A hostile takeover took place Wednesday evening in a westernmost corner of Georgetown. Some participants came in uniform, the GW volleyball team marching into McDonough arena to take on their area rivals, but they brought civilian backup.
The men’s rowing team, a smattering of women’s basketball players and a segment of the Colonial Army came to help, outnumbering Georgetown fans by what looked like a factor of two and sounded like double that. As they cheered and, at times, jeered against their crosstown rivals, the Colonials did their talking on the court with a 3-0 sweep of the Hoyas.
“Playing Georgetown helps out a lot because it’s a big rival,” junior outside hitter Loren Williams said. “It’s really motivating to make sure we play our best game because we want to takeover D.C., run the District.”
Though the match score was lopsided, the set scores were competitive. The third set was won by the largest margin at 25-19 and the Colonials had just two more kills (42) overall than the Hoyas (40). But GW was the cleaner team, totaling 24 errors to Georgetown’s 38.
That composure was a good sign for a team that has been focusing their practices on staying with out of system balls.
“We’re definitley making progress,” said head coach Amanda Ault. “I feel like there’s still some ways to go but you can definitely see they’re feeling more comfortable taking those swings. I think it will only get better.”
That made the game more active on the outsides, with Colonials diving at the sidelines and using the corners. Two outside hitters, Williams and Kelsey Clark, had the most kills with 11 and 10, respectively.
Sophomore transfer Kristel Moor also looked solid, combining with middle blocker Chidima Osuchukwu for a couple of critical blocks that stopped a Georgetown run near the end of the first set. She totalled four blocking assists.
Williams was also error-free, giving her a .440 attacking percentage for tops among players with more than five kills. Williams had five kills in the second set alone.
“You can see it on her face after she goes up and blocks or kills, she has that little smile,” Ault said. “Sometimes she’s just very stoic so when you see that it’s a good sign.”
Clark got the decisive kill in the first set, which was the tightest at 25-23, with a ball knocked to the back corner that caromed right into the lap of athletic director Patrick Nero, who was also at the game.
Adding insult (and a recurring duck-duck-goose chant during their service game) to injury for the Hoyas was the fact that the game was their home-opener. The Colonials even mounted an abridged court-storm at the end of the match, rushing over to high-five a swarm of fans on the sideline opposite their bench.
“Man, that is awesome,” Ault said. “When they walked in I was like ‘this is great,’ and it was even better, the girls after the game went right over to them so I loved that, too.”
Local dominance aside, the Hoyas exited the game with a 4-6 record, so the win was no upset. But the Colonials, who have a mixture of youth and experience but have new faces in a handful of key roles, played a stacked schedule for the first couple weeks of the year. GW started 1-3 but is now 7-4 and, with four games left until the conference season begins, the system is beginning to run more smoothly.
After all, any takeover requires coordination.