Oct. 18, 2013
WASHINGTON – The Georgetown volleyball team (8-11, 2-4 BIG EAST) fought from a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth set, but ultimately came up just short, falling to Seton Hall 3-2 (25-20, 25-12, 22-25, 17-25, 15-5) in a BIG EAST match Friday night in McDonough Arena.
Lauren Saar (Richland, Mich./Plainwell) led the Hoyas with her 13th double-double of the season, finishing with a team-high 14 kills and 13 digs. Alex Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Plant) also had a double-double, her ninth of the season, with 11 kills and 14 digs while also adding five blocks. Dani White (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) had 12 kills and a season-high nine blocks. Caitlin Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge) finished with 42 assists and 10 digs. MacKenzie Simpson (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) led the defense with 21 digs.
In the first set, neither team was able to take more than a two-point lead until Seton Hall (9-10, 2-4 BIG EAST) broke a 14-14 tie with a 7-2 run to open a 21-16 lead. Kills by Saar and Johnson cut the deficit to 21-19, but Georgetown could not get any closer as the Pirates closed out the set 25-20. Saar and White had five and four kills, respectively, to lead the office while Simpson had six digs.
Early in the second set, four straight points by the Hoyas, on kills by Annalee Abell (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay) and Johnson, gave the Blue and Gray a 4-3 lead. Seton Hall however, responded by scoring 14 of the next 17 points to take a commanding 17-7 lead. Georgetown could not mount a comeback as the Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-12 victory in the second set. Whitney Jencks (Arlington, S.D./Arlington) had six digs in the frame for the Hoyas.
Georgetown came out of the long intermission with a new attitude, using a streak of five consecutive points to take a 10-5 lead in the third set. Saar started the run with three straight kills and Johnson finished it off with two of her own. Seton Hall fought back with a 6-1 run to tie the score at 11, but the Hoyas answered right back with a 5-1 run to open up a 17-12 lead. Abell and Ashlie Williams (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) started the streak with a joint block. They both added a kill later in the run and Johnson and White also teamed up for a block. The Pirates again fought back to tie the score at 21, but a kill by Saar gave Georgetown the lead right back, this time for good. Brooke Bachesta (Sammamish, Wash./Eastside Catholic) and Williams combined for another block before Johnson hit back-to-back kills out of a Seton Hall timeout. White and Johnson closed out the set with another block, the Hoyas fifth of the set. Saar had four kills to lead Georgetown offensively while White and Williams each added three. Simpson led the defense with five digs while White and Johnson each contributed three blocks.
The fourth set started the same way the third ended – with a block. This time it was Abell and White teaming up for the honors. The momentum continued as the Hoyas jumped out to an early 9-3 lead. Johnson led the early charge with two kills while White and Abell each added one. White also joined with Brauneis for another blocks and Emily Gisolfi (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) had two service aces. Seton Hall cut the lead to four at 10-6, but three straight points – on an ace from White and back-to-back kills from Williams and Johnson – gave Georgetown a comfortable lead at 13-6. The lead grew to as big as nine at 21-12 before Johnson closed out the set with her fifth kill of the frame to give the Hoyas a 25-17 victory and tie the match at two sets apiece. Williams and White also added three kills and White had three more blocks. Gisolfi had a team-high seven digs while Simpson and Johnson each had six.
Seton Hall took charge early in the deciding fifth set, scoring the first four points. A kill from Johnson and block by White and Brauneis cut the deficit to 5-2, but the Pirates still led 8-3 at the changeover. Overall, Seton Hall ended the fifth set on an 8-1 run to win 15-5 and clinch the match.
“Seton Hall served very tough tonight,” Georgetown head coach Arlisa Williams said. “We had a very tough time staying consistently in system which meant that our hitters had their blockers in front of them a lot and it’s very tough to score against their double block. We came out with a whole lot of fight in the third and fourth sets. We served great and made them play out of system. We were finally able to hit past their block and make them play defense and in doing that we were able to capitalize on some things that we weren’t able to in the first couple of sets.”
Georgetown is right back on its home court on Saturday, hosting another BIG EAST match as St. John’s visits McDonough Arena. First serve is schedule for 7 p.m.
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