Volleyball drops two, extends skid to six

Three weeks ago, the volleyball team was in second place in the Altantic 10, having won six of its first seven conference games. Since GW’s last win Oct. 17 at home against Temple, the Colonials have dropped to sixth place in the A-10 and have lost six straight.

The team extended its skid over the weekend, falling 3-1 Sunday on the road at Duquesne and 3-2 Friday night at home against Fordham. The losses leave the Colonials dangerously close to falling out of the top six of the A-10 standings and out of the conference tournament.

“We need to win at least two more to get into the A-10 tournament. Tonight would have sealed the deal as far as we don’t lose any tiebreakers,” head coach Jojit Coronel said after his team’s loss Friday night.

Despite his team’s recent struggles, Coronel remained confident that his team can regain its early-season form as its season winds down. GW (17-13, 6-7 A-10) will play its final two matches next weekend and will close out the season with a home match against Xavier, which currently sits second in the conference.

“Xavier is going to be tough, but it’s senior day so hopefully we will play a bit tougher and make a few less errors,” Coronel said.

The Colonials came agonizingly close to earning their first win in three weeks Friday night, pushing the Rams to five sets before falling. Of the five sets, only one was decided by more than four points and GW fell by just three in the fifth set.

GW was led by sophomore Lauren Whyte, who had 21 kills against the Rams Friday. Senior Katie Zulandt was the only other Colonial with double-digit kills.

Sunday against Duquesne, GW lost despite a stellar performance from Zulandt, who had a match-high 18 kills and had a .607 hitting percentage. Whyte added 11 kills of her own, but GW still fell 3-1.

With just two games left to determine the fate of their season, the Colonials know they need to refocus.

“We need to play with a lot more sense of urgency now,” Whyte said Friday night. “Before we were playing to see which place we would get in the A-10 tournament, now we’re playing to get into the A-10 tournament. We really need to take care of our volleyball.”

“We’re playing really good volleyball,” she said. “I thought our passing was pretty good tonight. Our hitting, we’re hitting really hard. We just need that little bit more to start winning games.”

Coronel said for his team to be successful, it will need to rediscover the consistency that has eluded it for much of the season.

“We made some great plays then we would stop playing at certain points. It’s just the way volleyball is; it’s a game of momentum. So we just need to play until we hear the whistle blow,” he said. “We have all the pieces there, it’s just a matter of turning the corner and getting just 1 percent better.”

GW will begin the home stretch of its regular season Friday on the road at Saint Louis. It will wrap up its season Sunday afternoon at home against Xavier. First serve is set for 1 p.m.

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