This post was written by Hatchet reporter Ellee Watson.
Last week, the women’s volleyball team had its five-game win streak snapped in a straight-sets loss to a Duquesne team that ranked second in the Atlantic 10.
It was a reality check, but also a learning experience.
On Saturday, facing the second place Dukes once again, the Colonials showed how much they’ve learned in that short time, getting their revenge in a decisive four set victory (25-22, 25-16, 21-25, 25-14).
“We didn’t show them how we can truly play. So there were some things that we needed to clean up and to really focus on like overpasses. We let a few overpasses last week drop,” head coach Amanda Ault said. “And so, this week, we really took good care of the net, and we scored a lot of points that way.”
The win brings GW’s A-10 conference record to 8-2, just one game behind the still-second place Dukes, but two games separated from fourth place Saint Louis. The Colonials have now won eight out of their last nine matches and have four games left in the regular season before the A-10 Championship, set to take place in the Smith Center.
After losing the third set on Saturday, due to loss of on-court communication, GW had to regroup and remember the confidence they had gained in the past week.
“I think that in the first 10 points of the third set, two people would look at each other and not commit to the ball, and let it drop,” Ault said. “That kind of put us in a situation where you could tell people were getting frustrated, people were starting to freak out a little bit, and then we got it, but we had already built a bit of a hole.”
Dusquesne battled point for point in the fourth, until Osuchukwu delivered two kills and two blocks to give the Colonials a slim 8-6 lead.
“I just was thinking we need to get this set. We can’t go to five,” freshman middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu said. “We have the momentum, and we just need to finish. I was just trying to be aggressive.”
Stay aggressive GW did indeed, grabbing all the momentum to run away with the fourth set, 25-14, and leave no doubt in the Duke’s mind that they are the real deal.
Junior Kelsey Newman led the Colonials offense, that had 62 total kills, with 16 kills of her own. GW also had 12 team blocks – twice as many as the Dukes.Ault said the team came into the match determined to show the Dukes they had more to offer, and they did so by working on their overpasses, serves and passing games over the past week.
“I think that the serve and pass game, and we always talk about that, if you can take care of those two things, then a lot of success can happen after that, and they did that tonight,” she said.
Ault said she believes the team has found a rhythm they can confidently carry through the rest of the season and into the conference tournament at the end of the month.
“When we take care of things, when we control our kind of game, we are really hard to stop.”
The Colonials take on Fordham and Rhode Island next weekend on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The two matchups will be GW’s last home matches of the regular season, before returning home for the A-10 tournament.