Hoyas Volleyball Returns to McDonough, Loses to BIG EAST Rival Pitt
Sept. 30, 2011
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University volleyball team hosted its second home game of the season, the first against a BIG EAST opponent. They battled against the Pittsburgh Panthers in four sets after winning the first set, and lost by scores of 25-16, 14-25, 17-25 and 20-25.
Despite the loss, Head Coach Arlisa Williams extolled her team in smiling and pleasing fashion.
"We played like we can play in game one. Our goal at this time is to sustain that through the entire match. We know the Hoyas are very capable of doing that, and when we're in system, we're a really good team.
"It was a team effort. There are going to be players that have outstanding nights and there are some players that won't play particularly well, but no matter what it's a team effort. However, I'm very pleased with our middles. Lindsay (Wise) hit .747 on 14 kills so I'm excited for her, and Danielle White(Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) had .444 on nine swings, so our middles have a very good night and executed well."
Wise (Raleigh, N.C./Raleigh Charter) hit a match-high .737 to complement her 14 kills and one service ace. She also had a team-leading 16.5 total points. Alex Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Plant) notched seven kills, three assists, three assists and three digs.
Tory Rezin (Morris, Ill./Morris) had a match-high 13 digs while tallying an assist. Malone had 28 assists, five kills and one service ace in the game.
The Hoyas came out into McDonough Arena in convincing fashion after being on the road for two weeks. After alternating points and holding a slight deficit of 8-7, Georgetown rallied to not look back and hold a 16-11 lead before the Panthers called their first timeout.
Georgetown continued to pound the Panthers and take the Panthers to a 20-13 deficit before forcing the second timeout of the set. Behind strong serves from Annalee Abell (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay), the Hoyas finished the first set 25-16.
Ashley Malone (San Jose, Calif./St. Francis) set the Hoyas up well, allowing Abell, Wise and White to attack the lackluster Pitt defense early.
The tide began to turn as the Panthers came out in the second set with more passion, taking the lead early and not relinquishing at any point. The Hoyas were in a 12-6 hole before calling a timeout.
Even with the reprieve to compose themselves and reset into their groove, Georgetown was never able to put a dent into the Panthers' stifling offense and stout attack. Pittsburgh forced multiple block and attack errors, keeping their servers behind the line for consecutive points at a time.
After taking the second set 25-14, the Panthers still didn't lose their momentum and picked up where they left off. The Hoyas kept the set close, but couldn't maintain pace with the Panthers as Pitt began to run away with the set and create an irreversible deficit. The Panthers won 25-17.
The fourth set was promising as Georgetown and Pittsburgh were tied five times early in the set. However, the Hoyas still couldn't get a leg up on the Panthers.
After alternating one-point leads, Pittsburgh turned up the intensity and began to create a widening gap that Georgetown could not tighten up. Attack errors and Panther kills put the Hoyas behind late, and gave Pitt the 25-20 set victory to close the match. Since this was the first home match in over two weeks, Williams was thoroughly pleased with the setting.
"I was super excited to be here for this home stretch, and I wish we had a little better performance. We had a few students in the stands, and I'm hoping we won them over regardless of the outcome, and that they'll be back."
On the short conference turnaround, Williams is optimistic about her squad for the game that lies ahead.
"We need to go to practice tomorrow and fine tune our game, so we can execute a great game of volleyball."
The Hoyas return to McDonough Arena Sunday afternoon to compete against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The match begins at 2 p.m.