Women’s volleyball snap losing streak at five

After opening the season by winning 10 straight, GW headed to Baltimore at the bottom of a five-game slide – a sobering losing streak for the Colonials.
One they were determined to snap, immediately.
“We talked about getting back to our style of play and taking care of what’s on our side of the net,” head coach Amanda Ault said. “I think that we needed to get some confidence back and I think that was our main goal tonight. To make sure that we’re sticking together, playing together and doing things we’ve done in the past.”
The Colonials didn’t just snap their streak, they commanded its end, defeating the Greyhounds 3-0 in straight sets. GW (11-5) swung a .310 overall, holding Loyola to just .127 on the match.
The teams opened play with a back-and-forth first set that saw the score knotted at 10 before junior Lauren Whyte slammed home three commanding kills in a row to pull the Colonials away from Loyola. The Greyhounds pulled within two later in the set, and they called a timeout in an effort to pull out a victory. Play was close through the end but GW maintained a slight edge, eventually posting a 25-19 set victory off a kill from sophomore Taylor Knox. GW’s ability to stay focused under pressure is something Ault strives to emphasize.
“That’s something we’ve been talking about a lot, sustaining our level of play and being more consistent,” Ault said. “It’s something we’re more focused on.”
The Colonials jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the second set, but a scrappy Loyola squad fought back, tying the score twice before GW was able to pull away. The difference between the two squads was never more than four, and two Colonials errors helped Loyola to pull within three points of a set victory before a Greyhounds error gave GW the crucial final point for a 25-22 set victory.
At first, the third set seemed destined to follow the same theme as the other two: the teams tallied five tie scores before the Colonials, again, were able to pull away. Knox and Whyte slammed home multiple kills, aiding GW to a 6-0 scoring run midway through the set that allowed the team to commandingly break the stalemate. The Colonials only allowed Loyola three more points on their way to a 25-14 set victory.
“Between game two and three we talked about, we were playing well but we needed to make sure we were taking control,” Ault said. “Not letting the team come back, really taking control and really finishing out the game.”
GW was once again paced by consistent play from its veteran players: Whyte and Knox led the team in kills, posting 15 and 11, respectively. Whyte swung a .519, supported by a .368 percentage from Knox. Junior Katie Crosby added 29 assists on the night, and fellow junior Candace Silva-Martin added eight digs for defensive support. Freshman Christy Harper, too, posted strong numbers on defense, totaling a match-high eight blocks.
The strong play across the roster, Ault said, came from the team’s intent focus.
“We actually talked with Lauren yesterday about getting back to her style of play and focusing on what she can do,” Ault said. “I think right now, it’s become a mental game with a lot of them and they need to relax and play their game. And I think they were able to do that tonight.”
The Colonials next host their first A-10 opponent, with play against Charlotte scheduled for Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. GW returns to the Smith Center for the first time in five games, and it will be seeking its first victory over a league opponent.
“We’ve been gone the last couple of weeks so it’s going to be great to be home again. There’s been great crowds, we’ve had great fan support, student support,” Ault said. “It’s just getting back to taking care of what we need to take care of on our side.”

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