Georgetown University's volleyball team opened BIG EAST play with a 3-2 (25-21, 17-25, 25-17, 20-25, 16-14) victory over visiting St. John's on Wednesday evening. The Hoyas improve to 8-5 overall and 1-0 in league action while the Red Storm fall to 11-5 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
The win is the first to open league play for the Hoyas since 2008 and is the first victory over St. John's since 2013.
(Bar, Montenegro / Niko Rolovic / UMES) and Symone Speech
(Oak Park, Ill. / Oak Park-River Forest) led the Hoyas with a pair of double-doubles. Vujosevic posted a match-high 16 kills to go with 13 digs while Speech tallied 14 kills with 10 blocks. The pair combined for seven service aces, with Speech notching four and Vujosevic adding three.
(Broadview Heights, Ohio / Walsh Jesuit) had a solid all-around match for the Blue & Gray, leading all players with 45 assists to go with eight blocks, four kills and four digs.
In the race to 15, both sides traded leads early to a 4-4 score before St. John's capitalized on back-to-back points to take a 6-4 lead and force a Georgetown timeout. Coming out of the huddle, the Red Storm kept a close lead for the next few rotations before the Hoyas knotted things up at 9-9 following an SJU timeout. Georgetown called its final timeout after a 3-1 St. John's run made it 12-10, but three-straight points for the Blue & Gray made it 13-12 in favor of the home team. Consecutive points from the Red Storm gave them match point at 14-13, but a Riley Wertzberger
(Dallas, Texas / Richardson) kill evened things up at 14-14. Clamping down, a Speech ace gave GU match point before the Hoyas capitalized on a St. John's attack error to seal the victory.
Georgetown opened the match with a 25-21 win in the first set. The Hoyas led early and never trailed in the set, holding off a determined SJU squad in the frame. Nineteen of GU's points came off of kills or blocks as Speech recorded eight of her kills while hitting at a .636 clip in the stanza.
St. John's responded in the second, claiming a 25-17 victory. The Red Storm posted their only double-digit kill set of the night with 13 while limiting the Blue & Gray to just a .152 team attack percentage.
In the third, GU answered back with a 25-17 set victory of its own. The Hoya defense came out in full force, pressuring the Red Storm into hitting negative with nine attack errors in the frame. Vujosevic recorded six kills in the set while Speech had three of her blocks. Following an early 3-3 tie, Georgetown never trailed in the period the rest of the way
The Red Storm would force the deciding fifth set after taking the fourth frame, 25-20. With six ties and four lead changed highlighting the set early, a 9-9 tie turned to a 16-12 SJU lead to force a Georgetown timeout. The Hoyas managed to pull back within one point, down 19-18 and again at 20-19, but a 5-1 run down the stretch gave the Red Storm the set victory.
Efrosini Alexakou led St. John's with 15 kills and 11 digs for a double-double while Kayley Wood added 10 kills. Amanda Sanabia recorded a match-high 17 digs in the loss.
Georgetown hits the road again on Saturday as it continues BIG EAST play against Villanova (8-5, 1-0 BIG EAST) at 2 p.m.