RICHMOND, Va. - The Georgetown University volleyball team (5-1) suffered its first defeat of the season Friday in a tough five set match against Appalachian State (1-7). Set scores were 25-21, 17-25, 25-20, 27-29, and 12-15.
Sophomore outside hitter Alex Johnson (Tampa, Fla.) had an outstanding game, leading the Hoyas in several statistical categories. Johnson tallied 25 kills, 25 digs, five service aces, and hit .309, all team-highs for the day.
"We've been really focusing with her on playing a low-error brand of volleyball, and I think that she stepped up to the plate" said seventh-year head coach Arlisa Williams.
Sophomore middle blocker Dani White (Mission Viejo, Calif.) had another strong performance as well. She added 14 kills and contributed to a team-leading eight blocks. Senior middle blocker Lindsey Wise (Raleigh, N.C.) played well defensively, contributing to six blocks.
The match was close throughout but the Hoyas fell in the end. In what would be Georgetown's first five-setter of the young 2012 season, they came out strong to win the first set. Tied at 16, GU went on a 5-0 run to take control at 22-17, opening the door for the 25-21 set win.
However, the crafty Mountaineers didn't blink, and struck right back in the second. Appalachian State controlled the set throughout and cruised to take the second set 17-25.
In the third, each team went back and forth with extended runs. With the Mountaineers leading 4-8, GU won 10 of the next 11 points to put it at 14-9. However, Appalachian State would respond by winning six of seven and tied the set at 15. The Hoyas regrouped to take the set from their opponent and led 2-1 after three.
The fourth was a critical turning point in the match. Georgetown came extremely close to closing out the match there, but it was not meant to be. Appalachian State kept coming up with timely points to stay in it.
Trailing 24-23 and on the verge of elimination, the Mountaineers found a way to wrest the set away from the Hoyas and get the 27-29 set win. "I thought we were going to pull it out" said head coach Arlisa Williams, "but they just kept fighting back."
Appalachian State won the fifth, which was nearly as close. With GU one point from elimination trailing 9-14, they went on a 3-0 mini-run before the final point gave the Mountaineers the 12-15 set win and match victory.
Appalachian State was led by the duo of sophomore outside hitters Jacqui Spurgeon (Waxhaw, N.C.) and Lindsey Sauls (Prairie Village, Kan.). Spurgeon led her team with 22 kills, while Sauls was second with 15 and led with a .255 hitting percentage.
"If there's any good that comes out of this loss, it's that we don't like the taste that it's left in our mouth. Hopefully we'll get our act together and come out tomorrow ready to go get Virginia," said Williams.
The Hoyas are back in action Saturday to take on Virginia (3-3) at 11 a.m. and host VCU (6-1) at 7 p.m. They then play four more on the road before the home opener Sept. 18 against Liberty.
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