GW Volleyball Splits on First Day of Huskie Invitational
Colonials Rally for Win Over Western Illinois Before Falling to Northern Illinois
Sept. 20, 2013
DeKalb, Ill. - The George Washington volleyball team opened competition at the Huskie Invitational on Friday, defeating Western Illinois in five sets before falling to Northern Illinois, 3-0.
Freshman Chidima Osuchukwu, the reigning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week and the conference's leader in attack percentage, continued her hot streak by totaling 28 kills against just nine errors for a .345 attack percentage in the two matches. She added six blocks (two solo).
In the first match of the day, the Colonials twice battled back from being down a set to knock off Western Illinois in five sets. Set scores were 19-25, 25-11, 20-25, 25-21, 16-14.
After falling behind 1-0, the Colonials hit .345 (13k-3e-29a) and limited the Leathernecks to a -.071 (5k-7e-28a) attack percentage in the second set on the way to a dominating 25-11 win to tie the match at 1-1.
Western Illinois regained the lead in the third set as GW's hitting percentage fell to .103 (10k-7e-29a), but the Colonials were able to survive 12 ties and eight lead changes in the fourth set to tie the match at 2-2.
The Colonials held a late 17-14 lead in the fourth set, but Western Illinois rallied to tie the score at 20-20. From there, the Colonials regained the momentum and closed on a 5-1 run to force a decisive fifth set.
In the fifth, GW opened on a 4-1 run and held a lead of at least one point until late in the frame. Up 14-11 and serving for the match, the Colonials hit a dry spell as the Leathernecks posted three straight points to tie the score at 14-14. Following a timeout, a kill by freshman Loren Williams and a WIU attack error gave the Colonials their sixth win of the season.
Junior Kelsey Newman joined Osuchukwu (18 kills) in double figures with 13 kills and added eight digs and three block assists.
The Colonials posted 10.0 team blocks compared to 4.0 for Western Illinois. Osuchukwu led the charge with five rejections (one solo) and juniors Gabrial Rushton and Landon Garvik each added four block assists apiece.
In the second match of the day, Northern Illinois swept the Colonials by scores of 25-18, 26-24, 25-18.
Osuchukwu paced the offense again, posting a team-high 10 kills. Newman added seven kills and seven digs.
The teams battled through 11 ties and eight lead changes in the first set before Northern Illinois (6-6) closed the frame on a 10-3 run to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
NIU led most of the second set, but the Colonials erased a late four-point deficit and eventually tied the match at 23-23. A service ace by Timmer gave the Colonials a brief 24-23 lead, but the Huskies scored the next three points in a row to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
In the third set, NIU hit .375 with just three attack errors compared to GW's .171 (13k-7e-35a) on the way to the 25-18 victory to clinch the sweep.
Timmer posted 27 assists and nine digs in the loss. Doyle and Goss added nine digs apiece.
GW will face IPFW on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET in its final match of the tournament.