GW Volleyball Season Begins Friday With DC Challenge
Aug. 25, 2011
WASHINGTON - The 2011 George Washington volleyball season gets underway this weekend when the Colonials compete in the sixth annual DC Challenge. GW opens the season Friday night against American at AU's Bender Arena. On Saturday, the tournament switches venues to the Charles E. Smith Center for four matches.
Now in its sixth year, the DC Challenge features four local teams: GW, American, George Mason and Georgetown, in a round-robin tournament. The Colonials won the inaugural challenge in 2006, as well as the 2009 installment.
Last season, GW defeated both Georgetown (3-1) and George Mason (3-0) while falling to American (0-3). The Colonials own an all-time mark of 11-4 in DC Challenge matches. Against the field, GW owns a 10-6 advantage in the all-time series with American, a 34-28 advantage over Georgetown and a 29-8 mark against George Mason.
All four of Saturday's DC Challenge matches, as well all of GW's home matches this season, can be viewed live online via video streaming at GWsports.com. Those interested in subscribing can visit GW All-Access to sign up for the service. Options include monthly service or an annual package that currently includes Colonials men's and women's basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, women's lacrosse and men's and women's soccer.
DC Challenge Schedule
2011 SEASON OUTLOOK
"We are very excited about this season," said Coach Ault. "We are building a culture right now, and the girls, coaching staff and everybody involved in the program do not want to wait. We are anxious to get started and we want to see results right away. We are ready to climb the ladder, and we want to be at the top of the Atlantic 10 and compete regionally and nationally as well".
The Colonials return 10 letterwinners -- including five starters -- from a 2010 squad that posted a 17-15 overall record. Five newcomers, from five different states, round out the 2011 roster.
This year's returning veterans, led by tri-captains MacKenzie Knox, Lauren Whyte and Candace Silva-Martin, have set their sights high and are determined to build on their success from last season. The Colonials expect to be in position to contend for the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship and earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
"We have had a great preseason camp, and I am really looking forward to getting on the court to see what this team can do," said Coach Ault. "I have been very happy with how this group has adapted to what we as coaches expect from them. We are to the point where we need to play someone other than ourselves to really see where we are and what more we need to improve upon as the season goes on."
"We are extremely excited about our incoming class," said Coach Ault. "Anytime there is a coaching transition there are a lot of issues to have to negotiate, and to be able to keep these five student-athletes in the fold is something we are very excited about. All five are committed to our mission as a team, committed to growing this program and becoming better athletes. Not only will they help in our goals on the court, but I truly believe they will mix well with our returning team members and be great ambassadors for GW volleyball and the entire university."
"We have built our non-conference schedule to prepare us for the highly competitive A-10 schedule" said Coach Ault. "By going on the road and playing these quality opponents early on, we will get a chance to see what we are made of and it will definitely prepare us for A-10 Conference play."
The Colonials open A-10 Conference play on Sept. 23 at Duquesne and close out the season on Nov. 5 also against Duquesne in the `Senior Night' match and final home appearance for the GW's lone senior, MacKenzie Knox.
"We know that every match during the conference season is important and hopefully we will be where we need to be at that point of our schedule. As long as we keep improving every day, I think this team has a lot of potential," said Coach Ault.