Volleyball rebounds from VCU loss with win over Rams

GW was determined to halt a losing skid before it even got off the ground.

After snapping their season-high four-match win steak during a game against VCU Friday, the Colonials bounced back with a tight, highly-contested victory Saturday over fellow A-10 foe Charlotte. The team had to quickly erase the memory of the 3-0 sweep at the hands of the Rams.

“We just couldn’t get things going on Friday,” head coach Amanda Ault said. “We just really didn’t come together and play.”

Against VCU, the Colonials struggled to find their footing early, falling behind 11-5 in the first set en route to a 25-17 defeat. In the second set, GW went up early, but squandered its lead before eventually dropping 25-23. The third set saw VCU go up big and never look back, closing out the Colonials 25-18 for the sweep.

The loss wasn’t without its bright spots for the Colonials. Senior libero Candace Silva-Martin became just the fourth player in conference history to register over 2,000 digs, notching 15 digs on the night to make her career total 2,004 at the end of the game against VCU. Senior Lauren Whyte led all players with 13 kills, while freshman Alexis Huntey tallied a team-high 27 assists. Despite those standout performances, the Colonials could not achieve a consistent attack, registering a 0.099 attack percentage to a .263 percentage for the Rams.

But Saturday night was a different story. In the first set, GW fought through seven ties to eke out a 25-23 win. Then, the Colonials dominated the second set, 25-15, before falling in the third set, 26-24. But GW fought back, scoring five points in a row early on to win the fourth set in a convincing 25-18 fashion and seal the 3-1 match victory.

“We got a little bit rattled in game three, but we came right back in four and closed it out,” Ault said.

Whyte registered a team-high 15 kills, in addition to 11 digs. Meanwhile, Silva-Martin had 19 digs, placing her third on the conference all-time list, and Huntey tallied 30 assists for the Colonials.

GW has now won five of its last six A-10 contests, a record that sets the program up well for postseason play. Whyte credited the familiarity of A-10 foes for helping the team’s game plan execution against Charlotte.

“Coming into this game and seeing familiar faces and people we’ve played against for three or four years,” Whyte said. “It’s something we’re familiar with. It’s something we know.”

The Colonials continue their four-game road trip in Ohio Friday. Ault said the team’s resilience and toughness on the road will be essential to qualifying for postseason play.

“Our focus right now is getting into the tournament. So we know that every match is important, and at the end, when it comes down to it, we want to be the ones controlling our destiny,” Ault said.

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