Sep 3, 2013
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Once again, the Georgetown women's volleyball team (2-2) found itself in a tightly contested match, but it was the Liberty Flames who came out on top in four sets, 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-16). Liberty captured the match, but a multitude of Hoyas showed up to play, including Annalee Abell who accounted for a season-best 13 kills.
"We started off really slowly and we fought our way back," Head Coach Arlisa Williams said of the match. "I was very proud of the grit, but we needed to start faster."
Aside from Abell, Alex Johnson (16 kills, 12 digs), Lauren Saar (11 kills, 17 digs) and Dani White (10 kills, two service aces) stepped up their production. In the backcourt, MacKenzie Simpson led the Hoyas with 18 digs, adding two assists to the cause as well. Caitlin Brauneis captured a career-high with 46 assists on the evening, as well.
The Flames quickly scorched out to a 9-3 lead in the opening frame, but an Alex Johnson kill, set up by Lauren Saar, finished off a run to get the Hoyas within one, at 9-8. Liberty, however, slowly saw its lead climbing, reaching a 21-16 advantage before GU called a timeout to talk things over.
"This (Liberty) is a team that knows how to win," Williams said. "They've had a lot of 20-win seasons, and they know how to win at home."
But the Blue & Gray never quit. Dani White landed a kill, followed shortly by a service ace to get things rolling for GU late. But even after an error brought the Hoyas within two, 24-22, LU's Lillie Happel finished off the set with a kill.
Down 1-0 in the match, Georgetown started strong in the second set, jumping out to a steady 5-2 advantage after kills from Ashlie Williams and Johnson. But the Flames eventually evened the ledger at 7-7, sparking a fierce battle. GU would take a two-point lead, but the score was tied six times until the conclusion of the frame. Serving with a 20-18 lead, Caitlin Brauneis led the Hoyas to a four-point advantage after a Liberty attack error and a well-timed service ace. Once again, however, the Flames knotted things up, this time at 23-23, on its way to a 25-23 set win.
The tightly contested match continued on as the score remained tied 10 times in the early going. Knowing they needed the set, the Hoyas scored the five of the next six points on the backs of Annalee Abell, Johnson and Brauneis. White extended GU's lead to 20-15 after a big service ace, giving the Hoyas the boost they needed. Liberty scored four straight points in the set to draw near, 23-21, but Lauren Saar single-handedly closed things out with a kill and the Hoyas' third ace of the set.
Back-and-forth the match continued into the fourth set, as the two raced to a 6-6 tie to start. After the Flames claimed five of the next six points in a row, their streak captured them the match. Georgetown cut the lead to 13-12 after a Saar kill and an attack error, but LU would go on to score 12 of the next 18 points, including a streak of eight of nine straight points, ending the Hoyas' bid of another road victory, 3-1.
"We definitely have the potential," Williams stated, "but we need to start taking care of the little things. Game three (tonight) was good. We followed the game plan and I am extremely happy with that set. So all-in-all it was not a bad performance tonight."
Up next, Georgetown will have its chance to take care of the little things as the Hoyas will make the trek to Buies Creek, N.C., for the Campbell tournament on Friday and Saturday.