Volleyball Rallies to Edge Princeton, 3-2
Sept. 11, 2009
VILLANOVA, PA -- The GW Volleyball team fell behind Princeton 2-0 before ripping off three straight wins to edge the Tigers, 3-2, in the opening match of the Villanova Classic Friday at Villanova, PA. The Colonials snapped a three-match slide by the scores, 18-25, 16-25, 30-28, 25-20 and 15-12 in a battle that lasted more than two hours.
GW senior Katie Butz led the GW offense with her career-high 22 kills in 49 attempts for a .306 hitting percentage. Along with her 12 digs, Butz was one of three Colonials to record double-doubles on the evening. Leah Hill (16 kills, 14 digs) and freshman Lauren Whyte (14 kills, 10 digs) also kept the Colonials from losing their fourth straight. Alyssa Valentine assisted on 58 of GW's 68 kills (85 percent) while freshman Libero Candace Silva-Martin was omnipresent in notching her career-high 34 digs.
Princeton (1-4) hit .198 for the match while George Washington hit .183. Princeton's Lydia Rudnick led the Tigers in kills with 20 while teammate Sheena Donohue added 19 kills and a team-high 27 digs.
The Tigers took control midway through the first set and pulled away from an 11-11 tie using a 7-0 run, primarily on the strength of six GW attack errors. GW got a pair of kills from Hill to close within 21-18 before Rudnick put the set away with three straight kills. The second set was all Princeton as the Tigers roared out to a 16-6 lead and were never threatened en route to the 25-16 rout.
Set three provided the turning point in the match as the teams battled through an incredible 12 lead changes and 21 ties, the last coming at 28-28. Hill then smashed a kill for set point followed by a Rudnick attack error to end the marathon set, 30-28.
The fourth set was knotted at 14-14 before GW asserted control on a trio of kills by Hill and one each from Abby Syverson and Butz for a 20-15 advantage that prompted Princeton to burn a timeout. The teams traded points before a kill by Whyte ended the set at 25-20 to set the stage for a dramatic fifth set.
With new life, the Colonials took charge in the final set and raced out to a 10-6 lead. The Tigers were unable to close the gap as GW won the match, 15-12, on Whyte's 14th kill of the night.
The Colonials improved to 5-4 in the all-time series with Princeton in their first meeting in 24 years.
GW (4-3) next plays UMBC (2-4) Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Villanova Classic followed by a match against the host Wildcats (5-2) at 7 p.m.