Sept. 27, 2013
WASHINGTON – The Georgetown women’s volleyball team (6-7, 0-0) is set to begin the BIG EAST portion of its 2013 schedule, as the Hoyas prepare for a trip north to Philadelphia to take on Villanova at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The Hoyas are coming off two five-set heartbreakers in the Gold and Blue Players Challenge in Morgantown, W.Va. GU found itself down two sets to host West Virginia in the weekend’s first contest, but the Blue & Gray roared back to force the Mountaineers into a fifth set. WVU eventually took the frame, however, 15-10. In day two, the Hoyas traded sets with UMBC until the Retrievers buried GU in the final game by the same 15-10 margin. For her 37-dig, nine-assist performance over the two matches, junior MacKenzie Simpson brought home All-Tournament honors.
Simpson leads Georgetown with 206 digs on the year, placing her in sixth place overall in the BIG EAST with a 3.89 digs per set average. Alongside her defensively, a slew of Hoyas have collected their fair share of blocks this season, led by Dani White’s 52 (team-best six solo). White also leads the cavalry offensively with a total of 189.0 points in 2013. Her 149 kills are second on the team, behind Lauren Saar’s 165. Saar is second on the squad behind Simpson with 187 digs.
Junior Alex Johnson has tallied 134 kills through 13 matches this season, adding 144 digs for the Blue and Gray. She leads the team with 14 service aces behind the line, as well. Annalee Abell has been a great option for the Hoyas in the middle, accumulating 60 kills and 20 total blocks this year.
The Hoya freshmen have made a tremendous impact so far in their collegiate debuts. Caitlin Brauneis is seventh in the BIG EAST with 9.77 assists per set, totaling 518 through the first 13 contests. Ashlie Williams has 44 kills and has been big in the middle on defense, with 26 blocks, four of which are solo, good enough for second on the team. Though she has fewer appearances than her cohorts, Shannon Ellis has done very well, totaling 21 kills in 17 sets played, adding eight block assists.
Villanova enters the weekend on a four-match winning streak and an 8-5 overall record. On the Wildcat attack, Lauren Carpenter has a team-best 177 kills, with a .237 hitting percentage. Claire Crutchfield is not far behind with 141 kills, followed by Michaela Berendt’s 131 and .369 hitting percentage. Defensively, Mariah Henly leads the Wildcats with 253 digs, while Berendt has amassed a total of 38 blocks this season.
Georgetown is 24-16 all-time against Villanova, but the Hoyas have dropped the last two decisions since 2011, 3-1 and 3-0, respectively.