Volleyball Opens Season With 3-1 Win Over American
Aug. 26, 2011
WASHINGTON- The George Washington volleyball team opened the 2011 season with a rousing 3-1 victory over American University at Bender Arena in game two of the sixth-annual DC Challenge.
With the win the Colonials snapped AU's 19-match home winning streak, which was the seventh-longest streak in the nation entering Friday night.
GW (1-0) used a steady mix of defense to compliment an efficient offense to give head coach Amanda Ault her first career victory. The Colonials hit .255 on the evening while holding American (0-1) to a .218 attack percentage. Additionally the Colonials totaled 58 digs and four team blocks.
The first set was the tightest of the match featuring two lead changes and 13 ties. The Colonials trailed 21-15 before storming back and knocking off the Eagles 30-28. Junior Lauren Whyte totaled 11 of her game-high 19 kills (19 points) while junior Katie Crosby assisted on 17 of the Colonials 20 first-set terminations. Crosby finished with 53 assists on the evening in addition to six digs and two kills.
"In the middle of the first set we were stressing our defensive scheme," said Ault. "Who to block out, who to get in front of and who to shut down."
The Colonials played well in the second set, staving off match point six times before falling 22-25. AU held GW to just a .061 attack percentage while hitting .118.
GW seized control in the third set, hitting .400 en route to a 25-20 win. Sophomore Jamie Armstrong provided the set-winning point with her 13th kill of the night. Armstrong went on to hit a career-high 14 kills while swinging .478, also a career high.
The momentum carried over to the fourth and final set as the Colonials held American to a .097 attack percentage to close out the match with a 25-18 victory.
The Colonials were able to knock off the home-standing Eagles in front of the largest collegiate volleyball crowd in Washington, D.C. history as 2,122 fans packed Bender Arena to capacity.
"We talked about the crowd before leading up to tonight and we wanted to be ready for it," said Coach Ault. "At the end of the season we want to be playing in front of these large crowds in the NCAA tournament."
The GW-AU match was the second match in the DC Challenge, a round-robin tournament that also features Georgetown and George Mason. Georgetown swept George Mason, 3-0 in the opening match of the tournament Friday evening. The DC Challenge was originally supposed to conclude with four matches at Smith Center on Saturday. Due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene, Saturday evening's matches have been cancelled.
The Colonials will host George Mason at 11:00 am with American vs. Georgetown following at 1:00 pm.
Saturday, August 27 at Charles E. Smith Center