Sept. 14, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Western Michigan and Georgetown went the distance in the first match of Day 2 of the Active Ankle Challenge, but it was the Hoyas who came out on top in a thrilling 3-2 (16-25, 19-25, 27-25, 25-20, 15-10) victory.
GU received help on the attack with four Hoyas who hit double-digit kills, including Lauren Saar's match-high 20. Dani White slammed 14 kills in the morning session, followed by Alex Johnson's 13 and freshman Shannon Ellis' career-high 10 kills. Saar also wrangled in 14 digs, while Johnson scooped 11, but MacKenzie Simpson led all Hoyas with 16.
Western Michigan held all of the momentum early, taking a 6-3 lead out of the gate, but even after GU got within a point at 9-8 following kills from White and Ashlie Williams, WMU put things out of reach with a 17-9 run to close out the first frame, including the final five points, with a 25-16 win.
Neck-and-neck the second set went as each team traded blows until the game reached 13-12. Dani White kept the Hoyas in it, but the Broncos used a handful of GU errors and nice rallies at the net to claim a two-game advantage with a 25-19 second-set win.
In the crucial third set -- as the Hoyas needed a win to avoid a sweep -- GU got a nice boost from an Emily Gisolfi serving run, featuring a pair of kills from Johnson and a timely service ace from Gisolfi. But neither squad gave way, as another battle ensued. After WMU brought the game within one at 17-16, Dani White help to extend the Hoyas' lead to 22-19, but the Broncos raced back to knot things up at 22-22 to make things interesting. Ellis and Bachesta gave GU match point, but three straight points from the Broncos, including two blocks, put the Hoyas in a near-checkmate. After Ellis evened the ledger at 25 apiece, Georgetown captured its first set of the day after capitalizing on two straight errors to take a 27-25 set win.
Into the fourth frame, WMU jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three consecutive aces from Kaycee Acree, putting the Hoyas on edge. But Georgetown was able to do what it does best by spreading the ball around in its comeback bid. The two continued the tough campaign, eventually seeing a tie game at 17-17, thanks to three consecutive points from Saar for the Hoyas. Eventually, Bachesta gave GU match point for the right to tie the match at 2-2, and Gisolfi brought it home with a crucial service ace for the 25-20 win to move things to a decisive fifth set.
As was expected, the Broncos and Hoyas clashed back and forth to open the fifth set, but back-to-back kills from Brooke Bachesta -- who finished the match with seven kills -- gave Georgetown a comfortable 7-3 lead early on. WMU brought it within two, at 11-9, but three attack errors gave the Hoyas the energy they needed, and Shannon Ellis erased the two-set deficit with two consecutive kills to give the Hoyas a 15-10 win in exciting fashion.
Georgetown returns to the court this evening at 5:30 p.m. to take on the Iona College Gaels for GU's final appearance in the Active Ankle Challenge.