Welcome Home! Volleyball Christens New-Look Smith Center with 3-0 Victory over Rhode Island
Oct. 2, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC -- In the first official competition held in the newly renovated Charles E. Smith Center, the GW volleyball team defeated Rhode Island, 3-0, Friday evening before a boisterous crowd of more than 551, the fifth-largest gathering to watch a GW volleyball match at Smith Center. The Colonials won by the scores, 25-19, 25-22, 28-26 in just 94 minutes. For the Colonials, it marked the long-awaited 2009 home opener after spending the first month of the season on the road while the first two phases of the three-phase renovation to the 34-year-old building were completed. The Oct. 2 match also marked the latest home opener in GW volleyball history, now in its 35th year.
Senior Katie Butz led the Colonials with 15.5 points on a team-high 13 kills and assisted on five blocks with Katie Zulandt while senior co-captain Abby Syverson hit .348 with 11 kills and a block solo. Sophomore setter Alyssa Valentine assisted on 39 of GW's 49 kills and libero Candace Silva-Martin led all players with 15 digs.
Rhode Island (5-9, 0-3 A-10) was led by Kayla Newberg's 11 kills and Caitlyn Welsh's 13 digs. The Rams combined to hit just 147 on 36 kills in 109 attacks while committing 20 errors.
Despite nine ties and four lead changes in the first set, GW controlled the scoring down the stretch. The Colonials pulled away from a 14-14 tie to outscore the Rams, 8-2, benefitting from six Ram attack errors along with kills from Leah Hill, Butz and freshman Lauren Whyte to take a 22-17 lead and coast to the 25-19 win.
GW took control early if the second set opening a 7-2 lead behind three kills from Syverson and one each from Butz, Whyte and Valentine. GW's lead ballooned to 11-4 before the Rams began to rally by outscoring the Colonials, 13-9, to creep withing three at 20-17. After the teams traded attack errors, GW won the set on consecutive kills from Hill.
The third set was by far the closest of the match featuring no fewer than 11 lead changes and 16 ties, the last coming at 26-26 before the Rams committed back-to-back errors to end the set 28-26.
The Colonials were more aggressive at the net out-blocking the Rams, 8-4, and totalled 13 more kills on the evening. GW hit .242 for the match while holding the Rams to just .147.
GW (11-5, 2-1 A-10) next plays Sunday at 1:00 p.m. against Fordham (8-11, 0-3 A-10) at Smith Center. Free live statistical updates are available by going to www.GWsports.com and clicking on the GameTracker link.