Sept. 14, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Georgetown women's volleyball team capped off a perfect Saturday with another win at the O'Connell Center, downing the Iona Gaels in four sets, 3-1 (26-24, 18-25, 25-21, 25-18). The Hoys improve to 6-5 on the year after going 2-1 in the Active Ankle Challenge.
"Tonight we started out strong but Iona's speed frustrated us," Head Coach Arlisa Williams said. "Once again everyone chipped in and contributed to the win. Overall, I am very pleased with our performance this weekend. I also recognize there are aspects we will have to tighten up if we are going to continue to build."
Both Lauren Saar and Alex Johnson collected double-doubles for the Hoyas, with Saar tallying 16 kills and 15 digs, while Johnson added 13 kills and 14 digs. Dani White led all players with a match-high 17 kills on the afternoon. Georgetown was solid on defense as MacKenzie Simpson and Caitlin Brauneis also scooped double-digit digs as the Hoyas out-dug the Gales, 71-67. For her efforts over the weekend, Brauneis was named to the All-Tournament team.
Things didn't start according to plan for Georgetown, which found itself in a rapid, 5-1 hole against the Gaels. Even after the Hoyas managed to claw back to a 7-5 deficit after kills from Caitlin Brauneis, Shannon Eliis and Brooke Bachesta, Iona kept the pressure cooking, reeling off a 10-2 run over GU. But the Hoyas themselves made a run of things, claiming six of the next seven points to get the Blue & Gray within three at 18-15, on the heels of an Emily Gisolfi service run. The run featured kills from Dani White and Alex Johnson, along with two more service aces from Gisolfi to get GU back into the swing of things. Iona continued to pressure Georgetown, even after Bachesta gave the Hoyas set point twice with a nice pair of kills. Errors got the best of the Gaels as an attack miscue gave GU the lengthy first set, 26-24.
Georgetown opened up the second set with a comfortable 5-3 advantage, but the Gaels wiped that away with a 12-2 run, including nine straight points, to take an 15-7 lead. Though the Blue & Gray took advantage of some mistakes, mainly some scattered attack errors by the Gaels, Iona quelled any GU run, taking the second set, 25-18, to evened the ledger at 1-1.
Into the third frame, the two squads traded points, knotting things up at 4-4 to kick things off. But the Hoyas reeled off four in a row, capped off by a service ace from Brauneis to take an 8-4 lead. After an Emily Gisolfi ace, an Alex Johnson kill and a Dani White and Brauneis combo block, the Hoyas extended their lead to 15-10, but the Gaels kept things close and got within three at 20-17. IC attempted a min-comeback, but kills from Gisolfi, White and Saar finished off the third set, giving he Hoyas a 25-21 win, inching closer to a perfect Saturday.
Iona started out the fourth frame on fire, rolling to a 6-2 lead, but the Hoyas roared back with six straight points off a White service run featuring three kills and an ace. After GU took an 8-6 lead, Saar and Johnson extended the advantage to 11-7 with some great play at the net and some timely kills. Iona, though, tied the game up at 12-12 after a string of points themselves, putting pressure on the Hoya defense. But the Hoyas continued on with what they do best -- getting the middles involved. Saar and White combined for a handful of kills in the waning moments of the fourth set, eventually giving the Blue & Gray a 22-16 lead down the stretch. But once again, errors did the Gaels in as two service miscues handed Georgetown a 25-18 win, allowing the squad to take its second win of the day, this time in four sets.
Georgetown returns to the court in its final tournament of the season with a trip to Morgantown, W.Va., for the Blue & Gold Challenge. The Hoyas will face West Virginia and UMBC before the BIG EAST season gets underway at Villanova.