Oct. 2, 2011
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University volleyball team played its third BIG EAST conference home game Sunday afternoon against the West Virginia Mountaineers. After giving up a one set lead to the Pittsburgh Panthers Friday night, the Hoyas regained momentum and defeated West Virginia by scores of 28-26, 25-23 and 25-23.
Georgetown improves to 9-8 on the season, and 1-3 in BIG EAST play. The Mountaineers fall to 4-12 on the season and 1-3 in conference play as well.
The Hoyas played more with more synergy and composure, and less erratic than they did the final sets of Friday's game, and while the game was close throughout the afternoon, the Hoyas were able to minimize the deficits and take care of their side of the net.
Senior captain libero Tory Rezin (Morris, Ill./Morris) had a match-high nine digs, contributed five assists and one service ace on the afternoon. Senior setter Ashley Malone (San Jose, Calif./St. Francis) tallied a match-high 34 assists while also having one service ace ,five kills, eight digs and a block solo on the afternoon. Malone also tallied a match-high .714 hitting percentage on five kills out of seven total attacks.
Junior middle blocker Lindsay Wise (Raleigh, N.C./Raleigh Charter) hit an impressive .474 on the afternoon from 10 kills and also had two digs. Freshman outside hitter Dani White (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) tallied eight kills, one block solo and one block assist while hitting .353 in the match.
Much of the game was an even exchange of points, with neither team relinquishing a massive lead. The first set featured 12 lead changes and six tie scores, indicative of the swaps of points through the game.
Neither team was up by more than three points at any one time, with both teams guarding both sides of the net staunchly and giving up kill after kill to get back to a tie game.
MacKenzie Simpson (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) served the ball five straight times and led the Hoyas to a 20-19 lead after being down 18-16. West Virginia faltered through most of that exchange, but stayed with the Hoyas and showed they weren't going to back down easily.
The Hoyas had a 24-23 match lead, yet couldn't put the Mountaineers away, forcing a set overtime where the two teams continued their even exchange of points, showing neither wanted to walk away with an early game loss.
Annalee Abell (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) and Wise helped push the Hoyas over the edge with late kills. The Hoyas took the first set 28-26.
The second set was more of the same unrelenting play by both sides. However, Georgetown ran away with the second set and went on a dominating run. West Virginia came close to taking the lead, but the Hoyas were able to prevent any lead changes, and took West Virginia from a slim 8-7 lead to a commanding 20-13 lead.
The Mountaineers refused to give up, creating kills and unforced errors to soften Georgetown's overtaxing attack and cutting the lead to 24-22, in favor of Georgetown. After calling a timeout, the Hoyas composed themselves and a block assist by Wise and Brooke Bachesta (Sammamish, Wash./Eastside Catholic) gave the Blue and Gray a 25-23 set win and a 2-0 leg up in the match.
The third set was the culmination of the story of the match, featuring 13 lead changes and seven tie scores. No one team could distance themselves and create a substantial gap to give the perception that they could run away with the game.
The Hoyas got the really late match surge they needed to bury West Virginia with Malone's help. She forced an attack error on the Mountaineers and had the final kills (with the assist from Rezin) to give the Hoyas a 25-23 set win and a convincing, yet hard-fought and determined, victory on the afternoon.
The Hoyas begin a three-game conference road trip, beginning in Milwaukee, Wis. The Hoyas will face the Marquette Golden Eagles Friday, October 7 at 8 p.m.