Colonials Athletics Weekend Preview
Men's and Women's Soccer Host Matches at Mount Vernon; Volleyball, Cross Country and Sailing Hit the Road
Sept. 27, 2012
The George Washington women's soccer team opens Atlantic 10 play this weekend with back-to-back matches against Richmond and VCU at the GW Soccer Field on the Mount Vernon Campus.
The Colonials (4-4-1) kick-off league action on Friday when the squad looks to Stomp the Spiders at 4 p.m. GW then welcomes A-10 newcomer VCU on Sunday for a 1 p.m. Alumni Day match. Notably, the Colonials have not dropped a conference-opening match since the 2008 season when they were edged by Fordham, 3-2.
The Buff and Blue look to stay unbeaten at home this weekend as they are coming off a 2-0 shutout of District foe Howard last Friday - the second shutout of the season to date. The Colonials have scored seven goals on their home turf thus far this season while limiting their opponents to just three tallies. On Friday GW fired a season-high 24 shots in its win over the Bison while freshman Kristi Abbate and sophomore Taylor Katz each netted a goal. Rookie goalkeeper Shannon Murphy made her first career start between the posts and set aside three attempts for her first career shutout.
Richmond (4-5-0) comes to GW following a 2-0 shutout of American last Thursday at home. The Spiders are led by reigning A-10 Offensive Player of the Year junior Becca Wann, who has scored four goals in the past two contests. Richmond leads the all-time series with GW, 6-3-1, and edged the Colonials, 1-0, just one year ago.
On Sunday GW hosts VCU for its Alumni Day event. The Rams (5-2-3) come to Mount Vernon following a conference-opening match at Charlotte on Friday. Most recently VCU defeated former fellow Colonial Athletic Association member Old Dominion, 2-1, on the road. Junior Courtney Conrad leads the Rams with eight points on the season on the strength of four goals. VCU holds a slight 2-1 all-time advantage over GW with last match taking place during the 2004 season.
The George Washington men's soccer team wraps up non-conference play on Saturday afternoon when Longwood visits the GW Soccer Field on the Mount Vernon Campus for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
Prior to the contest, the GW men's and women's soccer programs will host an alumni match at 10 a.m., and an alumni reception will follow the Colonials' men's soccer game at 6:30. For more details and to register, visit http://www.gwsports.com/genrel/alumniweekend2012.html.
GW (3-5-0) will look to snap a three-game skid which has seen three straight one-goal losses, most recently a 1-0 defeat to NJIT on Wednesday. Senior goalkeeper Alejandro Almdovoar matched his career-high with seven saves in his first start since Aug. 30. Junior Tyler Ranalli leads the Colonials with three goals and seven points this season, while senior Seth Rudolph has also scored three times.
Longwood (2-6-1) is coming off a 1-0 loss to Big South rival Campbell on Wednesday. Devin Pierce leads the Lancers with two goals and four points on the season. Longwood is 0-3-1 in its last four outings and has been outscored, 22-8, on the year.
GW holds a 3-2-0 advantage in the all-time series, which dates to 2006. The last time the teams met in 2010, the Colonials defeated the host Lancers, 4-2.
The George Washington volleyball team returns to action this weekend with its first Atlantic 10 road matches of the season. The Colonials will visit A-10 newcomer Butler on Friday (7 p.m. ET) at Hinkle Field House before traveling to Saint Louis to face the Billikens on Saturday (5:30 p.m. ET) at Chaifetz Pavilion.
After playing a non-conference schedule that included four ranked opponents and three BCS conference opponents, the Colonials opened A-10 play at home last weekend with a 3-0 sweep of Charlotte and a straight-sets loss to VCU.
Senior Lauren Whyte leads the Colonials with 206 kills and ranks fifth in the conference with 3.75 kills per set. She has totaled 1,434 kills in her career and needs just 28 more to move into sole possession of second place on the career kills list.
Redshirt freshman setter Jessica Lubic ranks sixth in the A-10 with 9.65 assists per set and ranks second with a team-best 0.40 aces per set. The Kaneland, Ill., native also leads the Colonials with five double-doubles this season.
Friday's meeting marks the first-ever match between GW and Butler. The Bulldogs enter the weekend with a 10-6 overall record but dropped their first two conference matches last weekend against #20 Dayton and Xavier.
Butler ranks 17th in the nation with 2.87 blocks per set and 36th in the country with 1.53 aces per set. Belle Obert (3.13 kills/set) and Maggie Harbison (176 kills, 2.98/set) lead the Bulldog offense while Erica Stahl, a 6-foot-4 middle blocker, ranks second in the conference with 1.42 blocks per set.
Saint Louis (5-10, 0-2 A-10) leads the all-time series with GW by a 9-3 margin and will face Duquesne on Friday evening before Saturday's match. The Billikens also suffered losses to No. 20 Dayton and Xavier last weekend to open conference play.
Lauren Baumet tops the Billiken kill chart with 126 (2.42 per set). Lindsey Dinkelacker is next with 119 (2.25 per set), followed by Megan Gilbert with 108 (2.04 per set). Grace Bonoma leads the team with 231 digs (4.36 per set) while the Billikens rank second in the league with 16.79 digs/set.
The George Washington men's and women's cross country teams will return to action on Saturday with a local meet at the George Mason Invitational at the Oatlands Plantation Course in Leesburg, Va.
The women's 6,000-meter race begins at 10:00 a.m. followed by the men's 8K installment at 10:45 a.m.
The Colonials will run against nine different universities, including four that are currently ranked in the latest United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Regional Polls.
The field for the men includes the University of the District of Columbia, Mount St. Mary's, American (10th, Mid-Atlantic Region), UMBC, George Mason (9th, Southeast Region) and Atlantic 10 rivals St. Bonaventure and La Salle (5th, Mid-Atlantic Region).
The women will run against UDC, James Madison, Howard, Mount St. Mary's, UMBC, American, George Mason and conference foes St. Bonaventure and La Salle (8th, Mid-Atlantic Region).
Last season, senior Julia Weir finished in ninth place out of 73 runners to pace the Colonial women at the George Mason Invite. Her time of 23:53 was the best of her collegiate career at that point.
The Colonials' harriers last competed at the Navy Invitational (men) and Salty Dog Invitational (women) on Sept. 15. Both teams registered sixth-place finishes against a deep field that included regionally-ranked opponents.
The George Washington sailing program will send competitors to two important qualifying events this weekend in the MAISA Women's Championships in St. Mary's City, Md., and the South #1 in Norfolk, Va.
A Top Eight finish out of 16 competing teams at the MAISA Women's Championship will qualify the Colonials for November's Women's Atlantic Coast Championships. In the A Division, freshman Maria Sinagra will make her collegiate debut as skipper and sophomore Meagan Murphy will crew. The B Division duties will be shared between Hannah McNomee and Alex Hitchcock at skipper and Skye Kussmann and Alexandra Liggins at crew.
GW will sail against two teams from host St. Mary's College, as well as Christopher Newport, Columbia, Cornell, Fordham, Georgetown, Hobart and William Smith, Navy, Old Dominion, Penn, Princeton, Queen's University, Washington College and William & Mary.
Head coach John Pearce will also send five sailors to the program's "most important event so far in coed competition" at the 15-team South #1 hosted by Old Dominion. The event marks the Colonials first chance to qualify for the War Memorial Regatta - the MAISA Coed Championships - to be held Oct. 27 and 28.
"The top four teams qualify, so it will be tough, but we are again hoping to gain valuable experience while also competing for one of the qualifying spots," said Coach Pearce.
The Colonials will go with their seasoned team of senior skipper Ian Conners and senior crew Rebecca Engel in A Division. In B-Division, junior Evan Boliakis and freshman Jay Spector will share skippering duties, with junior Sarah McCormack crewing.
Along with the host Monarchs, the Colonials will compete against American, Christopher Newport, Fordham, Georgetown, Hampton, Maryland, Navy, Salisbury, St. Mary's College, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington College and William & Mary.
The George Washington men's tennis team begins the nine-day ITA/D'Novo All-American Championships hosted by the University of Tulsa at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center this Saturday.
The tournament, which features the largest field of any collegiate tennis championship with more than 300 competitors, is comprised of three rounds of competition - pre-qualifying, qualifying and main draw.
Freshman Danil Zelenkov and senior Alexander van Gils will compete in the singles pre-qualifying round on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30, with hopes of moving on to the next round of competition. Sophomore Francisco Dias - who is ranked No. 89 by the ITA - and junior Nikita Fomin - who defeated two nationally ranked opponents at the UVA Ranked +1 Invitational last weekend - both automatically advance to the qualifying round to be played Oct. 1-3.
The duo of Fomin and Zelenkov and the tandem of Dias and van Gils will team up in doubles qualifying, which runs from Oct. 1-3. Main-draw play for both singles and doubles action is set to begin on Thursday, Oct. 4.
Fans can follow the Colonials' run through the ITA/D'Novo All-American Championships via the ITA Championship Information Page, Tulsa's Tournament Central and the @GW_MensTennis Twitter handle.