– Georgetown University's volleyball team split its pair of matches at the Georgetown Classic. The Hoyas won the opening match 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-10) against Norfolk State before falling 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 25-21, 18-25, 16-14) in a marathon to Penn in the nightcap.
Match 1 – Georgetown 3, Norfolk State 0
The Hoyas opened the tournament with a 3-0 victory over Norfolk State, giving Head Coach Toby Rens
his first home victory at the helm of the Blue & Gray. Georgetown put together its most proficient offensive performance of the season, hitting a season-high .360 (42-11-86) while committing just 11 errors in the three-set match.
(Oak Park, Ill. / Oak Park-River Forest) led all players with 15 kills and hit at a stellar .778 clip with a lone attack error on 18 swings. Elissa Barbosa
(San Antonio, Texas / Ronald Reagan) had a breakout performance for GU, tallying 12 kills while hitting .320 from the outside. Playing in her first match of the season, Olivia King
(Ardmore, Pa. / Lower Merion) notched seven kills without an error, hitting .500 on 14 attempts.
(Broadview Heights, Ohio / Walsh Jesuit) paced the offense with 25 assists while Jessica Cusi
(Pacifica, Calif. / Lick-Wilmerding) added seven to go with a team-high nine digs.
Defensively, Alyssa Sinnette
(Pearland, Texas / Dawson) added seven digs while Barbosa and Kenzie Higareda
(Woodbridge, Va. / Forest Park) both chipped in six. Speech was credited with three blocks to lead the Blue & Gray.
Georgetown opened the match on a 10-2 run behind the strong serving of Cusi and led 14-6 before the Spartans put together a 3-0 run to make it 14-9. The Hoyas closed out the frame on a 10-2 run, capped by Speech's ninth kill of the frame, to take the set 25-13.
In the second, Norfolk State started off on a 4-0 run before GU responded with a 9-2 outburst of its own to lead 9-6 and force a Spartan timeout. With both teams keeping pace, the Hoyas used late runs of 8-1 and 3-0 to put the set away, 25-17, and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Georgetown bookended the final frame with 5-0 runs to take the set 25-10. The Hoyas controlled the frame from the get-go, taking a 10-point lead at 18-8 and tallying seven of the last nine points for the win.
Match 2 – Penn 3, Georgetown 2
Georgetown and Penn closed out the opening day action with the closest and most exciting match of the day. The two programs nearly matched each other point-for-point in the match and combined for 33 tied scores and 16 lead changes in the five-set thriller.
Four Hoyas posted double-figure kills while also recording a pair of double-doubles. Iva Vujosevic
(Bar, Montenegro / Niko Rolovic / UMES) led all players with 20 kills to go with 12 digs and hit at a blazing .400 from the outside. Sinnette added 16 kills and 12 digs for a double-double as well, while both Speech and King notched 10 kills. Pivonka nearly added a third double-double with 48 assists and nine digs.
Defensively, Higareda's 21 digs led all players while Cusi chipped in 16.
Penn took the opening set, 25-22, courtesy of a sharp .517 team attack percentage and committed just one error in the frame. Vujosevic had eight of her 20 kills in the set, but it wasn't enough as Penn held off multiple GU comeback bids following an early 9-9 tie in the stanza.
A back-and-forth affair in the second set saw 12 ties and five lead changes with neither side taking more than a three-point lead the entire set. With the Quakers holding a 23-22 lead and forcing a Georgetown timeout, the Blue & Gray came out of the huddle on a mission and scored three-straight points, including a pair of Speech kills, to take the frame, 25-23.
Another efficient set in the third gave Penn a 2-1 match lead. The Quakers once again committed just one attack error and used a late 6-1 run to create breathing room and seal the 25-21 set victory.
Keeping things close in the fourth, Georgetown transformed a 3-3 tie to a 14-8 lead behind runs of 4-1 and 4-0. The Hoyas pushed the advantage to 19-12, forcing Penn to burn its final timeout, and used back-to-back kills from Speech and Sinnette to win the frame, 25-18, and force the deciding fifth set.
Needing extra points to decide the fifth set, neither squad could gain enough momentum early to put the match away. Penn led early, 8-6 at the switch, and subsequently 10-7, but the Hoyas rallied back to knot things up at 10-10. Another eight combined ties and lead changes made it a 14-14 set, but the Quakers managed to get the final two points of the frame to escape with the 16-14 set victory.
The Hoyas return to action on Saturday as they close out the Georgetown Classic against George Mason and UNC Wilmington. Georgetown faces the Patriots at noon before wrapping up the tournament against the Seahawks at 6 p.m. Live stats and a subscription based video broadcast for both matches can be found on www.GUHoyas.com