Volleyball Drops Season Finale to Rhode Island, 3-2
Nov. 16, 2002
WASHINGTON, DC - With a berth in the Atlantic 10 Volleyball Championship Tournament already in hand as a result of Friday's victory, the George Washington volleyball team attempted to close out the regular season with a victory and complete a season sweep of Rhode Island Saturday but it was not meant to be as the Rams prevailed, 28-30, 30-24, 32-30, 27-30, 16-14, in a nailbiter at Smith Center.
GW freshman Lindsey Vernand (Huntington Beach, CA/Huntington Beach) and junior Sarah Hokom (Caldwell, ID/Caldwell) each had 18 kills. Vernand was the more efficient hitting .277 with 19 digs Hokom hit .172 with 14 digs five blocks. GW junior Ruth Lazzari (Seal Beach, CA/Connelly) also double-doubled with 16 kills and a match-high 23 digs in the two-hour, 14-minute match.
Rhode Island (11-16, 6-7 A-10) was led by Brooke Ecklund's 25 kills while teammate Kaleena Miller added 22 kills and 21 digs. The Rams defense amassed 102 digs compared to 86 for GW although the Colonials' defense totalled 17 blocks in the match led by freshman Shannon Parks (Marietta, GA/George Walton) who led all players with eight block assists and one solo.
GW opened the deciding fifth game by taking a 5-1 lead before the Rams battled back to tie at 5-5. URI went up 8-7 and, after the teams switched sides of the court, the Rams continued to take one-point leads with the Colonials responding and tying the game seven more times. Hokom came through again and again for GW with timely kills and a pair of solo blocks to keep the Colonials close. A kill by URI's Mary Kate Reardon gave the Rams a 15-14 lead and, on the game's final rally, an errant attack by Vernand went long and out of bounds to give URI the hard-fought victory.
Although GW had defeated Rhode Island, 3-2, on Oct. 19, Saturday's victory gave the Rams a 27-21 lead in the all-time series.
GW (18-12, 8-6 A-10), the No. 3 seed in the A-10 Volleyball Tournament, now prepares to face the No. 2 seeded Dayton Flyers this Friday, Nov. 22, at Xavier University's Cintas Center in Cincinnati, OH. Temple is the top seed and Xavier is the fourth seed.