Aug. 31, 2017
WASHINGTON - Georgetown University's volleyball team returns to action this weekend as it takes part in the Service Academy Challenge. The Hoyas will face The Citadel in Friday's lone match at The Pentagon before going head-to-head with Columbia and Army West Point at Fort Myer on Saturday. All three matches will be closed general public.
The Hoyas opened the season with a 2-1 weekend, winning a share of the D.C. Challenge title. The Blue & Gray defeated two NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, beating Howard (3-1) and American (3-2) while falling to Santa Clara (3-2). Junior Symone Speech (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park-River Forest) led the Hoyas with 4.29 kills per set and classmate Paige McKnight (Atlanta, Ga./Dunwoody) paced the offense 9.21 assists per set, and averaged 2.86 digs per set on the defensive end. Junior libero Kenzie Higareda (Woodbridge, Va./Forest Park) topped the defense with 4.14 digs per set.
Friday's match against The Citadel will be the first meeting between the two schools in program history. The Bulldogs are coming of a 1-2 showing at the Hampton Inn-Holy Springs Invitational hosted by Campbell in Buies Creek, N.C.
Freshman Sharlissa De Jesus, will look to continue her hot streak after recording three-consecutive double-doubles in her first three starts as a Bulldog. Senior Moriah Smith has provided the Bulldogs with a defensive backbone to start the year. She recorded double-digit digs in the previous three matches and looks to continue her streak this weekend.
Saturday's twinbill opens with another first meeting between two schools, this time against Ivy League-foe Columbia. The Lions open their 2017 season at the Service Academy Challenge, taking on Air Force in Friday's opener.
Georgetown and Army West Point have met three times before, with the Hoyas holding a 2-1 advantage in the series. The two programs have not played since 1993, a 3-2 Army victory, but GU swept the Black Knights, 3-0, twice in 1991. The Cadets are playing their first matches away from home this season after hosting the Army Invitational last weekend.
The Black Knights jumped out to a 2-1 record after sweeping both St. Francis Brooklyn and Hartford in last weekend's tournament. Sophomore setter Nikki Lum was named to the All-Tournament Team and garnered Army's Athlete of the Week honors for her performance. Lum secured two double-double performances and averaged 7.27 assists per set on the weekend. Senior Jaden Pickell was also named to the All-Tournament Team after posting 28 kills and three service aces.
Following the weekend's action, the Hoyas return to the friendly confines of McDonough Arena as they host the annual Georgetown Classic from Sept. 8-9. The Blue & Gray will welcome James Madison, Coppin State and Buffalo to the Hilltop for the event.