WASHINGTON - Coming off a thrilling five-set victory on Friday, Georgetown University’s volleyball team could not repeat the magic in a 3-1 (25-23, 25-19, 25-27, 28-26) setback against visiting Xavier in BIG EAST action on Saturday evening. The Hoyas fall to 7-9 overall and 1-3 in league play.
Symone Speech (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park-River Forest) led the Hoyas with a match-high 23 kills, her fourth match of the season with at least 20 kills. Madison Smith (Elk Grove, Calif./Elk Grove) added nine, Olivia King (Ardmore, Pa./Lower Merion) chipped in eight while both Alyssa Sinnette (Pearland, Texas/Dawson) and Riley Wertzberger (Dallas, Texas/Richardson) had seven.
Paige McKnight (Atlanta, Ga./Dunwoody) posted her eighth double-double of the season with a match-high 50 assists and 14 digs. She was one of three Hoyas to haul in double-digit digs as Kenzie Higareda (Woodbridge, Va./Forest Park) added 25 and King had 13. Higareda also notched four service aces to lead all players.
A back-and-forth first set featured 12 ties as both squads battled to the final point. Neither team led by any more than four points the entire frame en route to a late 23-23 tie. Calling a timeout, Xavier (7-11, 2-3 BIG EAST) would score back-to-back points out of the huddle to eke out the 25-23 set victory.
In the second, Georgetown led 7-1 before the Musketeers rallied back behind an 8-0 run to lead, 9-7. Xavier would push its lead to 14-9, but the Hoyas kept chipping away at the deficit to pull within a pair, down 18-16, to force an XU timeout. The Hoyas then scored three of the next five points to pull within one, trailing 20-19, but Xavier closed out the frame on a 5-0 run to seal the 25-19 victory and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Twenty-five points would not be enough to win either the third or the fourth sets as both stanzas were pushed into extra points. 33 combined ties and lead changes in the final two frames showed that neither team was willing to concede.
In the third, Xavier led 14-11 before GU put together a 6-1 run to go ahead,17-15. The Hoyas would lead by as many as four, up 22-18, before the Musketeers charged back and tied the set up at 23-23. Both teams saw set points thwarted in the frame, at 24-23 for the Hoyas and 25-24 for XU, before a block by Aima Eichie (Castle Rock, Colo./Rock Canyon/UC Davis) sealed the set victory, 27-25, for the Blue & Gray.
A similar scene in the fourth saw neither team lead by any more than three points in the frame. With GU up 15-12, Xavier responded with a 5-2 spurt to take a 20-17 advantage en route to yet another 23-23 score. Georgetown would hold off three Musketeer match points to knot things up at 26-26, but XU scored the final two points of the match to win 28-26.
Morgan Finn led Xavier with 18 kills while Samantha Foti added 10 to go with 13 digs for a double-double.
Georgetown returns to action on Wednesday as it hits the road to face Seton Hall in South Orange, N.J.