with a solid spike and leading the team with 13 kills. At one point in the second set, she broke a 7-7 tie to put GW ahead, but the 49ers responded with four straight points to regain the lead.

Head coach Jojit Coronel then called a timeout, after which the Colonials took six of the next seven points and went on to win the set 25-20.

The timeout “helped the girls to settle down,” Coronel said. “I think they needed it to focus and after that they really worked their defense.”

In the third set, freshman Lauren Whyte led the charge with six kills, as the Colonials jumped out to a 17-9 lead and held on to win the set 25-19 despite a small Charlotte charge.

Syverson said “good passes and having a good mentality” were the keys to Sunday’s victory.

“They really played like a team today and communicated well,” Coronel said.

Relatives and supporters cheered throughout the match, which Coronel said helped GW as they battled for the win.

“Family and friends is a great recipe for winning,” Coronel said. “Playing at home is a huge thing and really helps.”

Syverson shared similar sentiments after her last home match.

“I’m really going to miss it,” she said of playing in front of the home crowd. “This is the first year I really appreciated playing home matches. Even though we only played a few ones, they always gave us extra energy and we were proud to play here.”

Currently fourth in the A-10, GW will battle for seeding in the conference tournament during its regular season-ending Ohio road trip this weekend. The Colonials will play at Xavier Friday before traveling to Dayton Saturday.

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