Six Student-Athletes Join Colonials in Quest for Atlantic 10 Championship
Colonials to Face Three NCAA Tournament Teams, Host Two Tournaments as Part of 29-Match Schedule
Four Student-Athletes to Join Program for 2014 Season
Colonials Conclude Non-Conference Schedule Against Local Rival Tigers
Seven Newcomers Join Seven Returners in Head Coach Amanda Ault's Third Season
George Washington posted its best season in 14 years in 2014, finishing with a 22-8 overall record, an 11-3 mark in the Atlantic 10 and its first appearance in the Atlantic 10 Championship match since 2002. The Colonials led the Atlantic 10 and ranked top-50 in NCAA Division I in a number of categories including assists (12.92/set), blocks (2.75/set) and kills (13.84/set). Additionally, senior Kelsey Newman and sophomore Chidima Osuchukwu were each named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team. Additionally, Osuchukwu was named an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American, just the third player in program history to garner the honor.
The Colonials went 1-1 at the 2014 Atlantic 10 Championship, falling in the Championship match to Dayton, 3-1. Osuchukwu, along with junior Maddy Doyle and sophomore Loren Williams were each named to the All-Championship team.
GW continued to boast a winning record on its home floor, finishing 2014 with an 11-3 mark at the Charles E. Smith Center, running its four-year total under Coach Ault to 38-13. The Colonials also excelled in five-set matches in 2014, finishing with a record of 5-1. GW is 19-7 in five-set matches over the past four years under Ault.
In her third season, Ault led the Colonials to a 10-4 record in the Atlantic 10 conference - the most conference wins for the program since the 2002 season. GW also earned the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic 10 Championship held at the Charles E. Smith Center and defeated Rhode Island for its first A-10 Championship victory since 2006.
Under Ault's guidance, the Colonials produced a pair of All-Conference performers in junior Kelsey Newman and freshman Chidima Osuchukwu. Both players earned a spot on the All-Conference Second Team while Osuchukwu, who led the conference in solo blocks, was named to the All-Rookie squad.
GW continued to dominate on its home floor, boasting a 7-4 record at the Charles E. Smith Center.
The Colonials ranked fourth in the conference in both opponent hitting percentage (.183) and digs (14.31/set) in Ault's third season.
In her second season, Ault made a concentrated effort to raise the competitiveness of the program by scheduling four opponents (Purdue, Northern Iowa, BYU, Dayton) that qualified for the 2011 NCAA Championship. Additionally, under her leadership the Colonials improved their two-year record in home matches to an impressive 19-5.
Two players garnered Atlantic 10 All-Conference honors (Lauren Whyte, 2nd Team All-Conference & All-Academic); Candace Silva-Martin All-Academic Team) in Ault's second season. Whyte was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team and Silva-Martin became the Atlantic 10's all-time career digs leader with 2,126.
The Colonials ranked fourth in the Atlantic 10 with 1.31 service aces/set (134 total) and seventh with 1.82 blocks/set (186.0 total) under Ault. Additionally, then-senior Lauren Whyte finished the season ranked third in the conference with 3.93 kills/set and 4.30 points/set.
In her first season, Ault engineered a 10-0 start to the season including a D.C. sweep of local rivals Georgetown, American, George Mason and Howard to clinch the D.C. Challenge Championship. The start marks the best start to a season for the Colonials since the 2003 campaign. Ault also guided the Colonials to championships in the George Washington Invitational and the Third Degree Sportswear Invitational.
GW boasted a 12-1 record at the Charles E. Smith Center including the largest volleyball crowd in program history of 1,317 fans on October 14 vs. Fordham. For the season, the Colonials finished 20-10 with a 9-6 record in the A-10, a three-win overall improvement and three-win improvement in conference play from the year prior. The Colonials also qualified for the Atlantic 10 Championship for the first time since the 2008 season before bowing to Duquesne in the first round.
Under Ault's guidance, the Colonials saw seven players earn A-10 Weekly Honors while then-junior Lauren Whyte garnered A-10 All-Conference First Team, A-10 All-Academic Team and CoSIDA Academic All-District honors. The Colonials also ranked in the top four among team statistics in the Atlantic 10 in hitting percentage (4th, .207), assists (4th, 11.94/set) and kills (4th, 12.89/set).
Ault, who became the ninth Colonials volleyball coach in the program's 36-year history, came to GW from the University of Michigan where she served as a Wolverines' assistant coach for three seasons. At Michigan, she was responsible for recruiting and setters in addition to scouting opponents, practice planning and day-to-day operations.
No stranger to Atlantic 10 volleyball, Ault served seven seasons as an assistant and associate head coach at Xavier from 2001-07. She helped lead the Musketeers to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2001 and `07. Four of those Musketeer teams won 20 or more matches including a 24-11 mark in `07.
Prior to her stint at Xavier, Ault spent two seasons as an assistant at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. The Cardinals posted a 41-26 record during her tenure, including a 24-11 mark in 2000 as the team advanced to the Southland Conference Championship match. While at Lamar, Ault earned a master's degree in kinesiology with a sports administration emphasis.
The Farmington Hills, Mich., native is a 1999 graduate of Central Michigan University, with a bachelor of science degree in health fitness, Ault was a standout setter for the Chippewas from 1994-98. She ranks fourth on Central Michigan's all-time assists list with 2,688 and graduated with the second-best single-season assist total in Chippewas' history (1,365) and ranked as high as 11th in single-season assists among NCAA Division I setters.
Ault's Year-by-Year Record