Nov. 13, 2011
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University volleyball team saw the end of an era as senior setter Ashley Malone (San Jose, Calif./St. Francis) and senior captain libero Tory Rezin (Morris, Ill./Morris) were escorted by their parents to the middle of the court and presented with flowers and a framed jersey by Head Coach Arlisa Williams. Despite the joy and exuberance of the moment, the Hoyas still needed to play the top-seeded Louisville Cardinals for the last time this season in McDonough Arena.
With the loss to Cincinnati Friday afternoon, the Hoyas' chances of reaching the BIG EAST Tournament became increasingly marginalized. Unfortunately, their hopes were further diminished as the Cardinals dropped the Hoyas in straight sets by scores of 25-19, 25-14 and 25-23. Georgetown fell to 14-13 on the season and 6-8 in BIG EAST play. The Cardinals improved to 21-7 on the season and 12-2 in conference play.
Malone recorded a team-high 24 assists while tallying a 1.000 hitting percentage on four kills with no errors. She also had five digs and a block assist. Rezin notched nine digs and three assists on the night. She improved her career total to 1,614 digs and sits alone on the leader board for most digs all time. The record was in place since 1991.
The first place assist record was out of reach for Malone, but she improved her career total to 3,499 assists and takes sole possession of second place. She already was in fourth and fifth place for most assists in a season, and Rezin captured the most digs in a season record her sophomore year.
Outside hitter Alex Johnson (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had seven kills, one service ace, eight digs and a block assist. Setter Kieley Culbertson (Grain Valley, Mo./Blue Springs) recorded a team-high and match-high tying 10 digs to complement one kill, four assists, one service ace and one block assist.
Middle blocker Dani White (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) attained eight kills, a .312 hitting percentage, one dig and three block assists. Middle blocker Lindsay Wise (Raleigh, N.C./Raleigh Charter) had six kills and two block assists.
After taking the first point of the set, Georgetown let up and allowed Louisville to take a 5-1 lead off. The Hoyas maintained a slim deficit but were not able to recapture the lead throughout the set. There were several tie scores early in the set, but 10-10 was the last time Georgetown had the same score as the Cardinals.
The Cardinals went on a 5-2 run which forced Georgetown to call a timeout. There would only be three points between timeouts scored for the Hoyas as Louisville forced attack errors, tallied consecutive service aces and kills which increased the score from 15-12 to 21-15. Despite the effort to climb out of the hole late in the set, the Hoyas couldn't maintain a consistent rally and surrendered the set by a score of 25-19.
The second set was another fast start for the Hoyas, but also featured the same amount of inconsistency and lack of momentum, as they were plagued by attack errors and ball handling errors. The score discrepancy was within three points as the Hoyas and Cardinals alternated points until Georgetown called a timeout at 15-11. Trying to compose themselves and come out with intensity to avoid a 2-0 set hole, the Hoyas were not able to get much going coming out of the break.
Louisville came out of the rest period with a surge of an 8-2 run and forced another Georgetown timeout. The Hoyas committed consecutive errors and allowed a kill to close out the set at 25-14 and go into intermission two sets down.
The extended break was exactly what the Hoyas needed as they came out electric and aggressive. They went on a 6-1 run at the beginning of the period and forced a very early Louisville timeout. An irate Louisville coach tried to get her team back in the game as the Hoyas continued to impose their will over the Cardinals and extend the lead to 13-6 before forcing the second and final timeout of the set for Louisville.
Despite the wide margin, the Cardinals were able to maintain composure as they battled back and slim the deficit to three, forcing the Hoyas to call a timeout and strategize how to regain a wide lead. Unfortunately, the energy and dominance the Hoyas exerted in the early part of the set became nonexistent as the Cardinals cut the lead to one, and then went on to overtake the lead.
Georgetown called a timeout at 22-21 after the Cardinals continued their rally and regain the top score. The points to close out the match were plagued with attack errors and a Louisville kill.
As the 25th point was a service ace that eked into the back of the court, the Hoyas' regular season had come to an unexpected and deflating end that was meant to commemorate the efforts of two seniors whose efforts and extensive willpower propelled them into Georgetown history.
The Hoyas are one of several teams competing for the last three spots in the conference to see who competes in the BIG EAST Tournament next week in Milwaukee, Wis.