GW was up by 10 points in the first set when Howard lined a shot over the net that seemed destined to fall just shy of the Colonial defenders.
But junior Lauren Whyte wasn’t about to let an uncontested point be earned, diving to the floor of the Smith Center as she bumped the ball back up with her arm. Whyte’s teammates quickly capitalized on her efforts, hitting the ball back to the Bison for a kill that put GW (3-0) up by 11.
It was this sort of determined play that the Colonials exhibited for the duration of their match against Howard that allowed GW to walk away with a 3-0 victory.
“We knew coming in that this team, this is what they’re all about. Howard is a very scrappy team. We wanted to make sure that we were taking care of balls,” head coach Amanda Ault said. “Bettering the ball is one of the things that we’re really trying to focus on.”
It was a match where GW’s strength as a cohesive unit was highly visible. The Colonials held Howard to a .052 hitting percentage, forcing 17 Bison errors. GW built upon their commanding shutdown offensively, hitting .284 on the match with eight service aces.
Whyte continued her record of dominance, leading the team with 12 kills and 14.5 points, recording a .375 attack percentage. The strong play continued across GW’s roster, with junior Candace Silva-Martin leading all players with 11 digs and two service aces and fellow junior Katie Crosby posting a match-high 27 assists and five digs.
The commanding play gave the Colonials a chance to circulate through their roster, allowing Ault a glimpse at the depth available on her team.
“It was good to see how people are going to respond and play,” Ault said. “I think that we have depth in multiple positions, which is great.”
Throughout the roster, communication was again evident between the Colonials during the match, working as a unit to identify holes in Howard’s position.
Next up, the Colonials host the George Washington Invitational, facing UNC-Wilmington, North Carolina Central and Central Connecticut State. The tournament extends from Sept. 2 to 3.